Distance: 10 miles; 16.5 km
Estimated Time: 5 hours
Map: OS Explorer OL24 The Peak District
Route: View in Google Maps
GPX File: Download GPX file (desktop only) – What is a GPX file?
The Roaches was voted one of the Top 100 Walks in Britain by ITV. The following guide also includes a visit to Lud’s Church and Hen Cloud since they are close to The Roaches and certainly worth a visit. The name ‘The Roaches’ comes from the French “Les Roches”, which translates to “the rocks”. The Roaches are popular with hikers and rock climbers.
In 1930, five wallabies were released into the wild at The Roaches. There have been sightings of the wallabies for over 80 years. There is a possibility that they are no longer present at The Roaches but keep your eyes peeled on your visit.
Lud’s Church is an 18-metre deep gorge. It is covered with moss and is wet and cool when you walk through the ravine, even on the hottest of days. The name may be from Christian history: Lud’s Church was used as a secret place of worship during the early 15th century. Lud’s Church may have been named after Walter de Lud-Auk who was captured here at one of their meetings.
Hen Cloud is a peak standing at 410 m high. Hen Cloud is the final section of the walk.
View route in Google Maps
Parking and Facilities
There are plenty of free parking spots along the road at The Roaches. The parking appears as “The Roaches UKC Parking” on Google Maps. The full address is
The Roaches UKC Parking
There are no toilets or facilities on the walk. There is sometimes an ice cream van on Hazelwood Road, which you will pass twice on the route. The van also sells hot and cold drinks.
Start of The Roaches, Lud’s Church and Hen Cloud walk
From Roaches Rd, cross through the gate and follow the path leading off to the right. The gate on Roaches Rd is near the disabled and bus parking spaces.
Hen Cloud can be seen in the distance
Continue straight on.
Follow the path to the right.
Take the left turn, starting your incline.
You will reach a section where the path splits off to an incline and a decline. Take the steps to the right, continuing the incline.
Turn right up the steps.
Continue in the same direction, walking along the skyline of The Roaches.
You will pass Doxey Pool.
The route is simple to follow. It is in the same direction across The Roaches skyline.
The Roaches trig confirms that you are 505 metres high.
The route leads to Hazelwood Road. Turn right down the chalky bridleway.
Continue through the gap in the stone wall and turn right.
The route leads through a wood. Keep left at the first split in the route. There is a signpost guiding you to Lud’s Church.
Keep left at the next signpost following the sign for Lud’s Church.
The next turn is also highlighted by a signpost for Lud’s Church. Continue over the boardwalk.
Turn left as you exit Lud’s Church.
Continue left at the next signpost, following the sign for Swythamley.
Turn left at the next signpost, following the sign for Roaches.
Continue straight ahead at the next signpost, still following the sign for Roaches.
The path leads back to Hazelwood Road.
Follow the same bridleway that was used previously.
The bridleway passes The Roaches School.
Continue straight at the signpost.
Continue over the stile.
Keep heading towards Goldsytch farm.
At the signpost, turn right, following the sign for Ramshaw Rocks via Hazel Barrow.
Turn left over the bridge.
Continue through the stile.
Keep left after crossing through the gate.
Turn right onto Newstone Bridge road.
Turn right onto Hazelwood Road.
Turn left onto Back of the Rocks.
Turn right before the end of the road. A wooden signpost highlights the route.
Turn right onto the path.
Keep left towards the cattle grid.
The route on the map leads through the farm; however, a sign for a concession path bypasses the farm. Both routes lead the same way.
Turn left following the grassed route.
Follow the track to the right.
Turn left at the farmhouse and go through the gate. A notice was present advising walkers not to cross through the farm.
Continue left at the wooden signpost.
Keep left at the split in the grassed route.
Cross over to the path leading in the opposite direction.
The incline leads to the top of Hen Cloud.
Head down the decline from Hen Cloud. You can see The Roaches in the background.
Cross through the two wooden gates.
Turn left at the second wooden gate. This is the path you initially started on.
The route leads back to the car park on Roaches Rd.