There are many things to do in the Peak District and it can be hard to recommend just one place to go. However, if I were to choose only one place and you are an adventurous family, same as we are, who loves walking and hiking then you must visit The Roaches with kids!
What is it
It is a prominent rock formation proudly dominating the area above Leek and Tittesworth Reservoir in the Peak District. This rocky ridge rises steeply to over 500 metres and is best seen when approached from Leek on A53. This rocky ridge includes The Roaches, Hen Cloud and Ramshaw Rocks, which are my favourite. The area was once famous for its wallabies which escaped from a private zoo at Roaches Hall during World War II. They have been seen by many people over the years and thought to disappear but apparently, somebody saw them in September 2017! Maybe you will be the next one so get your camera ready!!!
Who is it for
Anyone who loves nature, walking, cycling or rock-climbing. Because the whole area is very popular with walkers and rock climbers it can be very busy at weekends especially during the summer. We come here quite often with our dog and kids (6-year-old and 1-year-old). Be aware though, this place is definitely not suitable for pushchair. Also, make sure you wear good footwear, it can be slippery and very muddy especially in the winter months.
How to get there
It is only 4 miles from Leek in Staffordshire and 8 miles from Buxton in Derbyshire. There are parking spaces under the Roaches and are situated on a minor road just a mile from the main road. When travelling from Leek, in about three miles from Leek look out for the signs to Upper Hulme and Ye Olde Rock Inn. Follow the signpost and then turn left downhill. You can use the postcode for Roches Tearooms (ST13 8TY) and continue until you see a parking on your right.
What to do
Walk, hike, climb and bike! If you don’t like any of these activities then you can drive around and go home 🙂 or choose another place to visit. No, seriously. This place is loved for the easy walks, beautiful wind-carved rocks and stunning views. They are suitable for young children as well. We’ve been coming here long before our first one was born. When he was around two we took him for a ‘proper’ walk without being carried on daddy’s back. However, when he was three, we went for a longer hike. He is now seven and loves this place because it is ‘very adventurous’ as he proclaims!
You can choose from many walking routes, some are very easy others a bit more demanding. Every time we come here, we discover something new. Sometimes we follow a guidebook other times we just follow the path as long as we like and then go back the same way as we’ve come from.
Tips for trips:
- Drive around The Roaches to enjoy the scening views
- Walk up to the Doxey Pool
- Walk to Lud’s church
Where to stay
Would you like to stay at 13 bedroom Roaches hall or do you prefer to spend a night under the stars in a tent or a campervan? What about a weekend in a holiday cottage? The choice is yours. Also, you can book a cheaper accommodation in Leek or Stoke-on-Trent if you are coming here for a longer stay and want to discover more places. I have written down a few suggestions which I would’ve booked if we needed to stay a night but there are other options available through websites such as holidaycottages.co.uk or sykescottages.co.uk.
Hen Cloud cottage B&B – www.hencloudcottage.co.uk
Field house Cottage – www.fhcottagepeakdistrict.co.uk
Where to eat
If you are looking for a place to warm up after your walking adventure, you can stop at the Roaches Tea rooms or head down to the nearby village Meerbrook where you can enjoy a warm home-cooked meal at The Lazy Trout. This is a very popular place to eat especially if you are coming with dogs which are allowed inside as well. But I recommend taking a packed lunch with you as these places can be full especially during the weekend.
Why do we love it
‘I love the views! Every time we come here, the scenery seems to be different. For me, the photographer, this place offers never-ending opportunities to capture something new, undiscovered. I could write the whole story about stunning sunsets and sunrises, foggy mornings and don’t get me started on snowy fields.’ said mum.
‘It is cool to climb the rocks. I am very good at it now. When can we go again?’ said our 6-year-old son.
‘It’s great to be outside and spend quality time with my family here. The joy on my children’s faces is invaluable, even though, I have to carry the little one on my back.’
Did you find this article useful or would you like to recommend a place or an adventure to us? Get in touch, we want to hear from you 🙂
More ideas for spending days out with your children