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|Gradbach, the Roaches and Luds Church|
|Author: Marie Prime, Published: 14 Sep 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A walk from the tiny Staffordshire hamlet of Gradbach (with its mill) and up over open moorland to the high ridge of the Roaches with its magnificent views. Also there is an option to visit the magical ravine of Luds Church. Gradbach is a small hamlet on the River Dane and is a well-known beauty spot from which visitors can gain access to the Roaches and Luds Church. There are a few buildings and a small car park from which we start the walk. |
On the walk you will need to cross several stiles and negotiate a couple of short flights of stone steps, a river bridge and a few gates. The paths are easy to see but some areas can be boggy and are uneven with rocks and tree roots so a good pair of walking boots is recommended. There are no toilets along the route, the nearest are sited at the Titesworth Reservoir car park about seven miles away.
Gradbach can be approached through the village of Flash, (the highest village in England), which itself is just off the A53 between Buxton and Leek. Follow New Road into the village of Flash and, just past the church, follow the road round to the left signed to Gradbach youth hostel. Travel along this road for just less than 2 miles looking out for a sudden split in the road, keep left (signed to Gradbach scout camp) and the car park is a short distance on the right. The nearest postcode is for Gradbach Outdoor Adventure (the old mill), Gradbach, SK17 0SU - this is located approximately 200 metres up the road from the car park.
|Start to Bridge|
Start point: 53.1932 lat, -2.003 long
Exit the car park onto the lane and turn right, after approximately 200 metres bear right down the access road to the mill.
|Bridge to Stoned Path|
Start point: 53.1891 lat, -2.0156 long
At the waymarker post turn left (signed to the Roaches), follow the path into the woods, the brook is on the left. At the next waymarker post continue in the direction of the Roaches climbing fairly steeply up through the woods. The path is uneven with rocks and tree roots and can be muddy. At the top you reach another waymarker post. Follow in the direction of the Roaches crossing the small stream (approx 0.5 miles from the bridge) and following the stoned path up hill. You soon emerge out onto the open heather covered moors, ignore any side paths but keep on up the hill. On reaching the top, where two walls meet, cross a wooden stile. Here is a great place to picnic with great views over Tittesworth Reservoir and an ice-cream van sits here during the summer at weekends.
|Stoned Path to Waymarker Post|
Start point: 53.1814 lat, -2.0081 long
Turn immediate right to go through a gate, follow the grassy track with a wall on the left for approximately 0.5 miles to reach a waymarker post. Take the top path signed to Swythamley via ridge. Walk along the ridge to reach the next waymarker post and follow the direction of Swythamley and Danebridge.
|Waymarker Post to Gate|
Start point: 53.1842 lat, -2.0195 long
Go through the gate and continue along the ridge for approximately 0.75 miles, going through a further small gate. The path becomes sunken and leads to a gate and a waymarker post. Turn right, away from the gate, signed Gradbach and Luds Church.
|Gate to Castle Rocks|
Start point: 53.187 lat, -2.0349 long
Follow the path which becomes sunken for approximately 0.5 miles. This leads you into the woodland and on to reach a further waymarker. The rocks on the left are known as castle rocks and are a great place to explore with a good view down the valley. At this point you can take an optional visit to Luds Church, an interesting and almost magical place that is well worth a visit.
|Castle Rocks to Stone Steps|
Start point: 53.1889 lat, -2.0239 long
To continue, follow the lower path in the direction of Gradbach, down through the woods for approximately 0.25 miles. On reaching a further marker post, turn left down the stone steps (signed Gradbach).
|Stone Steps to End|
Start point: 53.1886 lat, -2.0163 long
Head towards (and around) a large tree, bearing right down to the footbridge you crossed on your outward journey. To return to the car park simply retrace your outward steps over the bridge, back over the stile on the left and on through the mill complex then turn left down the lane. You will come to the car park where the walk began.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author mumnpets and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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