Nestled in the foothills of the Peak District National Park, on the eastern edge of the Cheshire Plain - Bollington is a quaint semi-rural village within the town parish of Macclesfield. Once a thriving centre for the cotton-spinning industry, the imposing Clarence and Adelphi Mills still stand as a testament to its rich industrial heritage. Nowadays, Bollington serves as a bustling hub for walkers and a gateway to some of the most popular walks, hikes, and bike rides in Cheshire including White Nancy and the Middlewood Way. Keep reading as I share 10 brilliant things to do in Bollington otherwise known as ‘Happy Valley’!

Bollington, Cheshire

1. White Nancy

White Nancy, Bollington
Standing proud on the top of Kerridge Hill behind Bollington, White Nancy is a popular local landmark and is easy to spot from miles around. Originally commissioned by John Gaskell, who lived nearby at Ingersley Hall, this summer house or folly is now a Grade II listed building. There are various routes to the top to suit all ages and abilities – for those with younger children, park near Chancery Lane and follow the pathway from there. It should take no more than 20 minutes from this point but is steep in parts. Reward yourself with a meal and drinks at the Poachers Inn afterward.

2. Middlewood Way

Middlewood Way
Following a former railway line, this 10-mile traffic-free pathway links Marple to Macclesfield and passes conveniently through Bollington. For those picking up the route in Bollington, you can access it using the car park near Adlington Road. The Middlewood Way is mostly level and accessible, making it easy for bikes, scooters, prams, and wheelchairs to navigate. Horse riders are also welcomed to use the route and there are numerous picnic points along the way. Combine with the visit to the Nelson Pit Visitor Centre, Anson Museum, or Lyme Park. For a more detailed map: Middlewood Way leaflet.

3. Bollington Boats and Bikes

Based at Bollington Wharf, on the banks of the Macclesfield Canal, Bollington Boats and Bikes allows visitors to hire a narrowboat for a full/half day or an evening cruise. Vintage ex-Post Office bikes can also be hired alongside children’s and Tagalong bikes. Both make for an exciting day out exploring the cycle and waterways of Bollington and beyond. For more information: Boat & Bike Hire | Bollington Wharf (

4. Clarence Mill

Often considered one of the prettiest towns in East Cheshire, Bollington once produced some of the finest cotton in the world and Clarence Mill still stands as a living museum of this once thriving industry. Nowadays visitors can enjoy a bite to eat at the Café Waterside, overlooking the River Bollin, before embarking on any one of the family-friendly walking routes starting at the Bollington Discovery Centre, situated within the Mill. The Coronation Gardens Playground at the entrance to Clarence Road is a worthy stop for children.

5. Bollington Brewing Tour

Beginning as a micro-brewery in the Vale Inn, The Bollington Brewing Company has grown to include a vast repertoire of locally brewed beers including the original Bollington Best and Oat Mill Stout. Brewery tours can be booked for just £30 including a sample of the beers, a two-course meal at the Vale Inn, and some take-home beers.

6. Bollington Arts Centre

Located on Wellington Road, the Bollington Arts Centre is an impressive small-scale venue with a constant stream of events and productions. Home to the Bollington Festival Players, the Bollington Brass Band, and the Festival Choir – there is a full programme of events including regular Jazz and chamber music concerts. Events - Bollington Arts CentreBollington Arts Centre

7. Shrigley Hall

Shrigley Hall Hotel
Set in 262 acres of grounds just outside Bollington, Shrigley Hall is a magnificent Georgian country house with uninterrupted views across the Peak District National Park. Home to an 18-hole golf course, 155 bedrooms, and the BAZAAR Spa – it really is one of the most luxurious things to do in Bollington. Book a pamper day, stay overnight, or drop by for a leisurely lunch before exploring the beautiful village of Pott Shrigley

Hotels in Macclesfield, Cheshire | Shrigley Hall Hotel & Spa

8. Farm Made Tearooms

Open Thursday – Sunday, the Farm Made Tearooms are set on stunning grounds in the hamlet of Rainow. Priding themselves on producing incredible homemade food and cakes – these award-winning tearooms are a must when exploring the outer reaches of Bollington.

9. Local food heroes

Bollington has so many amazing local producers and eateries – ones not to be missed include Knowles Green for wonderful wine and cheese. The Indian Goat takeaway on Bollington recreation ground was recently featured on the Hairy Bikers TV programme and the Mulberry Leaf Café for great coffee.

10. Harrop Brook - Bluebell Walk

From April into early May, the Harrop Brook valley is awash with a sea of bluebells. Combine with The Nab – Bollington’s other hill, for a longer, more challenging route! For more information: The Nab – Bollington, the Happy Valley!


Head to the Girl About Cheshire webpage for tons more inspiration about places to visit in Cheshire. Or give Jenny a follow on Instagram.




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