When The Pieman Came South

There was a HuMP in Cheshire that Mike was desperate to tick. He’d apparently already been down South to bag it twice before, but it had never quite happened.

So the third attempt was going to be a real concerted effort. This summit just had to be attained.

The hill in question was Shutlingsloe. Not very high, but a rather shapely top, and steep enough to make you start breathing heavily on the final ascent.


Very popular on a weekend – only a spit and a promise from Macclesfield – we planned a 7 mile circuit, taking in the summit towards the end of the route. This way, we avoided the crowds for most of the day.

Parking up in Macclesfield Forest (which again, despite being a popular outing from the nearby town, can be a very pleasant place for a wander) we spent a few minutes watching the Herons in the Heronry area, before setting off in glorious, spring weather.


Things were looking good.


And there weren’t too many ‘husband and wife navigation discussions’, either.


We were dogless, though. Lucky was still up in the North, in bed, and Tilly was left at home, still recovering from back problems. For three such doggy people, this felt quite weird and it seemed like everyone we passed had a dog with them.


Blue skies and balmy temperatures were definitely the order of the day, as we slowly circumnavigated the hill, ready to tackle the top via the steep Eastern Couloir.


A lovely spot was found for First Lunch and we even walked past a pub without being tempted to stop.


Views were far reaching across the Cheshire Plain, with both dishes at Jodrell Bank being clearly visible.


Nearing Shutlingsloe, we began to pick up the crowds.


After all, this was a sunny Saturday.


And soon, the final ascent was tackled.




Third time lucky! He’d finally got his tick!


Now grateful for a rest opportunity, we sat down for Second Lunch, taking in the views.


All in all, a successful expedition 🙂




29 thoughts on “When The Pieman Came South

    1. It’s a surprisingly nice hill, isn’t it? Always quite busy on a weekend, but well worth a visit.
      We’ve done a circuit from Teggs Nose too, that took in both Wildboarclough and the Cat & Fiddle pub, but decided to go for the shorter version yesterday! 😀


  1. Classic! I think I was up there in a temperature inversion once, many moons ago. (But given my memory it was probably somewhere else altogether!)


  2. I assume this was this weekend.
    The weather was glorious wasn’t it.
    I was wondering where he had snuck off to.
    He was back at the Snake in time for beer.


    1. ‘Twas indeed this Saturday. You could have come too if you’d wanted, but I didn’t even realise you were up here 🙂
      He had a fair chunk of cherry flapjack before he went back for beer.


  3. In fact, I had two chunks of cherry flapjack, (nom nom) but the beer drinking was less than successful due to the enormous Snake Pass Inn apple pie after which I could barely move..


  4. That looks a really interesting hill. Are those lumps on the top natural or has there been something going on there in ancient times?
    Cheers, Alen


    1. Hi Alen, you’ve got me googling now!

      I’ve found this:

      ‘The hill is constructed from alternating layers of mudstones and coarse sandstones (referred to as ‘gritstones’ or simply ‘grits’) which were laid down in a delta system in the Carboniferous period. The summit tor is formed from the Chatsworth Grit and the lower slopes from the Roaches Grit. A number of geological faults run north–west to south–east through the hill.’

      and this:

      ‘Shutlingsloe is also a geological feature known as a nunatak, a peak which remained uncovered by ice when all around was glaciated.’

      So I was thinking that they were all natural features. But then I found this:

      ‘Evidence of prehistoric activity has been recorded in the area – in the 19th century two standing stones stood on Shutlingsloe, however, these have long since been removed. Shutlingsloe hill is surrounded by a curving dry-stone wall on monolithic foundations which may date from the medieval period. On the northern slopes of the hill summit are a number of small quarries. This prominent hill is given as one of six cattle pastures leased to Thomas Stanley in 1442 and was probably part of the vaccaries at an earlier date.’

      Amazing what you can find out with a quick google! I suspect that those quarries which are mentioned can probably be seen in my first photo, on the left-hand side as you look at it.


      1. Blimey. A wealth of information. Shutlingsloe has certainly had a colourful past. And I’ve never heard of a nunatak before. They say you learn something new every day. Thanks for that, Chrissie.


  5. Visiting from the Pieman blog – you certainly got some lovely snaps! We’re still under 2-3 feet of snow here in Massachusetts, but with a warm week predicted, the snow will soon be gone and then we will soon be underwater. And when that has run off or sunk in, it will be Spring and time for long walks in the woods. Which gives me plenty of time to google recipes for cherry flapjack.
    I hope your pup’s recovery goes smoothly and she is soon ready for more adventures 🙂


    1. Hi Quinn, very nice of you to drop by! Thanks for your kind comments 🙂
      Although I’ve done a chunk of hiking in New Hampshire in the past, I’ve not yet done any in Massachusetts, although Boston (along with Seattle) ranks as one of our favourite US cities. A super place to wander around. In fact last time we were there, we did a boat trip from Salem to Boston too, and approached it from the sea. Amazing!
      We are very hopeful for our pup Tilly making a good recovery thanks and we are now gradually increasing her daily walks again. She is currently on two, 40 minute outings a day without any problems. She does need to start building up her fitness again though after a couple of months of not much exercise! And she told me yesterday she can’t wait to go backpacking in her new tent again…. 😀
      As for cherry flapjack, I found an ordinary flapjack recipe in a cookery book and then messed with it and made the rest of it up!


  6. Looks like my kind of hill – distinctive shape, interesting geology, a bit of hard work, but nicely achievable (even if it took 3 attempts!). And I love the “first lunch”, “second lunch” idea. I already tend to do this with breakfasts . . . I wonder if I can incorporate it into lunches too!


Sadly, I've felt the need to reinstate comment moderation. Please be patient, your comment may not appear immediately but you shouldn't have to wait too long! Chrissie

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