Last Updated on 20 October 2023 by Rich
Alderley Edge in Cheshire, England offers some of the most picturesque walking trails in the Northwest. With its woodlands, sandstone cliffs, and legends of wizards, it’s a magical place to get outdoors. This guide showcases the best Alderley Edge Walk for hikers of all ages and abilities. The natural beauty of Alderley Edge has inspired many mystical tales over the years. The most famous tells of a wizard sleeping under the Edge – a long sandstone escarpment – along with knights and white horses. This led to the creation of the famous Alderley Edge Wizard Walk.
- An Intro to Alderley Edge
- Why Is It Great For Kids?
- Getting to The Edge
- By Public Transport
- Parking Up
- Alderley Edge Wizard Walk
- Alderley Edge Woodland Walks
- The Edge Walk
- Alderley Edge Waterfall Walk
- What About Refreshments?
- So Lace Up and Get Down to do an Alderley Edge Walk
- And Get Tagging Us
An Intro to Alderley Edge
Alderley Edge most famous now thanks to the ‘nouveau riche’ along with the Real Housewives of Cheshire and footballers with its sprawling mansions and supercars is actually a charming village and scenic natural area located in the county of Cheshire in the North West of England.
Surrounded by National Trust protected countryside, it is known for its beautiful landscapes and wealth of myths and legends. There is also some fantastic walking around these areas, that are perfect for young kids.
About Alderley Edge
- Located in the county of Cheshire, approximately 15 miles south of Manchester
- Home to a population of around 5,000 residents
- Originated as a small farming community in the 13th century
- Surrounded by pristine countryside and ancient woodlands looked after by the National Trust
- The nearby sandstone escarpment known as the Edge is a famous natural landmark
Key Natural Features
- Impressive sandstone cliffs and rock formations like the steep Edge ridge
- Lush ancient woodlands blanketed in bluebells during springtime
- Panoramic views out over the Cheshire Plain and towards the North Wales mountains
- A network of scenic walking trails such as the Wizard Walk through the woods
- Waterfalls and streams that come alive after periods of heavy rainfall
History and Mythology
- Many legends including a wizard said to sleep under the Edge with knights and white horses
- Tales of the sandstone cliffs being hollow and hiding treasure underground
- Intriguing place names derived from myths like Stormy Point and the Devil’s Grave
- Mystical rock formations such as the Druid’s Circle said to have ancient origins
With its magical woodlands, imposing cliffs, and links to Celtic myths, Alderley Edge is a fascinating place to explore in the picturesque Cheshire countryside.
Why Is It Great For Kids?
Thanks to the National Trust, the walks are well marked out, which is great if you don’t know the area. Each walk has a fun name with a designated colour and wayfinder. This makes it fun for the kids to search out and helps build their navigational awareness.
It’s an amazing spot to head to at any time of year. Beautiful vistas of the Cheshire Plains and Manchester whilst also stretching out to North Wales make it an Instagram friendly location. Mila is a unicorn and rainbow stan and we got a great snap of one back in April.
And aside from the walking, it’s got plenty of trees for young (and old) kids to climb and scramble on.
The National Trust have recently installed a woodland play park with logs, hopping stones and climbing poles which is great for kids from toddlers up to teenagers who can make it as tricky and adventurous as they wish to.
Alternatively, if your thing is muddy puddles then you’ll be in for a treat, especially if you head out on a rainy winter’s day!
Getting to The Edge
The Edge at Alderley Edge is easily accessible by car or public transport.
- Located around 15 miles south of Manchester
- Closest main road is the A34
- There are National Trust car parks along Macclesfield Road by the Edge
By Public Transport
- Alderley Edge train station has regular services from Manchester and surrounding areas
- Bus routes connect with Wilmslow, Macclesfield and Congleton
- The village centre is a short walk from the train station and nearby bus stops
Key Access Points
- National Trust Wizard car park on Macclesfield Road
- Car parks at the north and south end points of the Edge
- Alderley Edge village centre has parking and is a starting point for trails
With its proximity to Manchester and options for public transport, accessing the natural beauty of the Edge is convenient.
The National Trust runs and manages the area and they have a large decent sized. For non-members, the parking is £3 for three hours. If you are a member however, parking is free – just make sure to scan your membership card at the parking machine to ensure the site gets some funding allocated by the National Trust.
We regularly head up to The Edge at all times of day including weekdays and weekends, school days and holidays and the only time we haven’t been able to park at the main site was on a beautiful blue and sunny New Years Day. So you can be pretty guaranteed that you will get a parking space when you head there
There are a few lay-by’s along the main road heading out from Alderley Edge – the B5087, Macclesfield Road. However, if the main car park is full, these tend to be as well, so if you find a spot, you do need to be opportunistic and park up quickly, it won’t be there for long!
Alderley Edge Wizard Walk
The Alderley Edge Wizard Walk follows the sandstone cliffs of the Edge and lush wooded paths underneath.
