Lud's Church & The Roaches - A walk with Geoff & Bob - Sunday 26th Sept 2010
Area: White Peak, Derbyshire  -  Distance: 14.5km / 9miles  -  Total Ascent: 780metres / 2560ft. Approx
Start/Finish: Gradbach - GR: SJ 999 662 - Grade: Moderate, boggy in places near Lud's Church

Our walk starts from the small car park near the youth hostel at Gradbach Mill which is situated on the River Dane, once powered by water the mill was famous for the manufacture of sewing silk in the late 1700's. We head S.E. from here climbing out through Gradbach Wood until we reach Roach End then up onto the Roaches, a prominent rocky ridge with some spectacular rock formations, the ridge descends at its southerly end then rises again to Hen Cloud 410m. We retrace our steps from Hen Cloud until we reach the road again at Roach End, we then follow the wall N.W. for about 2/3km picking up a path leading off N.E. to enter Forest Wood where we pick up a path on the left leading to Lud's Church - a spectacular gritstone chasm.


The car park at Gradbach

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A short walk brings us to the old mill now a busy Youth Hostel.


We pass by the Youth Hostel following a path as it passes through two stiles then crosses another stile in a wall to reach this footbridge across Black Brook.


We cross the bridge and turn left taking the left fork to follow the stream S.E. for a short distance before climbing up through the woods and turning south to reach Roach End.


Crossing the road at Roach End we pass by Bearstone Rock and make the easy climb up the ridge to reach the trig point on:-

The Roaches 505m / 1657ft


A view along the ridge

  Tittesworth Reservoir in the distance.  

The view south to Hen Cloud


Unusual and interesting rock formations along the ridge.


Standing alone at the end of the ridge Hen Cloud is a popular place for climbers

Hen cloud 410m / 1345ft



Walking back along the ridge we take a closer look at some of the unusual rocks.


Eventually we arrive back at the trig point


Tracing our footsteps back to the road at Roach End we cross the wall and follow it N.W. for about 1km until we reach a small sign pointing N.E. down the hillside, we follow it into the woods then pick up another path heading N.W. after about 0.5km we reach Lud's Church.

  Geoff having descended into the chasm  
  Steps leading into the rear of Lud's Church  

Can you spot The Green Knight, guardian of Lud's Church.


Leaving the chasm at ite northerly end we follow the wide path for about 300m N.W. before turning east and descending through the woods to emerge at the footbridge we had crossed earlier.

A short walk brings us back to the Old Mill and a little further on to the car park.


A highly interesting and enjoyable walk!