Circular walk from Roaches gate to Dains Mill and Hen Cloud. A short detour to the Bawdstone can be included.
Rock Hall is a stone house built in front of a cave in the Roaches. Docksey Pool is a small tarn high on the Roaches ridge reputed to be bottomless.
Total time about 1hr 30mins - about 21/2 miles.
Directions to Roaches gate
Take the A53 Buxton Road from Leek. After about 3 miles you'll pass the Three Horse Shoes Inn on your left. Continue for about another 0.5 miles until you start to climb a steep hill, take the left turn signposted Upperhulme. After about 100metres take left fork. If you reach the Rock Inn you've gone too far. Follow the road through Upper Hulme with the waterfall on your right. Keep to the road as it twists through the factory units for about 1.5miles until you come to lay-bys on your right. Continue round the bend until you come to a bus stop. This is Roaches Gate. There is parking for about 50 cars.
Click on the image for a bigger picture
2.Continue past the paths that lead off on the left to Rock Hall until
you come to a seat on your left and a narrow gate in the wall on your
right. Ignore this gate and carry on for about 30metres until you see
a similar gate in the wall. Go through this gate.
3.Aim for the bottom left corner of the field and go through the gate. A short detour to the Bawstone could be made here by going straight across the field to the gate in the wall then the Bawdstone is about 50 yards to the left.
5.Follow the right bank of the stream until it takes a right angle bend.
Cross at the bend and turn right up the field and make for the gap in
the wall with a sign post.
6.Turn right onto the farm track. Ramshaw rocks are on your right.
7.Follow the track for about 10mins until you reach a right hand bend
in a dip with a gate and style. Don't go through the gate or over that
style. Turn left at the bend. It can be very muddy and you need to pick
you way down to find the style in the wall. (Don't take the track up towards
Ramshaw). The style is only about 50-70 metres from the gate on the track.
9.Follow the path down the valley. Keep as close to the stream as the
mud will allow. Down the valley you will see a number of man-holes. These
are part of the water supply to Leek taking spring water to a covered
reservoir on Morridge ridge near Onecote. They rather detract from the
intristic beauty of the valley but it's all part of our heritage.
10.After 10 -15 mins on the path you come upon the mill ponds. Follow
the decked path round to the mill. The mill has been renovated(2006).
The mill-wheel can be seen behind the metal railed area. The track down
from the mill leads into Upper Hulme.
11.After viewing the mill go back through the 5-bar gate and go up the
track to the left. At the top of the short track go through the galvanised
iron gate onto the track. This is the same track we left to go down the
path to Dains Mill and if you don't fancy the mud, if it's been wet, then
you can short cut along the track.
12.Turn left down the track for about 100m then just before the cattle
grid turn right along the path into the wood. You can see Roaches House
here which was originally built as a shooting lodge for the Brocklehurst's
of Swythamley. It is from here the wallabies were released in the 1930's.
13.At the top of the wooded path turn left onto the track over the cattle
grid. Carry along this track until you see see the Roaches. You may even
be able to see your car. Look for a path on the right going directly up
Hen Cloud. This path is about 100m from the right angle bend close to
the end of the track. Take this path.
14.DECISION TIME - You can go straight up this path which is very steep towards the top(only takes 15 mins) or branch off to the left to take a steadier path. The path up is rewarded by great views from the top of Hen Cloud.
15 - 17 describes the path up and 18-20 describes the lower path.
PATH STRAIGHT UP HEN CLOUD
15.Continue up the path ignoring any paths off
to the left. The path is well trod. It gets very steep and if you are
very afraid of heights it is a bit daunting. In the first photo you can
see the Derbyshire Moutain Rescue Team practising.
20.As you round the rocks the path turns so you
are looking at Ramshaw rocks ahead. The path becomes less and less defined
but keep going and you will come to the well defined path from the top
of Hen Cloud. Turn left down this path.