Gradbach circular walk

Start: Gradbach Mill (nearby car park)

Finish: Gradbach Mill

Length: 7.9 km/ 4.9 miles

Weather: Fair

Map Link


Having driven up to the Peak District for an Easter break, the weather wasn't very encouraging on the first day. However, the next day looked to be more promising with no rain forecast. I had several walks in mind, but thought this one would be best - a place I had visited once before, in my early teens, on a week-long scout camp.


At the start of the walk, having just left the car park. The car park is only small, so it is worth arriving early to get a parking place.

gradbach scout camp


A muddy path on the other side of the hedge on the right of the picture brings you to a gate.

Although this is private property and the public right of way doesn't go through this field, I couldn't resist a quick look. This muddy field is where I camped with my fellow scouts, the Hagley Ramblers.

gradbach scout camp


A another glimpse of the scout campsite through the trees. Having crossed a small brook courtesy of a footbridge, the path rises as it climbs through Forest Wood. Is it a wood or is it a forest? Or simply a large collection of trees suffering from an identity crisis?

Forest Wood Gradbach


The higher the path climbs the more the trees thin out. This was taken by a small out crop of rocks, at the edge of the wood.

Forest Wood Gradbach


The walk then takes you onto open moorland, where a muddy path follows a dry stone wall on your right. Views of Sutton Common and Croker Hill are off in the distance.

Gradbach walk


View from Back Forest (hill) over to the Roaches in the background. The farm in the dale is called High Forest.

View from Back Forest to the roaches


The Roaches from Back Forest .

The Roaches from Back Forest


High Forest Farm.

High Forest


Looking back along the ridge we had come along. I think the hill in the distance, on the left is called The Cloud.

Back Forest



Walking towards the Roaches.


I was out-voted, so we didn't make the detour to the Roaches. However, I did make the detour to Lud's Church, which is well worth a visit.

In Lud's Church things were very wet and muddy.

 Lud's Church


Lud's Churchis a deep chasm penetrating the Millstone Grit bedrock created by a massive landslip. It is supposed to have been used by the Lollards (a political and religious movement) as a secret place of worship during the early 15th century, when they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Robin Hood, Friar Tuck and Bonny Prince Charlie are all reputed to have hidden here too. Others have identified Lud's Church as the Green Chapel of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


A stile near the footbridge on the return journey.


On the road, nearly back at the car park.