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Trentabank Reservoir, Macclesfield Forest Visitor Centre, Nessit Hill, Macclesfield Forest Plantations, Shutlingsloe.

Upper Hulme, Hen Cloud, Rockhall, The Roaches, Doxey Pool, Bearstone Rock, Roach End, Five Clouds.

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Gerwent, Gelli-Lago, Bwlchy Battel, Cnicht Summit, Llyn yr Adar, Carned Melyn, Llwynyrhwch.

Betws-Y-Coed, Swallow Falls, Cyfyng Falls, Pont-Cyfyng, Cwm Foel, Moel Siabod.

Pen-y-pass, Bwlch y Moch, Crib Goch, Garnedd Ugain, Snowdon, Glaslyn, Miners Track, Llyn Llydaw, Llyn Teyrn.

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Morvich, Inchnacro, Innis a Chrotha, Abhainn Chonaig, Dorusduain, Dorusduain Wood, An t-sroin, Allt an Leoid Ghaineamhaich, Bealach na Sroine, Falls of Glomach.

Fort William, Glen Nevis Visitor Centre, Achintee, Allt Na H-Urchaire, Red Burn, Lochan Meall An T-Suidhe, Ben Nevis Summit, Coire Na H-Urchaire, Ben Nevis Inn.

Glencoe, Glencoe Lochan Car Park, Stac a' Chlamhain, Torr a Chomhain.

Glen Coe, Altnafeadh, Lagangarbh, Allt Coire Na Tulaich, Creag Na H-Uamhaidh, Coire Na Tulaich, Stob Dearg.

Trek Information

The Roaches : and Hen Cloud

Difficulty - EasyDistance - 4 Miles/6 KmDuration - 3 Hours


Maps & Reference

OS Explorer OL24 - The Peak District, White Peak Area Buy Online
OS Land Ranger 119 - Buxton & Matlock, Bakewell & Dove Dale Buy Online
Collins Ramblers Guide - The Peak District Buy Online

Brief Description

This is a fairly easy trek but with the chance of a lofty ridge walk and a view of some of the most unusual and amazing looking grit stone formations in the Peak District. This small trek takes you to the summit of Hen Cloud and then over the length of the Roaches ridge path after taking in the scary rock faces of The Roaches that will no doubt have brave climbers hanging off them. The trek despite being fairly easy going is great for one of those short of daylight hours or afternoon treks as it is varied and ridge walk and the huge grit stone formations make the trek seem a lot larger than it actually is.

The Trek

To get to the starting point of the trek turn off the main A53 road that snakes its way over the south western Peak District moorlands from Buxton to Leek. A sign post for the village of Upper Hulme leads off the main road a few miles out of Leek. Follow the road into the village and take the small road off that road that leads down and into the valley. Follow the road till it bends round and crosses the beautiful River Churnet ford through the small hamlet then past the old factory where years ago a thriving silk industry existed. Then the road narrows and rises back out of the other side of the valley and up towards the Roaches. You will pass Hen Cloud on your right of the road and then there'll be a large number of parking spaces by the road where the foot paths lead towards Rock Hall.

Follow the path that leads directly across marshy land towards the huge rock climbing cliffs and Rock Hall below them. Rock Hall is the former game keepers hall that is now used as a great BMC rock climbers bothy, it was rebuilt in memory of Don Whillans who was a big part of the 1950's rock climbing revolution, a local born lad from the streets of Salford in Lancashire. The rocks here are famous in the rock climbing world and offer real challenges to the most experienced, the best known rocks are known as Valkyrie, the Sloth and the Swan.

Rock Hall
Rock Hall
Hen Cloud
Hen Cloud

From Rock Hall a footpath goes towards the col between Hen Cloud and The Roaches. Follow this path until you reach a stile over a dry stone wall that leads across the col seemingly separating the two hills. A very obvious footpath now leads to the summit of Hen Cloud which stands up proud at only 410m above sea level it dominates the sky line above its much flatter surroundings. The view off Hen Cloud consists of the flat Cheshire plains to the west, the twinkling waters of the Tittesworth Reservoir and of course the defining grit stone ridge of The Roaches to the north. Descend Hen Cloud the same way back down to the stile at the dry stone wall.

Now follow a footpath towards the back of the Roaches ridge, this path will turn into an easy scramble and eventually after ascending the back of the ridge will top out on its crest. The path then follows a very easy but often rough route across the top of the Roaches ridge. From here you can look back towards the huge rocks above Rock Hall and take in the 360 views of the start of the Peak Districts grit stone spine. To the eastern side of the ridge the moorlands are very bleak heather peat lands.

The Valkyrie Rock
The Valkyrie Rock

Hen Cloud And The Roaches
Hen Cloud And The Roaches

Walkers in years gone by on the Roaches often found themselves having to check there metal state after appearing to see kangaroos leaping across the heather moorlands. However this was actually completely real and the marsupials in question were actually red-necked wallabies. These were introduced to the moorlands during the war when a local land owner had to release his exotic animal collection into the wild moorlands due to war regulations. The small colony lived on the perfect heather moorland environment for around 50 years but due t increased human intervention and the young being eaten by dogs and foxes, the colony is now rumored to be completely wiped out, the last sighting of the colony by a zoologist from Manchester University reported seeing just two females which led to rumors that the colony was gone forever. Two other colonies existed those of Mid Sussex, also now extinct and a colony on a small island in the waters of Loch Lomond in Scotland which due to its location and the local preservation has meant they still exist today.

You will eventually come to a small pool of water known well as Doxey Pool. Legend has it that a resident mermaid by the name of Jenny Greenteeth entices walkers into the blue waters of Doxey Pool and into a watery grave from which they do not return. Myths like these are rarely proven although in misty weather do be careful! From Doxey pool the path continues past huge weathered boulders of grit stone before eventually reaching the summit trig point of the Roaches. At only 505m above sea level its hardly a high peak although its 360 views are well worth its climb. The huge satellite communications dish of Jodrell Bank can be seen to the north west and the surrounding heather moorlands are a purple wonder in summer months.

Doxey Pool
Doxey Pool
Roaches Summit Trig Point
Roaches Summit Trig Point

The path will now head north eventually descending down towards Bearstone Rock and will then reach the small road at which point you should turn left over the stile or through the gate and head down the road passing Roach End and then past the footpaths towards Clough Head. The road will take you parallel with the ridge enabling you to see it from a completely different angle. The road will lead all the way back to the starting point.


Photo Album

These photo's are taken from a trip by myself on January 22nd 2005.
Upper Hulme
Hen Cloud
The Roaches
Climber On Valkyrie Rock
Valkyrie Rock
Climbers On Valkyrie Rock
Rockhall Below The Roaches
Climber On The Roaches
Hen Cloud From The Roaches
Tittesworth Reservoir From The Roaches
Roaches Icy Ridge Path
The Roaches With Hen Cloud Behind
Doxey Pool
Huge Gritstone Rocks On The Roaches
Huge Gritstone Rocks On The Roaches
The Roaches Trig Point Summit Cairn Looking West
The Roaches Icy Trig Point Summit Cairn Looking South
Full Aspect Of The Roaches Ridge Path
Myself At The Roaches Summit Cairn
View Through Huge Griststone Roaches  Across The Valley From The Roaches
Shutlingsloe In Northern Distance From Bearstone Rock
Footpath Above Roach End Shutlingsloe In Distance
Sad Reminder Of The Real World We Live In
Stile On The Road At Bearstone Rock Tittesworth Reservoir In Distance
Sheep In Roach Side Farm
Tittesworth Reservoir From The Road Below Five Clouds


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Photo Albums 2005
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