Gradbach - Gradbach Wood - The Roaches - Gradbach

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This is a magnificent walk with plenty of contrast. From Gradbach, it takes you beside the beautiful River Dane and Black Brook, to be followed by forest paths in deep woodland, then a climb to the rocky moorland ridge that is The Roaches. At the 505m, 1,675ft summit of the Roaches, views across the Staffordshire and Cheshire plains are on offer; some shelter from the westerly winds can be had behind the eroded pinkish gritstone tors. At the Leek end of The Roaches, leave a little time to watch the climbers, on routes such as the Sloth (named for the amount of time spent upside down), Valkyrie and the Mincer; their skill will astound passing pedestrians. Visit Rockhall Cottage, a climbers' bothy, rebuilt in memory of Don Whillans, a cult figure in rock-climbing. After a climb (or not) up Hen Cloud, whose 1,345ft summit looks like a miniature Rock of Gibraltar, pass through farmland onto a short stretch of road, not unpleasant, as cars are few and far between, but have a tendency to go at a fair lick due to the lack of bends, be warned! Onto the final stretch on bridleway and farm track, past Peter Watson Scout camp, the Youth Hostel and finally, back to the car park.

England - Central England - Staffordshire - Peak District


Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, River, Wildlife, Woodland
9/18/2018 - Dawn Filcher

We did this walk sometime ago and would like to do it again but due to the fact that on the return we reached a field full of cows and had to turn around and walk on the road we are reluctant to do it.

1/14/2013 - Barry Smith

Thanks for the kind comments John, I'm pleased you like the walk, and even more pleased that you took the time to say so!

1/13/2013 - John Wright

Hi, This is the second Gradbach walk I have done over the last few weeks. I love the area and the scenery is breath taking on a good day. The first half is a little strenuous but great for getting the blood flowing. The Roaches are a magical place, I love the area and really enjoy watching younger people rock climbing and bouldering. I highly recommend the walk, easily done over 5 hours with plenty of brew stops. Lastly I would highly recommend walking up Hen CLoud, it would be criminal to miss it out. I will be doing this walk again during the summer, for sure.

6/22/2011 - Barry Smith

Thanks for the comments Dave & Sam and Sid also! Glad you all enjoyed the walk. Nice to know other walkers enjoy them!

6/21/2011 - Sid Marks

An excellent walk,superb views,lots of steep inclines to deal with,but worth it in the end. After you have crossed the stile at waymark 4,the next stile is in the wall 60m ahead on the right, waymark 5.

8/31/2010 - Barry Smith

Re-walked this one in July 2010 and only 1 very minor change that makes it easier (FP sign) to enjoy this walk.

7/31/2007 - Dave and Sam Asbury

Forgot to mention - the walk is well written and written in a concise manor. Not easy to do.

7/29/2007 - Dave and Sam Asbury

A walk of two halves. The first half is fantastic - the second boring road walk. Walked twice now, second time left the road at SK 01683 63810 went to SK 01058 64285,SK 00883 64460,SK 00935 64672 to rejoin at WP21. Left the next road at SK 00585 65833 to the farm at SJ 99935 66113, skirt to the left around the back of the farm and down to the car park.

I would still recommend this walk even if you walk the roads as the views are fantastic.

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Distance away
23 Miles
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5.6 Miles