- Start: Goyt Woodlands Car Park
- End: Goyt Woodlands Car Park
- Country: England
- County: Derbyshire
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub:
- Ordnance Survey:
- Difficulty: Medium
Gary Wallis explores a beauty spot on the north-west county border
Windgather Rocks, as the name implies, is a high viewpoint exposed to the elements that lies about one mile south-east of the village of Kettleshulme. The gritstone escarpment forms the county boundary between Derbyshire and Cheshire and is a popular location for walkers and climbers.
The panorama westwards from the crest of the rocks is extensive across the Cheshire countryside with Manchester visible in the distance, eastwards is the beautiful Goyt Valley.
The nearby village of Kettleshulme was, until 1937, a key manufacturer of candlewick material. The hamlet was also the home of a man named Amos Broadhurst who, in the 19th century, was famous for growing a seven-foot long beard.
There are in excess of 90 recognised climbing routes on Windgather Rocks and on a fine day the edge is a hive of activity. The routes include the colourfully named Mississippi Crack, Squashed Finger and Christmas Arete and attract climbers of all ages.
Finally it is worth noting that there is a local beer brewed in Macclesfield named after the beauty spot. Storm Brewing Windgather is described as an excellent drink. It may well be the perfect refreshment to sip while enjoying the spectacular vista from this edge!
Walk outline (correct as of September 2011)
Approximately 5.5 miles (refer to O/S 25,000 scale map)
Start from Goyt Woodlands Car Park next to Errwood Reservoir
Walk westwards uphill along The Street to Pym Chair
Take the footpath north to Windgather Rocks
Descend eastwards following the footpath to Overton Hall Farm
Continue past Madscar Farm
Swing south on the footpath towards Fernilee Reservoir
Take the footpath along the shore of Fernilee Reservoir and back to the car park