Steve Elliott is leading this Long Walk
Meet in Audlem car park to leave promptly at 8.00am -- The Roaches is a popular area so the sooner we park the better!
There is a lot of roadside parking. We want to be close to the Public Footpath sign at OS Grid Ref: SK 0042 6212
Take the A53 north from Leek and look for the left turn at Upper Hulme -- 3.5 miles from Leek. Take a left there so as to drive along the base of the Roaches -- the Footpath sign is 1.3 miles from Upper Hulme and there is a prominent Footpath sign on the RHS.
Steve Elliott's phone is 07787 567001
Roaches and Hanging Stone via Lud's Church
Just under 8 miles in length (13km) with a height gain of 1100ft (335m). Its a moderately challenging route so a 3-booter. There are very few stiles, so fairly dog and aged person friendly -- expect sheep and a few areas with cliff drops, so keep your dog close by along the Roaches. There is a mixture of rocky path and moorland path, so expect some mud at times.
The Roaches is a prominent rocky ridge with its rock formations rising steeply to 1650ft (505m) and is an iconic Peak District walk. Standing on the tops the views spread out across Tittesworth Reservoir, Leek, and far beyond -- we hope!!
Lud's Church is a deep chasm penetrating the Millstone Grit bedrock created by a massive landslip on the hillside above -- and in the early 1400s the chasm is said to have been used as a secret place of worship for Lollards -- reforming Christians who were opposed to many practices of the Roman Catholic church and who were persecuted for their beliefs.
The Hanging Stone -- a gritstone rock outcrop on Back Forest Ridge north west of the Roaches. It bears two inscriptions. One about a dog, a Mastiff called Burke, and the other in memory of Lt Col Courtney Brocklehurst -- apparently he had a private zoo that included red-necked wallabies, lamas and yaks that later escaped and lived wild on the Roaches rocks for many years!!
Initially we walk up onto the Roaches (about 500ft rise) but after that its relatively gentle albeit a bit stoney and rocky. As we pass Bearstone Rock we cross the road and carry on a gentle moor path before dropping down to Lud's Church. The 60ft chasm that is quite accessible to the sure footed, so we will rest here whilst those who wish to go down inside are able to do so.
We then carry on along to Hanging Rock.
Leaving the rock there is a short steep descent before it returns to a mostly gentle path, at time a bit narrow, that steadily rises before
the final return to the cars along 1.5 m of country road -- plenty of room for pedestrians as well as a few passing cars, so not a problem!
NB All walkers must have suitable footwear and be prepared for adverse weather, carry food and water to last for the entire walk and be suitably fit for the various lengths of walk.
Each walk is led by a nominated leader who will carry some first-aid equipment. The leader has the right to refuse to include in a group anyone who is felt not be adequately equipped.
Non-members of Audlem Rambling Society (ARS) are welcome to come on a walk but are expected to join ARS and pay the membership fee after a trial walk or two.