WALKING | Autumn Walks, Hen Cloud in the Peak District

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Looking up at Hen Cloud, The Roaches Peak DistrictThe Roaches

We arrive at The Roaches late one morning on a crisp and warm autumn day despite my satnav choosing an absurd route, all winding and impossibly narrow single track lanes.

Roaches Peak District Walking in Autumn

Hen Cloud at the Roaches

Roaches Peak District Walking in Autumn

I’ve never been keen on the name. The Roaches conjures up the image of skittering bugs and certainly not a majestic ridge of gritstone crags, so despite living only 20 miles away, it took several years before we visited the region for the first time.

Roaches Peak District Walking in Autumn

Roaches Peak District Walking in Autumn

Towering high above Leek, just inside the Peak District national park, Hen Cloud is a prominent rocky ridge situated right next to The Roaches. Currently managed by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the area is stunning and full of wildlife; we’ve seen Red Grouse when walking here previously. Peregrine Falcons can also be spotted here and The Roaches is actually designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest as it contains several important habitats.

Roaches Peak District Walking in Autumn

Having walked up The Roaches and on to Lud’s Church in the past, this time we decide to head right, crossing a field filled with grazing sheep, then on up towards the enticingly steep rocky outcrop to the north, known as Hen Cloud. The short climb up The Roaches is always well worth it for some fantastic views, but the views prove even more expansive than on previous visits.

At it’s highest point the ridge rises to 505 metres which makes for an easy and quick ascent. Livestock graze all around, deftly clinging on to tiny, vertigo-inducing ledges and there’s Heather carpeting every open space, a beautiful delicate pink in colour.

Roaches Peak District Walking in Autumn

The Roaches Peak District

Heather at the Roaches

With the weather on our side this time the view from the top of Hen Cloud was breathtaking, affording us fantastic views of Tittersworth Reservoir and right out over the Cheshire plains and well beyond. The perfect way to spend an Autumn day outdoors.

The Roaches Peak District

Hen Cloud Peak District

The Roaches Peak District

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