Sunday, 8th September 2013

Walk: Hanging Stone, Lud's Church, The Roaches, Ramshaw Rocks
Start Point: Car Park, Gradbach Grid Reference: SJ 998 662
Distance: 13.5 miles Ascent: 2,500 feet
Time: 7 hours    
Weather: Dry, sunny spells, light breeze

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

Return to 2013 Diary                                                                                              Return to top