Total time about 1hr 30mins - about 21/2 miles.
Directions to Roaches gate from the bunkhouse
You can park at Roaches gate by turning left and following the road up about 1.5 miles until you come to lay-bys on your right. Continue round the bend until you come to a bus stop. This is Roaches Gate. On busy days (weekends/bank holidays) parking becomes limited and there is regularly parking wardens patrolling the area so if you do drive up please park only in designated spaces to avoid a ticket. It is not signposted very well but parking on grass verges is not allowed. Alternatively you can walk up to Roaches Gate from the bunkhouse up the same road, this will add approx. 1 hr to the circular walk. back to Roaches Gate however there is a short cut back to the bunkhouse from Dains Mill.
1.Start the walk by going through the gate and taking the path straight ahead.
2.Continue past the paths that lead off on the left to Rock Hall until you come to a seat on your left and a narrow gate in the wall on your right. Ignore this gate and carry on for about 30metres until you see a similar gate in the wall. Go through this gate.
3.Aim for the bottom left corner of the field and go through the gate. A short detour to the Bawdstone could be made here by going straight across the field to the gate in the wall then the Bawdstone is about 50 yards to the left.
4.Again aim for the bottom left of the field and go through the gate, then aim for the end of the dark farm buildings and bear left.
5.Follow the right bank of the stream until it takes a right angle bend. Cross at the bend and turn right up the field and make for the gap in the wall with a sign post.
6.Turn right onto the farm track. Ramshaw rocks are on your right.
7.Follow the track for about 10mins until you reach a right hand bend in a dip with a gate and style. Don't go through the gate or over that style. Turn left at the bend. It can be very muddy and you need to pick you way down to find the style in the wall. (Don't take the track up towards Ramshaw). The style is only about 50-70 metres from the gate on the track.
8.Over the style follow the track round the tree into the small valley. There's a disused barn up to your left. When you are in the valley the old barn is directly behind you.
9.Follow the path down the valley. Keep as close to the stream as the mud will allow. Down the valley you will see a number of man-holes. These are part of the water supply to Leek taking spring water to a covered reservoir on Morridge ridge near Onecote. They rather detract from the intristic beauty of the valley but it's all part of our heritage.
10.After 10 -15 mins on the path you come upon the mill ponds. Follow the decked path round to the mill. The mill has been renovated(2006). The mill-wheel can be seen behind the metal railed area. The track down from the mill leads into Upper Hulme. * This track also leads back to the bunkhouse, follow it down into the village, keep right at the waterfall and the bunkhouse will be on your left.
11. If you choose to continue back to Roaches Gate- After viewing the mill go back through the 5-bar gate and go up the track to the left. At the top of the short track go through the galvanised iron gate onto the track. This is the same track we left to go down the path to Dains Mill and if you don't fancy the mud, if it's been wet, then you can short cut along the track.
12.Turn left down the track for about 100m then just before the cattle grid turn right along the path into the wood. You can see Roaches House here which was originally built as a shooting lodge for the Brocklehurst's of Swythamley. It is from here the wallabies were released in the 1930's.
13.At the top of the wooded path turn left onto the track over the cattle grid. Carry along this track until you see see the Roaches. You may even be able to see your car. Look for a path on the right going directly up Hen Cloud. This path is about 100m from the right angle bend close to the end of the track. Take this path.
14.DECISION TIME - You can go straight up this path which is very steep towards the top(only takes 15 mins) or branch off to the left to take a steadier path. The path up is rewarded by great views from the top of Hen Cloud.
15 - 17 describes the path up and 18-20 describes the lower path.
PATH STRAIGHT UP HEN CLOUD
15.Continue up the path ignoring any paths off to the left. The path is well trod. It gets very steep and if you are very afraid of heights it is a bit daunting. In the first photo you can see the Derbyshire Moutain Rescue Team practising.
16.At the top of the path is a bit of a plateau, take the steps in the rock and turn right to the top.
17.Take the path down. About halfway down the lower path, described below, comes in from the left - it is not easy to see as it is not well trod at that point.
18.Just a few metres up the path that leads straight up Hen Cloud take the path to the left. Pick your way along the path which is fairly well trod but may be difficult when the bracken is high.
19.Keep going along the path with the imposing rocks of Hen cloud to your right and the Roaches ahead.
20.As you round the rocks the path turns so you are looking at Ramshaw rocks ahead. The path becomes less and less defined but keep going and you will come to the well defined path from the top of Hen Cloud. Turn left down this path.
21.Continue down the path and go through both gates. Through the second gate turn left down down the track back to Roaches Gate and the end of the walk