Sunbank Wood (2.1 miles)
This a pleasant little walk and sadly part of it is disappearing under concrete. Manchester Airport have developed on either side of Sunbank Lane. There was a petition to stop it but sadly it failed. There are some before and after pictures on the slideshow.
This walk begins on Mill Lane off Wilmslow Road. There is a small lay-by on Mill Lane on the left just near the start of the walk. Take the footpath along Cotteril Clough, a site of special scientific interest. The top part of Cotteril Clough will meet the extension of the airport. Turn right as you enter a field containing small ponds. Exit this field through the stile and continue on, keeping to the hedge on the left until you reach Sunbank Lane and then turn left. A little further along, you will see Sunbank Woods across the fields on your left.
Sunbank Lane is a pleasant walk, though rather noisy from the traffic on the nearby motorway. There are two routes to Sunbank Wood. Continue on to Keeper’s Cottage and after a short distance on your left you will see the very clear and gated entrance to Sunbank Woods. Alternatively, you can turn left off Sunbank Lane and take the track past Oak Cottages (now demolished for the airport development) and walk across the fields until reaching Sunbank Wood. Both routes are pleasant walking and I've included photographs along both sections.
Sunbank is a delightful little wood with a couple of ponds in the middle. After exploring the wood, take either the footpath down to Castle Mill Farm and turn left back into Mill Lane, or exit the woods back onto Sunbank Lane, turn left and take the footpath on the left before Halebank Farm. This footpath has a very good footbridge over the River Bollin and is an added attraction. Take the footpath up the hill and turn left when you exit onto Mill Lane. This is normally a quiet road much favoured by cyclists, but there are some blind bends to negotiate as you make your way back up the hill to the start of the walk.