Sunday 22nd May 2011.
‘A’ Walk, Distance 10 miles, Total height climbed 1040 feet, leader: David Lewis.
The roaches, together with Hen Cloud, form a gritstone escarpment rising to over 500 metres on the edge of the Peak District. The name ‘Roaches’ historically comes from the French ‘les roches’ – the rocks.
We leave the coach at the Tiddesworth Visitors Centre, and head eastward over fields until we drop-down into the village of Upper Hulme.Here, those wanting to test their waterproof boots can walk through the ford (it can be avoided). Following the mill stream up its narrow valley, we skirt Hen Cloud and make the odd detour to avoid any cows and the mud they churn up.
At the Southern end of The Roaches, we take the path that climbs up through the rocks to gain the ridge. Passing the towering Roaches Crag ( usually crawling with rock climbers), we follow the crest of the ridge northwards, gaining height as we go, with ever improving views in all directions. The path along the ridge is well trodden and easy to follow, and is punctuated by gritstone outcrops carved into weird shapes by the elements.Passing Doxey Pool, we reach the trig point which marks the high point at 505 metres.
Then it’s downhill to Roach End and on to Gorbach Wood. Towards the end of the wood is the naturally formed Lud’s Church which was used by the protestant Lollards. Their leader. Ludwark, was arrested holding an illegal service here, and his granddaughter, Alice, who died in the siege reportedly haunts the place.
Turning back south, we head for home, first along the side of the hill, and then through numerous fields and over a lot of pesky stiles, till we find ourselves outside ‘The Lazy Trout’, the only pub in the area. Since this is only 10 minutes walk from our coach at the Visitors Centre some of us might linger a while, while others carry on to the cafe at the centre.
Alan writes. I did the ‘A’ party walk with David. Conditions were blustery as we set out, but I was still in Mallorca mode, dressed in shorts and T shirt. What a mistake, as we started to climb up to the Roaches it started to rain which rapidly turned to hail. We quickly donned our waterproof gear, in my case not just to stay dry but to keep warm. The section along the ridge was great as usual with the weird shapes of the gritstone outcrops. There was plenty to photograph, including many species of wild flowers and I was always struggling to catch up.
As we approached Meerbrook we could not fail to notice the scarecrows. It was Meerbrook Scarecrow Festival and this year it had a Royal theme. There were some fabulous creations. Charles and Camilla sitting on the toilet, with a caption “Is this the Royal Wee” Is someone taking *** ****. What a way to treat the @heir to the throne’
A great walk David. Have a look at the photos.