A Hike At The Roaches

14 January 2019

The roaches in the peak district

There's just nothing like putting on your walking boots and heading off for a hike in the countryside. Last summer was when I really started to get into walking, I've always been an adventurer at heart, exploring rugged coastlines on family holidays and wandering through the local woodlands. But since spending quite a bit of time visiting the Peak District last year, the more and more I fell in love with the beautiful landscapes and longed to see more.

I was recommended a visit to The Roaches, located in Upper Hulme, Leek. We drove up this way a couple of weeks back in early December, but due to the rain and poor visibility we decided to come back another day and the first day of 2019 was a perfect day for it. The Roaches is a rocky ridge with two main formations, 'Ramshaw Rocks' famous for the Winking Man and Hen Cloud, which from the top offers glorious views overlooking Tittesworth Reservoir.

There had been rain the night before and a light drizzle began as we headed out into the Peak District. The air was fresh, with a slight chill and breeze and the sun was beginning to break through the clouds. We parked the car in one of the laybys on Roach Road and began walking through the gate, past the information board up and towards the ridge. The first climb took us up to where we could see a beautiful view over the reservoir. We carried on, ending up in a woodland part where trees and rocks were covered in a layer of dewy moss, fungi upon broken branches, copper ferns blowing in the breeze and hidden cracks in the walls of the ridge. I could have spent hours wandering around this part, it had this mystical and slightly eerie feel to it, I was drawn to every part of it. Another section to the Roaches is Lud's Church, which you can get to via a longer walk or can also be accessed at another car park. I'll be sure to visit again to take the Lud's Church route.

We wandered along the winding path and up some more rocky stairs that took us back up to the Roaches ridge. Along the way we came across the Doxey Pool, I'd been reading up about this section of the walk and was particularly interested in the stories behind the Doxey Pool, which is said to be haunted by a mermaid.

As we carried along the path, what I hadn't realised was that there had been a fire last summer that had spread over the top of the Roaches. It was so sad to see a large section of the paths burnt to crisp, that would have once been heather-strewn and full of life. The firefighters and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust have done so much work in order to keep the walk open for hikers as well as working to restore the plants that grow around the land which will be such a massive help for wildlife too.

With windswept hair, muddy boots and blushed cheeks we had finally reached the trig point. After taking in the spectacular views we headed back down for a slow walk along Roach Road.

Views: 5/5
Walk: 4/5
Difficulty: 3/5

A view of Tittesworth reservoir
The roaches in the Peak District
Peak District plants
The roaches woodlands
The roaches woodlands
Plants in the peak district
Doxey Pool at the roaches in the peak district
Doxey Pool at the Roaches in the Peak District
A view from the roaches in the Peak District


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