Lud's Church Walk
This walk visits the fascinating deep chasm of Lud's Church on the edge of the Staffordshire Peak District. It's a lovely place for a walk with nice views of the Dane Valley and woodland trails through Forest Wood and Gradbach Wood near the chasm.
You can start the walk from the car park off Gradbach Mill Lane, about a mile to the east of the cave. From here you can pick up the Dane Valley Way and follow the River Dane to the chasm. The Millstone Grit geological formation is covered in moss and has an unusual atmospheric feel to it. It's 100 metres (328ft) long and 18 metres (59 ft) deep so you can walk along for quite a way between the tall mossy rocks.
After exploring Lud's church you can explore the surrounding woodland before crossing Black Brook and returning to the car park along the riverside path.
This area of the White Peak is great for walkers so there's lots of options for extending your walk. You could continue west along the Dane Valley Way and visit nearby Danebridge.
From the same car park you can visit Three Shires Head. The beautiful area is where the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet. There's lots of pretty waterfalls and a wonderful grade II listed packhorse bridge over the River Dane.
Just to the south of Lud's Church you will find The Roaches. The elevated rocky ridge, includes fascinating rock formations and wonderful views of the surrounding countrsyide.
PostcodeSK17 0SU - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
Lud's Church Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Lud's Church Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Lud's Church OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Lud's Church Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
One nice idea is to follow the river footpath west into Wincle where you could pay a visit to the noteworthy Ship Inn. The historic pub dates all the way back to the 16th century and has a cosy interior with fires to warm yourself by during the colder months. In the summer you can sit outside in the little beer garden. There's a good menu and decent selection of ales at this fine village pub. You can find the Ship at Barlow Hill, Wincle with a postcode of SK11 0QE for your sat navs. Near here you can also visit the excellent Wincle brewery. The site includes a small shop and tasting room where you can sample some of the 'eccentric' ales brewed here.
The church is a nice place to explore with your dog. The Ship Inn mentioned above is also very dog friendly and even has a menu for your four legged friend!
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The longer Gradbach Walk starts from the car park in the little hamlet. It visits the site before heading to The Roaches, Hen Cloud and Three Shires Head. It's a nice way of seeing several of the highlights of the area on one trail loop. On the way you'll also pass the picturesque Gradbach Mill on the River Dane. The 18th century mill was used to manufacture sewing silk and is an interesting reminder of the historic past of Gradbach. Today it's a Youth Hostel providing accommodation if you wish to stay over in this lovely area.
To the north there's Wildboarclough where there's a fine 17th century pub, a Georgian hall and a beautiful valley to explore. You can also start the climb to the excellent viewpoint at Shutlingsloe from here.
For more walking ideas in the area see the White Peak Walks page.