Rudyard and The Cloud

29 May 2022

Our expedition on the 29th is a 12 mile walk through the fringes of the Staffordshire Moorlands. We shall visit several beautiful places rarely, if at all featured on previous group walks. We begin the trek at Rudyard and finish around 6:30 pm at Rushton Spencer, finishing point of our recent Three Shires Head & Dane Valley ramble. We begin at the village of Rudyard. Rudyard Kipling is said to have been conceived here. His parents named him after the village. We follow a small tourist railway for a short distance before crossing the dam wall of Rudyard Reservoir, where there are public toilets available. After a short walk, we pass the old village, before crossing fields to the picturesque hamlet of Horton, sitting atop a small hill. We pass a ford with an ancient stone footbridge before ascending past Broadmeadows Farm, close to Biddulph Moor. There are excellent views across the countryside along here. We shall have a break somewhere in this section of the walk. The source of the River Trent is just a short distance to the south. We then descend past the back of Biddulph Grange Country Park and by Troughstone Hill, a small but prominent rock outcrop. From here, we traverse pretty fields and woodland to Timbersbrook for our main break of the day. There are picnic tables and grassy areas around the site of a large water-powered mill demolished many years ago. The mill pond still exists. There are no cafes, pubs etc here, so please bring food and refreshments with you. Beyond Timbersbrook is the highlight of the day, a hill called ‘The Cloud’. There is a long but relatively gentle climb up the delightfully-named Gosberryhole Lane to the summit, which towers over the River Dane and the Cheshire Plain. Lots of things to see on a clear day, including The Roaches, Jodrell Bank and the Welsh Mountains in the far distance. Beyond here, we descend gently to the River Dane, passing a private zoo along the way. We should see wallabies and rheas here. From Timbersbrook to here, we will have followed the Gritstone Trail. After a while, we join the trackbed of an old railway and make our way to Rushton Spencer. The village has 2 public houses. We plan to leave around 6:30pm from the same bus stop we used last time we visited here – just north of the Royal Oak pub, on the main road. (text by Richard Lake).

Coach Pick-up points below. No need to book, just turn up. Coach fare is £12 and free for accompanied juniors.

“Staff of Life” pub, Hack Lane Sutton-in-Ashfield 9.15am
Priestic Road, opp McDonald’s Sutton-in-Ashfield 9.20am
Eastfield Side, (Blue Bell) Sutton-in-Ashfield 9.22am
Hermitage Lane stop, Sutton Road Mansfield 9.25am
ASDA bus stop. Stockwell Gate. Mansfield 9.30am

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