Walk 05/2012 – The Roaches

Saturday 25th February 2012

One word – Ruby!

After a hearty breakfast we all set off for the day as one group. About two miles into the walk, which at this point was mostly through farmyards, we were joined by a Jack Russell called Ruby, who doggedly [Ed – but of course] stayed with us for several miles, until 2 lads and their dog, took him back towards his home, (we hope) saving Moira from having a total breakdown about her well being (Ruby’s that is!)

Our first point of interest was the hanging stone. Quite a steep climb, but well worthwhile.

It is formed of layers of grit stone with a large flat slab lying on top of the others with a significant overhang. There are no other stones of any size around it so its impact is accentuated on the locality it sits in. There is a memorial plaque to Henry Courtney Brocklehurst, who had led a full life including a spell in the Royal Hussars and being a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Between the World Wars he was a game warden in the Sudan. He was killed in Burma in 1942 during active service at the age of 54. A remarkable man.

Onwards towards Lud’s Church – a feature formed by a landslip forming a narrow cleft about 100m long with both sides rising to 15m high, and a stunning place to climb down and walk through.

The last section of the walk involved walking through woodland to the ridge that formed the Roaches. In clear conditions it is possible to see across the Cheshire plains, much of Staffordshire and even as far as Snowdon in Wales.

Our evening meal tonight was at The Devonshire Arms and was superb, made more enjoyable by the very helpful waitress. Some lightweight members caved in and were in bed by 10pm, others were able to stay the course! [Ed – I blame the lack of good beer.]

Report – Sue

Pictures – Alan

Walk rating – Very Good

We set off from Hartington Hall for our walk. Owen admires the Snowdrops as he passes by.
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We start by walking away from the Roaches which are prominent behind us.
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It is a long time before we lose sight of the Roaches.
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It was not long before we had picked up our travelling companion.
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The weir at Gig Hall.
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Ruby plays the stranded, “please come and rescue me” act, before leaping sideways to easily get back to the bank.
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We pass the fish farm at Danebridge, and the brewery, at which, surprise to some, we did not stop.
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Some people did not see the brewery because they were “aaarrrrhing” at two highland cattle calves.
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The Hanging Stone at the north end of the Roaches.
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There are many interesting rocks along the ridge.
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Lud’s Church is a unique place.
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A path goes right through.
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The late sun makes the rocks glow – on the top of the Roaches just before our descent.
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