This Peak District walk explores the quieter side of the Staffordshire Roaches visiting the rocky cleft of Lud's Church before exploring the moorland and woodland of Back Forest. The views into Cheshire are excellent. Route finding is fine provided you take care when descending from Roach End.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D)The start is a small car park beside the River Dane on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border close to the Youth Hostel at Gradbach. Exit the car park onto the lane and turn right. After 200 metres bear right down the access road to the Hostel, following the footpath signs through the property and alongside the river to reach a footbridge (grid ref. SJ990657).
(1)Cross the footbridge. Ignore the paths either side along the river, instead climbing up amongst the trees to reach a cross path. Turn right towards Lud's Church. The path climbs gently through the woods. A signed diversion leads you to Lud's Church which is on your right. After exploring this rocky cleft, return to the path you have just left and continue to climb soon leaving the woods and entering open country. The path is clear and improving views over the Dane Valley towards Cheshire soon emerge. The path swings left to reach a path junction (grid ref. SJ977655).
(2)Turn left here and follow a clear rising path across the moorland (Back Forest on OS maps). You get a superb view forward to the highest ground of the Roaches with its westerly facing crags dominant. The undulating path eventually descends to a road at Roach End (grid ref. SJ995644). Here you have the option of climbing to the summit of the Roaches by taking the clear path ahead, which leads without any navigational problems to the summit trig point at 505 metres above sea level. The views are excellent on a clear day and worth the extra effort. This option will add an extra mile and 300 feet of ascent to the walk.
(3)To continue from Roach End, turn left and cross the stile on your left. This path leads down beside the wall (on your right) to enter the woodland above the River Dane. In places the path has been washed out and you need to be careful in descent. Almost immediately on entering the woodland you reach a path junction. Take the right hand fork. This descends through the pleasant mixed woodland to the footbridge crossed towards the start of this walk. Cross the footbridge and retrace your steps through the Hostel grounds and back to the car park.(A)
D : mi 0 - alt. 899ft - River Dane car park
1 : mi 0.57 - alt. 883ft - Cross the footbridge
2 : mi 1.57 - alt. 1014ft - Turn left at path junction
3 : mi 2.88 - alt. 1332ft - Turn left and cross stile
A : mi 4.23 - alt. 935ft - River Dane car park
On busy days parking may be problematic so an early start is recommended.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5
Global average : 5 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good
An enjoyable day, even with the chill wind and on the exposed section of the ridge above Back Wood. Directions are really easy to follow. The route is clearly marked and the waymarks are accurate. The Autumn colours were stunning. It is already said in the description but it's worth restating: parking is really difficult if you arrive later. A nice easy undulating route - my wife struggled with the down-hill sections a little as she has an ankle injury - this made the rockier sections a little tricky for her.
A Staffordshire walk that explores the valleys and high ground to the west of the Roaches.
An exploration of northern Staffordshire that is rarely walked.
A Peak District walk full of interest that visits Staffordshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire. The route is generally easy to follow and the highlights are the packhorse bridges at Three Shires Head, the quarries at Danebower and some excellent panoramas.
A Peak District walk that includes counties - Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire. The route uses a mixture of paths, tracks and minor roads and also includes a section of the Dane Valley Way.
A pleasant Peak District walk in the Staffordshire Moorlands. The route uses a mixture of paths, tracks and quiet country lanes to explore the area. For many, the highlight will be Three Shires Head with its packhorse bridge and waterfalls.
A short Peak District walk that explores the area around Three Shires Head where the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet. The route uses sections of old packhorse routes as well as footpaths.
The Roaches are a dominant feature of the North Staffordshire landscape and this walk provides a perfect introduction to this rugged area. An integral part of the Peak District National Park, this gritstone edge has superb views over the surrounding area.
The Roaches are a popular place to walk offering dramatic views in this part of North Staffordshire. This walk includes Lud's Church a deep chasm that has some interesting historical connections.
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