We were on our way to the Staffordshire Peak district which is a fair trek. We experienced the frequent question, are we there yet? Given this situation games and stories were required. One story was about the Wallabies at the Roaches, according to the Daily Mail there have been sightings in the last two years. Of course my family don't believe my story! Keisha however is entertained by the imagery of wallabies with great big red boxing gloves, they come bouncing out of the trees. After our drive to Buxton we headed out towards Leek along the A54, turning off at a village called Flash. Driving through Flash we saw advertisements for annual duck race this allegedly includes a host of other events such as gerbil racing and welly wanging.
We started our walk from a car park near Gradbach youth hostel this was originally a mill as well as good accommodation the hostel provides a good cafe and refreshment stop.
The way to Luds church at the start is a little confusing basically.
- Start off by following the river Dane
- There is a footbridge which goes over the black brook (do not walk up this valley)
- Head up through the wood along a path signed for Danebridge
Louis enjoying freedom from the carrier and practising with the walking sticks.
We continued on up a path through the woods which appeared to take us back in the direction from which we had come. I spotted some carved stone steps and said "up here" this seemed quite surprising and the way into the chasm is like some secret passages to a lost world we expected to see a blue character from the fictional Na-vi tribe in the film Avatar. As it is very nearly midsummer the sun is high in the sky and provides excellent illumination for an area which might otherwise be a dank dripping chasm.
There is a good selection of photographs of this place at geograph and linked on google. It is not surprising that this special place was used as a place of worship and has featured in tails such as Gawain and the Green Knight. We explored a number of crevices and forks in this micro grand canyon Louis, perched in the carrier on my back enjoyed the narrowness of the passage and was rubbing his hands along the walls and in the dirt. Luds church is a chasm 15m high and 100m in length, it was formed by a land slip. Good directions to Luds church are provided on Wikipedia this article also provides good descriptions of the geological origins, history and famous characters associated with the place.
After walking through the chasm we headed up through the woods and onto the moors below the main ridge we found a good lunch spot.
We spotted a pair of mating bumble bees (below)
Fortunately there was an ice cream van at Roach end. Keisha needed some encouragement to keep moving. On our return journey along the Black Brook valley we played counting games. This involved us counting up to 10 whilst Keisha would walk ahead. On such a hot day as this Keisha is doing well to keep going.
We returned in time to celebrate our friends 40th birthday with a barbecue at their house, Keisha and Louis enjoyed bouncing around on a trampoline.... well that says it all doesn't it you think they've had a tiring hard walk but in actual fact they have yet more energy reserves!