Sunday, 8th September 2013
||Hanging Stone, Lud's Church, The Roaches, Ramshaw
||Car Park, Gradbach
||SJ 998 662
||Dry, sunny spells, light
A bit more of a drive today, down
into East Cheshire and despite the wet of yesterday, we
were greeted with blue skies and perfect morning
conditions for rambling. The route today passed through
the Gradbach Youth hostel where a barbeque was cooking
fresh bacon in preparation for a sponsored walk which
was due to pass this way. With nothing on offer we
followed the path along the course of the River Dane
through Back Forest on to Danebridge. We then headed
back eastward and on to the first highlight of today the
'Hanging Stone' aptly named.. a massive outcrop of rock
onto which has been fixed a memorial plaque to
commemorate a local soldier killed in action in Burma
during WWII. After a quick tea break we continued,
following the well signposted paths to Lud's Church, a
deep cleft in the gritstone mass 60ft deep and 100 yard
long. Atmospheric and probably a bit spooky when dusk
approaches. The feature is linked with Arthurian legends
[Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight] and tales from the past of religious
ceremonies. Having found the way out we then head onto
the ridge leading to the Roaches. The conditions were
excellent and views were abound across the Cheshire
plain and the Welsh mountains in the far distance. The
weathered gritstone rocks had been sculpted by frost, rain and winds and created imaginary shapes and
features as we stuck out along the footpath. Descending from the ridge we passed a multitude of
climbers 'Crag-Rats' as Mike Harding described them, scaling the gritstone faces to the high ridge above, we
stood in awe and admiration of their skills. We took
lunch and then onward joining the Churnet Way which
took us over Ramshaw Rocks and back down to the road
and onto the footpath along the side of Dane Valley. A
steady descent back to car park
Scroll down to see photos of the walk
Guess where we are going today!
BBQ at Gradbach Youth Hostel - for participants in the Charity walk only!
Woodland walking . . .
beside the River Dane
Natural dam building in progress
John tempts the goats with a handful of grass
The 'Hanging Stone'
Kath - on the rocks
Leading ladies enter Lud's Church
John seeks a way out
Phil follows through the chasm . . .
and the group inspects the high rock walls
An alternative way out - with a helping hand from John
Top of The Roaches . . .
where there are great views over the surrounding countryside . . .
and lots of natural sculptures
Looking along the ridge to Hen's Cloud
Where's my next hand-hold?
Is this a step too far . . .
I think I'll go for this one instead
Phil heads through the heather - not the best terrain for shorts . . .
and John inspects the next rock sculpture
What today's Rambler is wearing
Ramshaw Rocks ahead
The end - and still smiling
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