Looking for a long walk in the Peak District? The Roaches and Lud’s Church walk might be the one for you!
There are plenty of beautiful short walks in the Peak District but what about options for a full day outdoors?
If you prefer, you can make this walk shorter, but it’s so lovely you’ll want to stay out all day. Well, unless it’s pouring with rain!
Here are the details and a map for this beautiful 10-mile walk in the White Peak Area of the Peak District. This walk is perfect for all walking abilities, including families.
The wonderful thing about this walk is it has a mix of everything, from impressive gritstone rock formations, woodlands, trickling streams and farmlands. There’s also plenty of different nature and wildlife too, being designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
During my autumnal walk, I spotted Roe deer, after hearing them rustling in the bushes above. And apparently, there are some escaped wallabies, but they were last spotted back in 2015, you might get lucky!
Are you planning on doing the Roaches and Lud’s Church walk or any other Peak District walks?
Ask me any more questions about the route in the comments below.
The Roaches + Lud’s Church Walk
Walk Start Point + Facilities
Parking address: Roach Rd, Upper Hulme, Leek ST13 8UA
There is a small layby outside The Roaches Tea Rooms, a perfect place to park to start the walk.
There is pretty limited parking along this section of the road, but if it’s full there are more spaces further along the road.
Please make sure you don’t park on the grassy banks.
Toilet facilities on the walk
On the walk, there are no toilet stops. It’s also pretty difficult to find a discreet spot on the first section of the walk as you’ll probably see a few other walkers!
- Pop for a morning coffee before (or after your walk) at The Roaches Tea Rooms and you can use their toilet at the same time!
- They also do lots of amazing cake too!
The Roaches + Lud’s Church Walk Map
10-Mile Walking Route
Stage 1 – The Roaches Tearoom to Hen Cloud
Distance: 0.75 mile/1 km
From the Roaches Tearoom, continue up the road for a short distance before reaching a gate and track on your right.
Turn right here and follow the track as it gradually goes uphill, in front of you, is Hen Cloud hill.
This route takes you up a short and steep scramble section; however, if you’d prefer not to do this then you can continue following the track around for a less steep route up to the top.
As the track starts the turn to the right, look out for the small winding paths leading up to Hen Cloud. These are mostly used by climbers and lead up to sections of Hen Cloud used by them.
Continue heading upwards, via the best option, as you’ll see the path disappears in some parts, but as long as you’re going up, you can’t go wrong!
Once you’re at the top of Hen Cloud you can see for miles, it’s really beautiful. If you look southwest there’s the impressive Tittesworth Reservoir in the distance.
Stage 2 – Hen Cloud to The Roaches
Distance: 1.5 miles/2 km
From the top of Hen Cloud, enjoy scrambling around and exploring the summit. Plus take a few photos. Then head in a northerly direction down the path.
In some places, the narrow path can be muddy and slippery so watch your step! In the distance, you can see The Roaches.
Once you’ve descended, there’s a short flat section, to catch your breath, through a gate then back uphill again. Take the path leading to the left, go through the gate and then follow the lower path in front of the crags of The Roaches.
This is a great spot to take a photo looking back towards Hen Cloud, with The Roaches iconic rocks in the foreground.
See if you can spot the interesting plaque on one of the rocks nearby.
Be sure to look out for more climbers in this area too 🙂
Follow the path, for a short distance before descending to the top of The Roaches. From here turn left and follow the path all the way along the top. You’ll go past a small pool called Doxey’s Pool, old tales suggest a not-so-friendly mermaid lives here!
Then after about 1 km, you’ll reach the trig point marking the highest point on The Roaches at 505 m.
Look out for Peregrine Falcons hovering above the undergrowth.Read next - Beautiful Chee Dale Walk in the Peak District
Stage 3 – The Roaches to Lud’s Church
Distance: 2 miles/3 km
From The Roaches trig point, keep following the path along the top. Then you’ll start descending gradually until you reach a road.
There’s sometimes an ice-cream van here, they also sell hot drinks too!
Go through a narrow stone stile in the wall, then follow the fingerpost to the right. Walk down the trail, following the boundary wall which leads you down into the woods.
There are various tree roots along the path, so again watch your footing. But the woods are wonderful and feel quite magical as you walk through them.
You walk through the woods for about 1 km, before reaching Lud’s Church.
Before you start expecting an actual church, I’ll give you a head’s up, there isn’t a traditional church here.
Lud’s Church used to be a place of worship. It’s really a magical place to explore, in fact, it feels like a jungle environment.
Stage 4 – Lud’s Church to Roach End
Distance: 2 miles/3 km
After exploring the beautiful Lud’s Church you eventually find your way back out. There is a small open space with a few rocks, which makes a perfect lunch stop.
Continue on the path towards Swythamley, heading north until you reach another signpost taking you back gradually uphill.
There were hundreds of bilberries along this section of the walk, worth taking a bag to collect some in summer/early autumn.
From here walk across the top, all the way until you reach the Road and Roach End (the same point you crossed before!)
It was on this part of the walk I saw Row Deer, they were pretty speedy so I didn’t get a chance to take a photo. Plus I was too busy enjoying the moment.Read next - 10 walks from Edale Peak District
Stage 5 – Roach End to the road near Newstone Farm
Distance: 2.5 miles/4 km
Instead of heading back up The Roaches, turn left here and walk along the track by the boundary wall for a short distance. You’ll go past The Roaches School then follow the path and across a small bridge over Black Brook.
Follow Black Brook all the way to some farm buildings. Go through a gate, then turn right and follow the path continuing to follow Black Brook for another 0.5 km.
The path then heads off to the left, as you walk up towards the road, near Newstone Farm.
Stage 6 – Road near Newstone Farm to The Roaches Tearoom
Distance: 3 miles/5 km
Walk a few hundred metres up the road. Then at the t-junction cross over and uphill towards Ramshaw Rocks. These are more gritstone rocks, again popular with climbers in the White Peak Area.
Follow the path across Ramshaw Rocks for about 1 km, until you descend and reach a road. On the corner of the road, you’ll see a footpath heading south, follow this path round towards Naychurch.
Then head on the path through Well Farm, before turning left taking the path in between Hen Cloud and The Roaches.
You’ll then reach the road where you turn left and follow it back to The Roaches Tearoom for a well-deserved piece of cake!
The Roaches + Lud’s Church Walk – Top Tips
- A beautiful walk, but incredibly popular during weekends and the summer. Go mid-week or during spring, autumn or winter months.
- Lud’s Church can be popular, take your time and enjoy the experience.
- Look out for wild mushrooms growing in the woods (in autumn) before Lud’s Church
- The edge along The Roaches is exposed and can be windy and cold – Wrap up warm!
- Leave no trace – check out my tips here for being a more responsible hiker
- There are no shelters on this walk, make sure you take waterproofs just in case!
Peak District Shorter Walks
Fancy doing this walk but don’t want to do a 10-mile walk?
Maybe leave out the hike up Hen Cloud to shorten the route.
Or you could do a there and back route along The Roaches to Lud’s Church, this would shorten the walk by about 2 miles/4 km, so approximately an hour shorter walk.
More shorter Peak District walks here
Do you have any questions about this Peak District walk?
Ask me any questions about the walk or any other ideas for walks in the Peak District in the comments below.
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