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Lockdown 17

 

Route description & photos

This is the ultimate real ale lover's ramble!

 

Park on the roadside between Wincle and Danebridge, close to the entrance to the Wincle Brewery / Danebridge Trout Fisheries.

 

Wincle Brewery        Dane Valley Way

 

Depending on the time of day, make the decision whether to visit the microbrewery either before or after your walk.  At the far (Danebridge) side of the bridge, turn left onto a public footpath (track) - Dane Valley Way.

 

River Dane            River Dane

 

The Dane Valley Way follows alongside the River Dane through woodland and farmland almost all the way to Gradbach, Staffordshire.

 

Liam on the Dane Valley Way            Climbing towards Forest Wood

 

The route gradually gains height, albeit in an undulating fashion, sometimes climbing high above the river before swooping to rejoin in.

 

Dane Valley Way towards Back Forest Farm            Dane Valley Way through Back Forest Farm

 

Look out for a sharp switchback path to begin climbing more steadily and away from the river.  This tops out at a large rock formation.

 

River Dane towards Gradbach Forest Wood Liam close to Lud's Church

 

There is a maze of paths available here; follow the path clearly signed "Lud's Church".  Turn right into the chasm entrance, then follow around and down to the left.

 

Entrance to Lud's Church Liam dropping into Lud's Church Lud's Church

 

The route bottoms out deep into the chasm before climbing back out through a very narrow squeeze.  Once out of Lud's Church, head in a generally easterly direction, picking up signposts for "The Roaches".

 

Lud's Church Climbing out of Lud's Church Boardwalk section between Lud's Church and Roach End

 

The route meets the road at Roach End.  From here, there is a optional detour to climb to the summit of The Roaches.  For this, cross the road and follow the obvious path directly up, allowing an extra half-hour to get to the summit trig and back.  Otherwise, bear right to follow the dry stone wall along the crest of the Back Forest ridge.

 

Roach End            Following the Back Forest ridge

 

Eventually, the ridge begins to drop and a crossroads of paths is met.  Either bear left to take a gentler easier path down to Hangingstone Farm, or cross the wall stile ahead to progress directly ahead to the Hanging Stone itself, before dropping to the main path.

 

Dropping off the ridge            Hanging Stone

 

Cross the farm field into the woods, then follow the path down to Danebridge.

 

Hangingstone Farm            Entering the wooded path down to Danebridge

 

Sections of this path can be slippery underfoot and follow a steep downhill gradient in places, so care should be taken.  A pair of trekking poles may be advisable for this section in particular.

 

Woodland path down to Danebridge            The reward!

 

This path emerges back onto the Dane Valley Way close to the start of the circular route.  Complete your outing by calling into Wincle Brewery for an expertly brewed real ale and an amazing Old Hag Ale chocolate stout brownie!