Highwayman Hikes: Tunstall Circular (aka The Halloween Walk)

Length : Just under 2 miles

Difficulty : Easy

Time : 1 hour

Starting point : The Highwayman

This is a really easy and lovely circular walk from The Highwayman to St Johns Church in Tunstall. Mainly fields and paths, the route is clear and easy to follow. This route is made up through public footpaths but they are through working farms so please be careful and close the gates after you. Enjoy!

1. Leave The Highwayman pub car park and take a left down the road, past the mileage stone in the ground. There are no footpaths so stay close to the left hand side of the road. Usually it is recommended to walk facing traffic but for this part it is safer to stay on the left.

2. You will quickly see  a National Speed limit sign and a gate just before it on the left (For the picture below the gate was open which is quite rare). Go through the gate into the field.

3. Once in the field you are going to bear slightly left and walk straight through the middle of the field. The gate to the next field is approximately 1/3 along the fence line from the road (below) and will become clearer as you get closer. Go through the gate and across the next two fields. When you reach the third field bear left to the top left hand corner and you will find two gates. You want to go through the wooden gate.

4. In the picture below you will see the next gate you have to take, this will lead you to the final field. In the final field you will see a defined path that will lead you to the back of the Church Yard at St Johns.

St John’s the Baptist Church

The Church itself is recorded in the Domesday survey but the oldest structure of the present church dates back to the 13th Century. The church was rebuilt in around 1415 by Sir Thomas Tunstal and alterations in the 16th century.

In the 1820s it was attended by the Bronte sisters during the time they were receiving education at The Clergy Daughters School in nearby Cowan Bridge. The attic room where they had their lunches is being restored.

It is a fascinating Church full of interesting history, when the Church is open it is well worth a look around. There are memorials for The Fenwick family who lived up at Burrow Hall (Did you know The Highwayman was originally called The Fenwick Arms?) . The church also owns a 16th century painting by Francesco Montemezzano. In 2015 the painting was removed to be restored as part of the BBC television series ‘Fake or Fortune’. It is now back in the church for you to see.


5. Follow the path past the church and around to the left. This will take you on to Church Lane

6. Turn slightly left and carry on straight along the lane for a short distance and then take the next left up the drive saying Churchfield. 

7. Follow the driveway passing in between the houses. Once past the houses you will see a gate with a footpath arrow. Go through this gate and straight ahead and through the metal gate.

8. Keep to the path and keep going straight, over the stile, through the grounds of the house which will then lead to the farm track. Stay on the farm track and through the Sheep building. The farmers are very nice and do not mind you going through the sheep building just be aware they may be in there working so keep to the path.

9. Stay on the path until you reach the road. Turn left and continue down the road until eventually you will meet the pub.

10. Now you can pick up your Click & Collect from The Highwayman and eat a well deserved meal!


Click & Collect

Click & Collect orders are available from the Highwayman every weekend:

Friday 5-8pm
Saturday 4-8pm
Sunday 12-7pm

Order online here or call 015242 73338


by Aimee Sharples