Unless you’ve never read this blog before, you’ll have heard me bang on about how much fabulous countryside there is, just minutes from our front door.
To continue in that vein then, let’s have a look at The Roaches. (or Les Roches as our garlic eating friends would say). This spectacular sandstone ridge, just north of Leek and Tittesworth Reservoir (titter thee not) rises to 505 metres above sea level (1657 ft in old money) and is only 12 miles from us.
We decided to do a figure of eight walk around and atop The Roaches, which encompassed Lud’s Church. This impressive chasm is over 100 metres long, and 18 metres deep and was formed, would you believe it, by a massive landslip.
Puts ours into perspective, that’s for sure.
It’s pretty cool and damp in there, but not so much for us to worry about the bottomless bogs we’ve happened upon before.
On the sloping side of The Roaches is Forest Wood. This comes as a complete contrast to the exposed ridge and provides some welcome shade on a hot day – should we ever get one, that is.
When you burst out of the woods and climb back up to the ridge, you’re greeted with views as far as Cheshire and even Snowdon on a clear day.
I say burst – it was probably more like staggered, having just walked a continuous uphill stretch of about a mile.
Best of all, it also provided us with the opportunity to see who could find the most stupid place to sit.
If you’re under 18, or just generally a bit boring, I wouldn’t recommend this kind of tomfoolery, just in case you end up enjoying yourself.
The biggest drop along the ridge is about 120 metres. Even though I’ve almost gotten over my vertigo, I’m afraid Helen quite clearly pipped me on this particular challenge.
On the way back, for some inexplicable reason, I decided to demonstrate my inability to stick to the proper path again, by leading us down via a somewhat challenging route. This did require some proper thought on my behalf, but only so I could find a route suitable enough for Helen, so she didn’t shout at me for getting us lost again!
As luck would have it (I would call it skill), we survived our descent and rejoined the car, which we’d left some 5 hours earlier.
Having popped into The Roaches Tea Room for refreshments, we briefly stopped in the nearby village to take a few more photos.
All in all a lovely walk in the countryside.
By the way, did I mention it’s only just round the corner from The Laurels?