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A Walk to The Roaches and Lud’s Church

By Dave Chick   

on December 2, 2020    4/5 (1)

A Walk to The Roaches and Lud’s Church

Further Details

Route Summary:

A spectacular hike in the southern Peak District that takes you through the rocky landscape of the Roaches.

Route Start Location: Rockhall - Don Whillans Memorial Hut

11.1 km 400 m 3-4 hr

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Moderate Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


No facilities on the walk, but the village of Upper Hulme isn’t far off the route’s start.


The gritstone edge is unprotected so take with younger children or animals. The depths of Luds Church can be very boggy

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : ST13 8UA

Free roadside parking along Roaches Road. Be aware of parking outside of the layby – parking fines are known to be issued!

Public Transport:

D&G Bus Service 16 from Buxton stops close by at Upper Hulme – visit http://www.dgbus.co.uk/ for more information.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


A Walk to The Roaches and Lud’s Church Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

A Walk to The Roaches and Lud’s Church

The Roaches are one of the last bastions of gritstone in the southern Peak District and are highly regarded by hikers and climbers alike. Its name is derived from the French word ‘roches’, or ‘rocks’. The dramatic outcrop forms a significant part of this wonderful circuit (or figure-8, depending on your choice of return) which includes searching out the surprising Lud’s Church, which is a highlight of this walk and needs to be seen to be believed.

For the energetic, the nearby Hen Cloud had some superlative views and can easily be added onto the route with a slight addition at the end.

Walk to The Roaches and Lud’s Church Full Route Description

1 – From the layby, make your way to a wooden gate marked by a tall Public Footpath post (SK 00418 62114). Follow the gravel track as it climbs, avoiding any paths branching off to the left (these lead to Rockhall, which is worth a brief visit). The path meets a wall and then a junction at SK 00708 62074, turn left and climb up towards the rocks. (Hen Cloud is a brief diversion from here and worth the climb if you are feeling energetic).

A Walk to The Roaches and Lud's Church - Hens Cloud

2 –  Follow the path north-west above Rockhall until you will reach a short wall among a confusion of rocks and paths above Rockhall. The choice here is yours, either follow the path beneath the rocks or, clamber through the rocks to reach the top. The aim is to be heading north-west until you reach another junction of paths at SK 00560 62504. From here, wayfinding is far easier as you head out along The Roaches.

A Walk to The Roaches and Lud's Church

3 – A path runs along the top of the rocks, passing Doxley Pool and following the ridge its entire length to a minor road at Roach End – the views are sensational. Take the footpath leading through a gap in the wall to a gate, following the signpost to Lud’s Church and Danebridge. Follow this path as it heads along the crest of a series of low hills until you reach a T-junction and wall close to Hangingstone Farm. Turn right and follow the path as it swings around into Forest Wood.

A Walk to The Roaches and Lud's Church

4 – Shortly after entering the wood you will pass a tall jumble of rocks (Castle Cliff Rock). Pass the stones and the path will lead you right past the entrance to Lud’s Church, an impressive natural cleft in the bedrock that reaches 15m high and stretches 100m into the hillside. Walk all the way through Luds Church, climbing out at the far end.

A Walk to The Roaches and Lud's Church

5 – After leaving Lud’s Church, go back onto the main path in the woods and follow it south-east in the direction of Roach End. The path runs parallel to Black Brook (though you are much higher than the watercourse). Eventually, you will reach a paved path that climbs away from the brook and out of the woodland where you will emerge at Roach End once again.

A Walk to The Roaches and Lud's Church

6 – You can retrace your route back along The Roaches if you wish, otherwise, it is an easy downward stroll along the tarmac road back to where you parked.

Dave is our Lake District local expert, often found in the depths of Cumbria he's the author of his own part on the web, All the Gear but no Idea.
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