The Roaches, Peak District

I really didn’t know what to do with myself today other than wanting to get out and about into the fresh air. Over breakfast I was browsing through some of our walking guide books and read with interest about circular walk in the Peak District along the high ridges of ‘The Roaches’. A little bit more investigation via the Internet and I had my destination mapped out. I’ll be ”Johny lonesome’ on this one as Curstie is at work today.

I gathered up my camera gear (or course!), made myself a packed lunch, flask of coffee etc and headed out. I really enjoy driving through the Peak District, passing manor houses, little villages and farm cottages. On this week day the roads were almost empty and great fun twisting up and down the steep valley walls – it’s no wonder they’re favored by bikers! Passing through the town of Leek, I spotted endless antique and curiosity shops so no doubt I’ll  be back this way with Curstie.

Rounding a corner, I got my first look at the Roaches. A quote from the Peak National Park website sums them up quite nicely –  ‘they stand as a line of silent sentinels guarding the entrance to the Peak District’

Here’s a shot of Ramshaw Rocks taken at the start of the walk.

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After a fairly steep climb, I headed towards Rock Camp where parties of rock climbers were scrambling up the rock face.  I watched them climb for bit before heading on to the easier climb between a gap in the rock formation.

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Even at the lower end of the ridge, the views looking back towards Leek and Tittesworth Reservoir were fantastic.

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Following the path, I picked my way along the ridge end and stopped to take this picture. It’s a series of  bracketed shots taken at -2, +2 increments which I’ve merged as one HDR image using Photomatix. I still haven’t got the hang of it yet but I’ll keep trying 🙂

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Time to take in the views and have a bite to eat!

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Continuing along the ridge I came to Docksey pool which is the highest in the Peak District. In this picture I’ve tried to slow down the shutter speed as much as lighting conditions would allow so I could smooth out the rippling water. It’s not too bad, but I’d really like to invest in ND grad filter and try again one day.

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Keeping one eye on the darkening clouds and the other on my feet, I headed further up along the ridge to the highest point.

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Phew, made it to the the trig point, time for a cuppa and a good look around. It was very windy up here and I could hear the distant rumble of thunder.

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Enjoying the views…and the workout!

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At this point I wasn’t  sure whether to continue along the trail that led down through the heather fields to the road and back to the car or head back the way I’d come. In the end, the loud clap of thunder made the decision for me and not wanting to get soaked I headed back the way I’d came being the shortest route back to the car – besides, scrambling on the rocks was fun!

Time for one last photo before setting off again…..briskly!

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I really enjoyed this would defiantly want to come back with Curstie next time.

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