COTTON DELL CIRCUIT
Degree of difficulty: Medium (one steep climb)
Length: 6 miles (approx)
Approximate time: 2.5 hours
Start at Oakamoor Car Park (Public Toilets) on Station Road,
Cross the park over the river bridge, bear left, until you reach the Cricketers Arms.
Turn right, stay on footpath, past bus shelter, cross the B5417 opposite old filling station.
Head up the track to Cotton Dell. Continue past the houses into the Nature Reserve through a gate ( usually open ).
The track crosses a bridge over the Dell Stream. Continue up the track past a concrete footbridge on the right.
You will reach a junction, take the right fork, (yellow arrow) follow the stream.
Continue until you see a footpath signpost near the second footbridge.
Turn left and climb the Hundred Steps ( not sure if there are 100, but there are a lot ! )
Go over the stile at the top into a field.
Straight ahead across the field ( very steep uphill ) to a stile in the wall.
Over the stile, turn right and continue with the wall on your right, until you reach a stile at Cotton Bank Farm
Join the metalled driveway and follow it for one mile past Side Farm, eventually leaving the woodland for open moorland
Just past Rock Cottage the track meets a minor road.
Turn right and where the road forks soon after, turn right again and right for a third time at Garston Farm.
You are now on Cotton Lane and follow this country lane for 2 miles, enjoying views of Cotton Dell on your right.
You will cross the infant Dell Stream near Bleach Farm and eventually pass the ruins of Cotton College on your right.
Continue into Cotton village to the junction with the B5417 and turn right to pass Ye Olde Star Inn (or alternatively visit to enjoy some refreshments)
Continue downhill from the Inn until you see a squeezer stile in the wall to your right just as you enter woodland
Follow the path downhill until you meet a track.
Turn left and follow the track until just before it reaches the road, where you will see a tree with two arrows marked on it.
Take the path to the right as indicated, and descend past Bill’s Rock until you reach a stile.
Don’t cross the stile, but turn right and continue downhill to the bridge across the Dell Stream.
Turn left and retrace your steps to the car park.