Axe Edge Moor
OS Grid ref:- SK001638
Wild and bleak Axe Edge Moor in the Peak District National Park is the major upland area of moorland, heather and peat-groughs situated in between Macclesfield, in Cheshire and the spa town of Buxton in Derbyshire, with superb views in all directions.
The moor's highest point rises to 551 metres (1,808 ft) which is slightly lower than nearby Shining Tor. It is mainly composed of gritstone. The Axe Edge itself is on the southeastern edge of the moor, near the source of the River Dove.
Axe Edge Moor is the source of several rivers, the River Dove, River Manifold, River Dane, River Wye and River Goyt. It boasts England's second-highest inn, the Cat and Fiddle Inn.
The moor is shared between the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, which meet on its southwestern flank at the a highly picturesque point of Three Shire's Head on the River Dane, the meeting point of four pack-horse trails.
In the eighteenth century, Three Shires Head was a place where criminals and coiners evaded capture from the forces of the law by crossing into a neighbouring county as then it was only possible for police to act within their own county limits.
The Cat and Fiddle Inn
The Cat and Fiddle Inn is situated on the eastern fringes of Cheshire just west of the Derbyshire/Cheshire county boundary, on the western side of Axe Edge Moor. Standing at an elevation of 515 metres (1,689 ft) above sea level, it is the second highest inn in England, (the highest is at Tan Hill in Yorkshire) and gives its name to the A537, the Cat and Fiddle Pass over the hills that separate the Peak District’s “Derbyshire Dales” from Staffordshire and the Cheshire Plain to the west.
Dating back to the eighteenth century the origin of the inn's name is obscure, and is variously attributed to Catherine le Fidele, the wife of Tsar Peter the Great, and more probably, to the game of 'Cat', the fiddle being for dancing. There is a carving of a cat and fiddle on the front of the inn.
The Cat and Fiddle’s location offers panoramic views which stretch as far as the Welsh hills on a clear day, making a popular stopping point. The name of the pub continues the long standing folklore of the grinning Cheshire Cat, one of the most widely recognised symbols of the county.
The inn is at the hub of several ancient tracks over Axe Edge Moor, and has become a popular refreshment stop for walkers and cyclists it stocks stocks a selection of real ales and serves a varied menu of both traditional British and international foods.
On several dates throughout the year visitors can enjoy helicopter flights from the inn.
A walk from Axe Edge Moor to Shining Tor
Distance- around 9 miles
*Commencing from the Cat and Fiddle Inn on Axe Edge Moor, take the moorland track heading north west on the same side of the road as the pub. After a short distance take the track on the right heading north. Continue straight ahead at the first track junction and turn left at the second to continue to the summit of Shining Tor at 1, 834 feet (559 metres) the highest point in the county of Cheshire.
*Retrace your steps back to the first junction which you passed earlier. Continue descending the hill and follow the edge of coniferous woodland to enter the wood. Cross Deep Clough and continue along the track for a short distance then turn left to the road that follows Goyt's Clough. Cross the footbridge below and head east towards Berry Clough.
*At the path junction head south to arrive at a track. Pick up the onward path that continues in the same direction to reach the A54 road then continue south across the moor to cross a minor road at Dane Head.
* Continue across the flanks of Cheeks Hill and Orchard Common. Turn left uphill crossing a farmyard. Remain on the track that passes around the hillside to reach a quarry.
*At the point where it reaches a stream the path heads west, continue along this path out of the quarry to arrive back at the A54. Take the signposted footpath across the moor to return to the Cat and Fiddle Inn.