Sutton in Ashfield
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On Sunday 22nd March the members of the Sutton Rambling Club will be visiting the Whale-backed famous Roaches ridge-one of the jewels in the Peak District crown. This is a golden opportunity to enjoy stunning cliffs, distant dales and explore the extraordinary St Lud's Church - a natural cleft in the rocks stretching for a distance in excess of 100m.
The ramble will start at the Gradbach car park (grid ref SJ998662) with a steady walk past the Youth Hostel to the footbridge over Black Brook going into Gradbach wood and on into the depths of Back Forest, once the unlikely home of a group of escaped red-necked wallabies now thought to be extinct but there have been reports of strange creatures hopping about on Gun Hill, the heather moor across the valley.
We continue with an easy climb up to Lud's Church where we will take a mid-morning break and spend a little time exploring this fascinating feature-one of the most atmospheric and evocative locations within the Peak District.
After our break we drop down to rejoin the Dane Valley Way running alongside the river Dane passing by Black Forest Farm and onto to the village of Danebridge for a 45 minute lunch stop.
There is a pub nearby. The Ship, but is going to be very busy with Mothering Sunday bookings, strongly recommend bringing your own food and drink supplies and enjoy a picnic.
We then move on from the Hanging Stone and start our steady ascent onto the Roaches ridge ultimately arriving at the trig point on the summit 1675 feet above sea level. Here we can enjoy a 10 minute break and absorb the breath-taking views. This is one of the widest horizons in the Peak District including such features as The Wrekin, the Long Mynd, Caert Caradoc, the Berwyns and Clwydian Hills and Shutlingshoe one of the Peaks inspiring western moors. It is then onwards across the top of the Roaches until we reach Doxey's Pool reputed to have been the home of a mermaid who lured reckless young men into a watery grave!
We continue ahead towards Hen Cloud where there will be a choice of routes.
The most energetic members can carry on up to the top of Hen Cloud. Alternatively there is the temptation of the refreshments at the Roaches Tea Room about 3/4 mile down the road. Finally there may be time for a cool beer at the pub in Upper Hulme (grid ref 014610) at the finish of the walk. The coach will leave at 5.15 pm with an estimated arrival time of 6.45 pm in Mansfield.
The McEwens coach leaves the "Staff of Life " pub on Hack Lane in Sutton-in-Ashfield at 9.15 am and the Bancroft Lane end, Stockwell Gate (near the Netto supermarket) in Mansfield at 9.30 am. There are other pick-up points available en route.
Please click to see other pick-up points available.
NB, The image above is copyright to Geograph.