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December 10 2013 Latest news:
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ROCKHALL â€“ THE ROACHES â€“ BEARSTONE ROCK â€“ FOREST WOOD â€“ LUD'S
CHURCH â€“ BACK FOREST â€“ ROACH END - 7 miles
Linear Distance: 7 miles Approximate time: 4 hours Total height climbed: Approximately 800-1,000ft Parking: SK004622 (weekdays only) Stiles: 3 Refreshments: The Roaches Tea Rooms, Upper Hulme Picnic: The Roaches and instruction 10
Directions: From Ashbourne take the Leek road. On the outskirts of Leek turn right then right again to follow the A53 Buxton road. In 3 miles turn left to Upper Hulme. Follow the minor road through the village, pass the tea rooms, aiming for the parking area along the road below The Roaches. One of the earlier parking areas is reserved for buses and this is where the walk starts. Please note: If you wish to follow this walk at the weekends or on Bank Holidays you will need to use the Park and Ride facility from Tittesworth Reservoir Visitor Centre.
Description: A varied and interesting walk which starts with an invigorating climb up onto the gritstone edge of The Roaches. The views from this rocky undulating path are magnificent. After a gradual descent from the edge you have a pleasant walk contouring through the woods to Luds Church. If you followed the path through the cleft in the November 2008 issue of Derbyshire Life you will notice quite a change, especially if the sun is shining down into the chasm. There is a good description of Luds Church on the internet. The return route takes you back to the minor road which you follow to return to the parking area.
1. From where you park return to the bus stop area signed No Stopping Except for Buses. Walk up to the footpath post and go through the small gate by the farm gate. Turn right up the gravel path for about 200 metres then turn left.(A)
2. Follow the path up to a wall which you follow for a few metres before going through a wall gap.
3. Keep straight on uphill with the wall of Rockhall on the right. At the old gate (Don Whillans) turn left continuing uphill up the steep rock steps. At the top turn left.
4. Walk below the high rock outcrops then through open woodland for about 300 metres. Turn right up the next steep, rocky, partly stepped path. At the top turn left.
5. (B)Follow the undulating rocky path across The Roaches. In about 400 metres you will pass Doxey. Pool. From the pool to the minor road at the end of The Roaches will take about 40 minutes continuous walking.
6. Just before the road take the short right-hand path. Cross the road to walk up steps and through a stile.(C) Immediately cross the stile on the right (see photograph).
7. Follow a wall on the right down the rocky steps to enter the woodland. Cross a stream and walk up to the footpath post. Turn left to follow the Luds Church route through the woods.(D)
8. In about three-quarters of a mile, at the next footpath post, turn left to Luds Church. At a fork of paths take the right-hand path. When you reach the deep cleft take the left path to the steps.(E)
9. Walk down the steps into the deep cleft of this ancient mediaeval site. The cleft is over 15 metres high and over 100 metres long but not much more than 2 metres wide. Leave the cleft via a short flight of rock steps.
10. (F)Turn left and at the next footpath sign bear round to the left. Follow the well-used clear path for about three-quarters of a mile, going through one gate. At the junction of paths turn left to Roach End.
11. Walk below Back Forest on a path which soon starts a very gradual climb. In about three quarters of a mile ignore a path off right then go through a small gate. (G) At a junction of paths bear right to continue in the same direction. This instruction is about 1 miles.
12. Go through a small gate then the squeeze stile you crossed on your outward route.
13. (H)Turn right to follow the quiet pleasant minor road, with wonderful views, for nearly 1