The Roaches walk is one of those popular locations in the Staffordshire Peak District.
You can see why from the moment you arrive, the iconic gritstone rocks jutting out from a distance look inviting to explore!
This lovely 7-mile Roaches walk takes you on a circular walk, exploring three Peak District Ethels and a trig point, what more could you want from a walk. Oh, and amazing views too, you won’t be disappointed, unless the weather is bad!
From the parking lay-by with views to The Roaches you first head up to Hen Cloud for some beautiful vistas of Tittesworth Reservoir and beyond. Next it’s a short downhill and uphill section to the lower section of The Roaches before climbing the steps to the top.
From here, it’s a lovely walk along the top, past Doxey’s Pool and The Roaches trig point. Then at Roach End you begin your walk back along a quieter section of the route alongside a brook. Then it’s past some farm buildings before back up to Ramshaw Rocks then loop back to the start around the back of Hen Cloud.
A great walk with a mix of adventure, some busy sections and some quieter ones, you might see deer on the second half of the walk, so keep a look out!
Here you will find details on how to get to the start of The Roaches walk, parking options at Upper Hulme, route information, map, GPX file, plus a step by step guide of the walk.
Have you visited The Roaches? Let me know in the comments.
The Roaches Walk from Upper Hulme
The Roaches walk mapClick for OS online map
Walk start point
Start grid reference: SK 00648 61732
Car parking address: Roach Road, Upper Hulme, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 8TY – Google location
There is free layby parking along much of this road, you may need to drive further down to find a space if you arrive later.
Nearest train station: Buxton (10 miles/17 mins) or Stoke-on-Trent train station (16 mile/35 mins)
The number 16 bus goes from the train station to near the start of the walk – D&G Buses from close to both train stations.
Facilities on the walk
There are no public toilets available at the start of the walk at Upper Hulme or on the walk.
However, there’s a lovely tearoom, The Roaches Tearoom near the start and end of your walk. Walk down the road past Hen Cloud and it’s on your left. They do amazing cakes so worth treating yourself.
Other useful information
The Roaches is a popular spot for both walkers and climbers to visit in the Peak District. It’s worth getting there early or going during the week if you can to guarantee parking.
Also, The Roaches is an exposed section of the walk which means it can be cooler so worth taking a layer for that part of the walk.
Please keep the Peak District beautiful and take all your rubbish home to dispose of. Picnics are welcome but please, no disposal BBQs due to the high fire risk. Thank you.
Peak District weather
Check the weather for your walk location and hills
- BBC Weather for Upper Hulme
- Met Office weather for the Peak District
- Met Office weather for The Roaches
Ordnance Survey Walk Map
The map required for this walk is OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area). And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass
Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App.
The Roaches walk route
Stage 1 – Upper Hulme to The Roaches
Distance: 1 miles/1.6 km
Grid reference SK 00708 61270
Walk back up the road away from The Roaches, which you should be able to see from your parking spot. Walk past the full lay-by until you’ll see a wide gate. Turn right here and walk up the track towards Hen Cloud. The path goes all the way round the base of Hen Cloud but take one of the narrow paths leading up the side for a fun (and steep) route up to the top.
You can go the long way round if you prefer by continuing on the track and taking a more gradual route up which will add some extra to your walk. The paths are steep but they wind there way up to the top for stunning views of Tittesworth Reservoir in the distance.
Once you’ve reach the summit of Hen’s Cloud (your first Peak District Ethel), feel free to explore right and left (but the actual route goes left from the top. Follow the path as it heads down from the top and towards The Roaches.
At the base, go through a gate and across a short flat section directly to another gate (photo above) which takes you up to the Roaches side.
Follow the footpath as it heads uphill, the path splits, but keep to the left-hand path which takes you past the well photographed Roaches gritstone rocks, through a broken wall.
We have a unique charity patch of this design, visit our shop to treat yourself to our Roaches patch here.
Stage 2 – The Roaches to Roach End
Distance: 1.6 mile/2.6 km
Grid reference SK 00519 62435
Once past the gritstone rocks follow the path as it goes through a small wooded area, then turn right and follow the steps up to the top of The Roaches.