- National Trust car park off Macclesfield Road
- Climb uphill into mystical fairy tale woods
- Pass the “wizard’s well” natural spring
- Reach Stormy Point – highest point of the Edge – for 180 degree views
- See the steep stone steps of “The Devil’s Grave” cascading dramatically down
- Walk under sandstone cliffs along the “Golden Steps” trail
- Length: 3 mile loop
- Difficulty: Suitable for families and average fitness
- Path conditions: Clear trails, some steps
The Wizard Walk takes you through gnarled trees and mossy steps – keep an eye out for any magical beings!
Alderley Edge Woodland Walks
As well as the Wizard Walk, Alderley Edge has many pristine ancient woodland trails to explore.
- Easy trails down to the clough valley from the main car park
- See rare birds like pied flycatchers and wood warblers
- Look out for wildlife including deer, foxes, squirrels and badgers
- Follow the signs for Stormy Point to extend into more magical bluebell woods
For more challenging walks, head uphill to the high ridge line along the Edge:
- Follow signs for Beacon Lodge and the Sandstone Trail
- Dramatic but steep clifftop routes
- Jaw-dropping panoramic views
The Edge Walk
For the best views in the region, walk along the elevated cliff paths at the top of the Edge.
Stormy Point to Beacon Lodge
- Start at Stormy Point and take the Sandstone Trail toward Beacon Lodge
- Stay high up on the cliffs with nonstop Cheshire Plain views
- See the 360° views from the Jubilee Tower viewpoint
- Arrive at Beacon Lodge (1.5 miles) perched dramatically on the cliffs
This clifftop route has fabulous vistas – on clear days you can see North Wales in one direction whilst watching planes coming in to land at Manchester Airport in the other!
❗❗❗ WARNING – ALDERLEY EDGE CLIFF
The cliff is extremely sharp and steep. We did this walk on New Years Day 2023 and were enjoying lovely views of the Manchester skyline. Fortunately the kids were back with Noemi and her family but a women was stood near the edge of the cliff with me.
I noticed some movement behind me and all of a sudden a dog came running forward towards the lady and without realising it, continued to run forward over the edge of the cliff. There is a little vegetation which makes the cliff edge ever so slightly less obvious, so please ensure that you keep dogs on a leash and also young children.
To this day I can still hear the thud at the end. All dog owners and parents must be extremely vigilant at the Alderley Edge Cliff as it is dangerous!
Alderley Edge Waterfall Walk
After heavy rain, a scenic waterfall cascades off the sandstone into a pool below.
- Starts in the village centre near St Philip’s Church
- Follow signs downhill into chestnut tree woods
- Arrive at a wooden bridge with views of the waterfall’s cascade
- Ideal for a picnic stop when exploring the Edge
While small, it’s a lovely woodland trail and waterfall adding to the magic of Alderley Edge.
Why Walk Alderley Edge?
With its variety of trails from mystical woodlands to spectacular clifftop edges, Alderley Edge offers some of the best walking in the Northwest.
- Breathtaking views and scenery
- Fresh air and peaceful nature
- Trails for all abilities from family-friendly to challenging climbs
- Chance to spot wildlife and magical waterfalls
- Just bring sturdy shoes, layers, and keep an eye out for any wizards! The scenic walks of Alderley Edge await.
Just make sure you bring your sturdy walking shoes!
What About Refreshments?
There is an independent locally run tea room – The Wizard Tearoom, situated a few short steps from the main car park. This has been undergoing refurbishment for several years and at the moment there is still no seating inside available.
However, this is open throughout the week and serves up a variety of reasonably priced cakes and sandwiches which are perfect after a long stroll.
If you don’t fancy sitting down in the cafe and are looking for something to catch on the go, then be sure to head the Granelli’s Ice Cream Van which you can be guaranteed to find at almost any time of day in the car park.
So Lace Up and Get Down to do an Alderley Edge Walk
Alderley Edge, with its rich tapestry of history, myth, and breathtaking natural beauty, stands as a testament to Cheshire’s enchanting countryside. Its trails, meandering through ancient woodlands and along striking sandstone cliffs, offer a diverse range of experiences for both novice and seasoned hikers alike. With legends of wizards, hidden treasures, and panoramic views that stretch out to the horizons of Manchester and North Wales, the Edge provides an immersive journey into nature’s wonders.
For families, the well-marked trails and interactive play areas offer a perfect blend of education and adventure. Moreover, with convenient access points and delightful refreshment options post-walk, Alderley Edge truly encapsulates a wholesome outdoor experience. As you lace up your walking shoes and set forth, remember to respect the landscape’s natural beauty and heed caution where needed, ensuring this magical place remains a treasure for generations to come.
And Get Tagging Us
And don’t forget, if you’re chasing the legends of wizards or simply yearning for fresh air and scenic views, Alderley Edge promises an unforgettable experience.
If you’ve already been captivated by its charm, share your stories and photos with us using the hashtag #AlderleyAdventures @letsgomcr. Inspire others and let’s keep the legacy of Alderley Edge alive and thriving!