Gradbach - Lud's Church - Hanging Stone - Gradbach

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Starting at Gradbach car park, passing Gradbach Mill, you then climb up through Forest Wood, (is it a wood or a forest?) to Lud's Church and one of the best natural rocky cathedrals I know. Leave plenty of time to explore the deep cleft in the gritstone; there are lots of small side passages to get yourself stuck in! Be warned though, you can get very muddy and small children need careful watching (I always take a climbing helmet with me!).

After a more open vista, you head for Swythamley and Danebridge, passing the 'Hanging Stone' perched on a hillside and shaped like a giant fist thrust up through the ground, with a memorial on the east side. Downhill now and easier walking on a farm track, you pass Swythamley Hall and Park (you can't see much due to the high wall), coming out on the road at Danebridge.

If lunch beckons, then The Ship Inn at Wincle, (over bridge then up the hill for 200 metres) will supply good food and drink. At the bridge over the Dane, the sign for the Dane Valley Way will take you by river and farmland, back into woodland and then back to the start. A good afternoon's walk, or with The Roaches added on (see Walk 1041), a full day.

England - Central England - Staffordshire - Peak District


Birds, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, Pub, River, Wildlife, Woodland
10/18/2020 - John RICHARDSON

What a fabulous walk! Very popular though even on a dank October Sunday the car park was full. But the walk itself was not too busy. We called at Wincle brewery for coffee and beer near to point 24 the bridge over river Dane.

6/20/2017 - Barry Smith

Thank you Deryck for the great comment, I really am grateful for the feedback. Sounds like the walk has been improved some by your description, especially with the café opening! (and toilet)

6/11/2017 - Deryck Shead

Found this to be an excellent walk, there has been some work done at the Youth Hostel, it has been renamed Gradbach Mill and has a new tarmac road, also on Sat and Sun there is a cafe near waymark 3, which sells a small selection of refreshments there is also a toilet there.

6/7/2015 - Barry Smith

Thank you Ian for the positive comments! I'm pleased I have changed your views of this fabulous walking area, enjoy!

6/7/2015 - Ian Crisp

Our first walk since joining this site and if they are all as good as this it will have been money well spent!This walk has hanged my view of the Peak district for the better, some lovely views and an interesting walk. Lud's church was well worth the detour.

9/8/2014 - Dennis Whitehead

8/13/2013 - Barry Smith

Thank you Dave/Sam, John and Cathy! Really pleased you enjoyed the walk and hope you continue to. Always nice when you get some feedback on your walks.

8/10/2013 - Dave and Sam Asbury

I can only agree with the other positive comments about this walk. That's two great walks from the same car park.

12/21/2012 - John Wright

One slight correction at the start, when you pass the YHA and go through the first gate keep to the right and walk along the path parallel to the river. The second point, After waymark 21 when you near the houses at the bottom of the track, pass a disused building on the left, directly ahead is a 5 bar gate, to the right is a style, once over, turn left then right then follow waypoint 22

12/21/2012 - John Wright

I have completed numerous walks in the area with a group, this was my first attempt alone. I followed the instructions almost to the letter and did not get lost, which for me was very good. The walk has everything including Luds Church which I have visited 4 times in the past, i would however not pass it by. On the whole a great walk and easily completed in 4 hours.

8/17/2011 - Catherine Block

Discovering this corner of the Peak District was a revelation to me; it has all the beauty and contrasting scenery you could ask for, but it's quieter and less touristy than the more well-trodden areas of the Peaks. This is a very enjoyable walk through beautiful woodland to the intriguing Lud's Cave, followed by a very scenic meander over the hills of the Dane Valley to the Hanging Stone. I can also recommend the Rose and Crown Pub nearby which serves huge portions of very reasonably priced good food.

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Distance away
23 Miles
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Pubs, cafes and restaurants
Distance away
5.6 Miles