The Roaches Walk
If you are looking for somewhere to take the kids for a day out in the Peak District, what about The Roaches nature reserve in Staffordshire? It’s a great place to explore with rock formations to climb, wildlife to see, places to picnic and more. If you need a walk map for The Roaches, read on!
The Roaches is an amazing 395 acre protected landscape near Leek. This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a great place to spot curlew, red grouse and tree pipit as well as the resident peregrines. As this is a SSSI dogs must be kept on a lead so they don’t disturb the wildlife.
The Roaches is famous for it’s huge gritstone escarpment which has a prominence of 120m. The name comes from the French “les roches” which means the rocks, and it’s easy to see why. This area is really popular with rock climbers.
Parking for The Roaches is either in the car park in Gradbach, by the Youth Hostel or park in the lay-bys on the road at ST13 8UB. Be sure to park in the designated parking areas only – traffic wardens do visit to hand out tickets occasionally. If you park in the lay-by indicated by the A on the map, the route up to The Roaches is really easy to find.
There are a few walks you can do on The Roaches. If you want a short walk on the Roaches, you can walk up from the parking area, walk along as far as you like and then retrace your steps back to the car. Alternatively, for a longer walk along The Roaches you could head past The Roaches trig point and the Doxey Pool (the alleged home of a mermaid!) before climbing down through the gritstone rocks and walking back to the parking area along the lower paths.
Don’t forget to visit Don Whillan’s Memorial Hut. This is a small building which is carved into the rock itself!
This The Roaches walk route is just under 4 miles and will be long enough for little legs. It has some steep climbs in and amongst rocks, so care should be taken. Kids will love exploring The Roaches though, so this will be a lovely walk for the school holidays. For more Peak District walks for kids, check out these Short Peak District walks.
Parking: Small on road lay-bys or in Gradbach.
Walk Time: 2-3 hours depending on how long you spend exploring The Roaches
Distance: 6.4km (4 miles)
Trig Points Bagged: The Roaches
Peak District Peaks Bagged: The Roaches
Peak District Ethels Bagged: The Roaches
The Roaches Walk Map:
Can dogs go on The Roaches?
The Roaches is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Dogs are allowed but they need to be kept on a lead.
Where to park for The Roaches?
You can park in the car park in Gradbach, by the Youth Hostel or park in the lay-bys on the road at ST13 8UB. Be sure to park in the designated parking areas only – traffic wardens do visit to hand out tickets occasionally.
Is The Roaches a difficult walk?
The Roaches walk isn’t too difficult but there are some steep climbs, and it is very rocky on the top of the plateau. Getting down the south end of The Roaches is a bit scrambly and difficult. There are also some steps and stiles.
We included The Roaches on our 17 mile Peak District walk from Tittesworth Reservoir to Gun Moor, The Roaches, Hen Cloud, Ramshaw Rocks and Merryton Low. You could also just add on an extra walk to include Hen Cloud as well.