With a chance to reciprocate Wolfgang’s hospitality to me last year in Austria, we enjoyed his company for this classic circuit over the Roaches to Lud’s Church, returning by the Dane Valley and The Hanging Stone.
Shortly after starting the walk, the climbing hut that is a memorial to Don Whillans is passed. It’s surrounded by large boulders on which children can often be seen clambering before they tackle one of the many climbs up the rocky cliffs of the Roaches.
Our walk passed uneventfully over the Roaches on a cool, cloudy day, after which the shelter of the dark woodland of Back Forest was in stark contrast to the open moor.
The deep cleft of Lud’s Church (above) wasn’t as muddy as expected. It’s a wonderful place; we were the only visitors.
A pleasant stroll beside the River Dane led to Danebridge. On the way we spotted this huge (by Peak District standards) rock fall that had caused the river to back up a bit. I wonder whether any attempt will be made to clear the debris.
A rare breeds farm along the route sports a variety of unusual sheep.
JJ and I lagged behind the other four, in the hope that they would accidentally turn off to the Ship Inn, which we’d decided to leave out of today’s itinerary, having already scoffed several rucksack loads of provisions.
The Snowdrops around here don’t see much sun, and are very late in flowering.
Our ruse didn’t work – the others ignored the pub and skipped merrily on through pleasant woodland and up a long field towards the conspicuous prominence of The Hanging Stone.
There’s a plaque on the front of the stone in memory of a local landowner, Lt Col Henry Courtney Brocklehurst, who served in both World Wars and was killed in Burma in 1942, at the age of 54.
On the other side of the stone there’s an older (1874) memorial to Burke, a dog.
We stood near the top for a group photo in view of Shutlingsloe, but Viv and Sue decided to block out the summit…
The walk concluded with a stroll along a delightful ‘permissive path’ that led back to Roach End and a short stretch of tarmac back to the cars.
We’d done 17 km, with 690 metres ascent, in a leisurely 5 hours, in excellent company. There’s a slide show (30 images) here. Thanks to Wolfie for a couple of the photos.
Footnote – 14 March 2011
The Lud’s Church image seems to have gone down well, so here’s a reminder from 10 October 2007 of what it’s like when the sun shines…
This is one of the few photos I could ever have sold – it was used for the invitation to a naming ceremony for two children.