The Roaches - Peak District Walk

Wednesday 13th September 2023

Today's walk did not go to plan. I was planning on including Ramshaw Rocks on the walk and set off to follow the Churnet Way from Upper Hulme, but at Dains Mill missed the turning for the path. I ended up walking up the drive of Dains Mill where the owner, who was out with his dogs, insisted I carried on along his drive and through a local wood rather than go back to the Churnet Way. His reason was that the route by the river was very slippery and recently the air ambulance had been out due to someone falling there. The only problem being when I left him and tried to follow his directions to Ramshaw Rocks I found myself on private property, no doubt a well-known local route, but not one I could work out based on his directions or my map. As I could see there was a public footpath I could follow which took me around Hen Cloud I abandoned plans to do Ramshaw Rocks.

Following the path below Hen Cloud I then decided to explore the path up to Hen Cloud from a side I have never approached it from. I could see the route was fairly steep and watching a couple going up it ahead of me that it involved a fair bit of scrambling, but nothing too dangerous. Unfortunately, when I was approximately two thirds of the way up I reached an eroded section that my legs couldn't scramble up and as there were no good handholds to pull myself up with I had to retreat back down the path, walk by my car and take the very straightforward path up Hen Cloud.

Start: Hen Cloud lay-by (SK0048 6200)

Route: Hen Cloud lay-by - Upper Hulme - Dains Mill - Hen Cloud - Rockhall - Doxey Pool - The Roaches (TP) - Roach End - Hen Cloud lay-by

Distance: 7 miles     Ascent: 417 metres      Time Taken: 4 hrs 30 mis

Terrain: Predominantly clear paths

Weather: Warm and sunny.

Pub Visited: None    Ale Drunk: None

Route Map >>


Tittesworth Reservoir

Leaving the lay-by below Hen Cloud and heading towards Upper Hulme the view is dominated by Tittesworth Reservoir.

The Roaches

Looking back I get a view of The Roaches, which at this point I'm planning on walking along from north to south at the end of my walk.

Upper Hulme

In Upper Hulme I start to follow the Churnet Way, which heads up this road, but unlike me make sure once you approach Dains Mill you look out for the footpath taking you right and don't continue up the drive passing the house. Taking the wrong way I did have a wonderful chat with the gentleman who lives in Dains Mill, which he is currently doing up and planning on turning into a tea room.

Hen Cloud

Having abandoned walking to Ramshaw Rocks I start to ascend Hen Cloud using this path, which winds its way through the heather. I am quite a bit higher than the couple on the path when I reach the point where I needed to turn back.

Hen Cloud

Safely back down I look back to Hen Cloud just before I walk by my car. At this point it was very tempting to get in my car and head for home, but as this is one of the walks that involves a lot of travelling for me I decided to at least do Hen Cloud via the path I knew.

The Roaches

Finally on the summit of Hen Cloud I can enjoy the view across to The Roaches, whilst I decide what route I am going to follow. One option was to reverse the route to Ramshaw Rocks I had used in 2018, but in the end time constraints made just doing The Roaches the sensible decision.

Tittesworth Reservoir

Tittesworth Reservoir from the summit of Hen Cloud.

The Cloud

Also in view from the summit are The Cloud and Croker Hill.

Hen Cloud

Looking back to the summit of Hen Cloud as I start to drop off it.

The Roaches

Looking across to The Roaches as I descend and picking out my route, which will follow the path up the back of them.

The Roaches

The walk up and down this side of Hen Cloud is nice and easy so I soon find myself at the gate I will take away from Hen Cloud. I will take the gate opposite to start my ascent on The Roaches.

Hen Cloud

Looking back to Hen Cloud and the easy path I followed for my second attempt to ascend it today.

Ramshaw Rocks

Ramshaw Rocks from the ascent of The Roaches.

The Roaches

Heading up along The Roaches having just walked passed a group of school children enjoying a day exploring the rocks.

The Cloud

A clearer view of The Cloud as I head along the top of The Roaches.

Doxey Pool

I soon reach Doxey Pool, yet again there is no sign of the apparently malignant mermaid Jenny Greenteeth who is reputed to live in the pool.

The Roaches

Looking along The Roaches to the distant summit trig from Doxey Pool.

Croker Hill

Looking across to Croker Hill as I make my way along The Roaches.

The Roaches.

As I walked along the top there were lots of sections roped off and at first I wondered why. Last time I tried to walk along here there had just been a bad fire and The Roaches were closed, I suspect the roped off areas are an attempt to help the ground recover from the fire in 2018.

The Roaches

As I approach the trig at the summit of The Roaches Shutlingsloe can be seen in the distance.

Back Forest

As I leave the trig and start to descend Back Forest comes into view, so I know I'm close to the road and start to look for a good lunchtime spot.

Oliver Hill

I find a spot just off the path that gives me a great view. Here looking north to Oliver Hill and Axe Edge.

Shining Tor

The view north is so extensive that I can also make out Shining Tor.

The Cloud

Looking in the opposite direction The Cloud and Croker Hill are also in view.

Roach End

Lunch over I make the short descent down Roach End to the road.

Roach End Barn

Having talked myself out of following the road around the back of The Roaches to Ramshaw Rocks I pass Roach End Barn, a popular sunset spot for photographers.

The Roaches

I follow the road below The Roaches back to the car. The northern end of the road is currently closed to traffic as it is being resurfaced, which meant I could enjoy a pleasant traffic free walk back to the car.


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