Dane Valley Way

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The Dane Valley Way at Three Shires Head

The Dane Valley Way is a long-distance walking route, 48 miles long, through Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire. It runs from the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton to the end of the River Dane, where it enters the River Weaver in Northwich. [1]

The River Dane is the longest, cleanest and thought to be the fastest flowing river through Cheshire.

The route


The route begins in Buxton, the capital of the Peak, in Derbyshire. It climbs out of the town for three miles through Grinlow Woods to Solomon's Temple at the summit of Grin Hill, providing superb views across the Dark Peak.

The trail climbs Axe Edge Moor, up to 1,600 feet above sea level, to Dane Head, the source of the river. On Cheeks Hill it enters Staffordshire: the summit of the hill is that county's county top.

From here, the route begins downhill run towards the valley of the River Dane, reaching it at the Danebower Quarries on the Cheshire-Derbyshire border, then follows rights of way along or near the course of the river. It passes the scenic Three Shires Head, where Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire meet, which has a stone footbridge and cascades. During the eighteenth century, fugitives used Three Shires Head to cross into a neighbouring county, in order to flee from police who could only operate within their own county.

The path continues along the wooded Dane Valley through the hamlets of Gradbach, Danebridge and Wincle.

Leaving the Peak District National Park, the trail goes on through Eaton, Congleton, Swettenham, Brereton Heath Nature Reserve, Holmes Chapel and Middlewich, where the River Dane is joined by the River Wheelock.

Below Middlewich, the route runs north to Northwich, where the Dane enters the River Weaver.

The second half of the route includes considerable walking on roads.[2][3]


The Dane Valley Way was proposed in 1970 by Congleton Rural District Council.[4]

In 2013 the second half of the route was modified to avoid major roads and extended from its original finish in Middlewich to Northwich. The route is marked on OS Explorer Maps OL24 and 268 and is waymarked with the initials DVW.[5][6]

There are links with the Midshires Way, the Staffordshire Way the Gritstone Trail, the South Cheshire Way, the Cheshire Ring Canal Walk and Trent and Mersey Canal Walk. Details of connecting routes may be found on the Dane Valley Way page of the Long Distance Walkers' Association website.

Outside links