Lud's Church, Back Forest & Clough Head from Gradbach

A Staffordshire walk that explores the valleys and high ground to the west of the Roaches.

Technical sheet
No. 293019
A Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 23/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h05[?]
Distance Distance : 5.44mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 699ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 623ft
Highest point Highest point : 1335ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 866ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough
Starting point Starting point : N 53.192936° / W 2.004172°
Arrival Arrival : N 53.191992° / W 2.00724°
Download : -

Description

(D)The start is a small car park beside the River Dane on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border close to the Youth Hostel at Gradbach. On busy days parking may be problematic so an early start is recommended. 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 down the signed path which soon becomes a track and continue to descend past Moss End Farm (on your left) to reach a road junction (grid ref. SK008650). Turn sharp left along a walled track towards Cloughhead. The way ahead is never in doubt and after passing through a short section of rough country the path continues through a series of pastures with Gradbach Hill on your right. Continue along this path, passing through a farm onto a lane. Bear right and continue along this lane which leads back to the car park, which is on your right.(A)

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 896ft - River Dane car park
1 : mi 0.59 - alt. 915ft - Cross the footbridge
2 : mi 1.55 - alt. 1027ft - Turn left at path junction
3 : mi 2.85 - alt. 1332ft - Turn left down path
A : mi 5.44 - alt. 942ft - River Dane car park

Useful Information

The Roaches and surrounding country can be very busy of fine weekends especially on the western side of the ridge. This 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 and continuing via Clough Head back to the start.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Other walks in the area

distance 4.23mi Vertical gain +610ft Vertical drop -574ft Durée 2h30 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough - Cheshire

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.

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An exploration of northern Staffordshire that is rarely walked.

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distance 4.65mi Vertical gain +545ft Vertical drop -548ft Durée 2h35 Easy Easy
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distance 4.43mi Vertical gain +630ft Vertical drop -627ft Durée 2h35 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Leekfrith - Staffordshire

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.

distance 6.84mi Vertical gain +1181ft Vertical drop -1171ft Durée 4h10 Average Average
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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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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.