Follow the footpath heading left, this is a good path but be sure to follow the signs and avoid the eroded sections (now fenced off in places). There’s a small tarn, known as Doxey’s Pool on your right, often surrounded by Cottongrass, known for growing in boggy areas!
The path then crosses to the other side of the stone wall but continues in the same direction, with stunning views all around. Walk all the way along the footpath and eventually you’ll reach The Roaches trig point, and your second Ethel for the walk!
From here, keep on the footpath as it winds now downhill and leads to a small road at the bottom, known as Roach End.
There’s sometimes an ice cream van here, also selling drinks too.
Stage 3 – Roach End to Ramshaw Rocks
Distance: 2.7 miles/4.3 km
Grid reference SJ 99562 64485
At the road, turn right alongside the wall and follow the track (not the road that heads back alongside The Roaches). Walk down towards the farm and past a small school. Follow the path then as it goes across a small bridge over Black Brook.
Follow the path as it winds next to Black Brook, keeping it on your right all the way until you reach some farm buildings. You’ll go through the gate and turn right here past the building, then pick the footpath back up on your left, at first following the brook again but then the footpath splits away until you come out on the road.
Turn right down the road until you reach another road at a T-junction, go across the road here and pick up the footpath heading uphill towards Ramshaw Rocks. This section can be boggy in places, after heavy rain!
As you reach a path junction continue heading uphill towards Ramshaw Rocks, which is another gritstone rock formation, 425 m at the highest point.
Stage 4 – Ramshaw Rocks to Upper Hulme
Distance: 2.1 mile/3.4 km
Grid reference SK 02010 62564
Continue heading along the path as it weaves along Ramshaw Rocks, and follow it all the way down until you reach the road again. There’s a footpath on the opposite side of the road that heads downhill, parallel to the road. Next go right through Naychurch and follow the track as it winds down towards Well Farm.
Walk through the farm, then turn right onto the footpath, follow this until you reach the crossroads between Hen Cloud and The Roaches. Follow the path straight on, down to a small gate at the road, go down the steps and turn left.
Carefully, walk down the road until the parking lay-by at the end of your walk.
Let me know if you have any questions about The Roaches walk in the comments.
Other options for this walk
Extend the walk
Fancy a longer route? You can extend this walk at Roach end and add the beautiful Lud’s Church to your route. Lud’s Church is a secret chasm hidden in woodlands and is brilliant to explore.
Read the longer walk here: The Roaches, Hen Cloud + Lud’s Church Walk From Upper Hulme | 10-Mile Route
Or if you prefer a shorter walk then come back another time and do Lud’s Church on it’s own, with our 6-mile route.
More walks in the Peak District
Looking for more 7-mile walks in the Peak District, you might like some of these walks
- Alstonefield Walk (Via Milldale + Dovedale) | 7-Mile Route
- Shutlingsloe Walk from Wildboarclough (via Macclesfield Forest) | 7-Mile Route
- Mam Tor + Lose Hill Walk From Castleton | 7-Mile Route
Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here
Peak District Walks is a FREE online resource. Are you enjoying the walks? You can say thank you and buy me a coffee here. Thank you very much 🙂
Peak District charity patches
Peak District Walks have launched their charity patches raising funds for the 'Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation' (charity no. 506681) - supporting the seven Mountain Rescue Teams in the Peak District.
Order our Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, Thorpe Cloud or latest The Roaches patch. Please visit our shop below. If you'd like to know when new designs are created, join our mailing list here to be notified.
More about the charity project here.
Need more help planning your Peak District trip?
Check out the 7 YHAs in the Peak District and find the best walks direct from your accommodation.
Find out what maps you will need for your trip here.
Top tips - Read our useful guides on hiking tips here.
Guided Walks with introduction to map reading (see dates here).
Visit our hiking recommendations page, (footwear, clothes + kit).
Or get in touch and I will help as best I can :).
Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability through any injuries or accidents that may result from walking our routes. We always recommend you wear appropriate footwear to avoid injuries and to take a paper map and compass on your walks. Read more here.