Roaches and reservoirs cycle route
Medium route for leisure cyclists
Distance: 6.8 miles Roaches loop; 10.8 miles Rudyard loop
Uncover a landscape shaped by water, experience traditional villages and enjoy spectacular gritstone edges.
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Starting from Tittesworth reservoir, cycle towards the pretty village of Meerbrook, with the Roaches as a dramatic gritstone backdrop. Turning left after the Lazy Trout towards Leek there are beautiful views of Tittesworth reservoir which has over 100 hectares of rich wildlife habitat. Lapwing, snipe and curlew are regular visitors to the fields around here and when water levels fall in the summer the exposed mud attracts birds such as oystercatchers, plovers and herons.
Soon the road diverges from the lake as you climb up and then down to join the Staffordshire Way, just south of Rudyard Reservoir. (From here you can take an optional visit to the market town of Leek, famous for its textiles and antiques emporia).
Follow the former railway line through the woodland landscape alongside the reservoir – on summer weekends and holidays you may even found yourself cycling next to the miniature Rudyard Lake Steam Railway! The reservoir was built in the 1880’s to feed the canals in the Midlands, later the famous poet Rudyard Kipling was named after the locality by his parents who visited here.
After returning to Tittesworth you can enjoy a rewarding climb on another short loop towards Ramshaw Rocks, Hen Cloud and the Roaches which together form a magnificent gritstone escarpment. Drop back down to Tittesworth to complete the whole figure-of-eight route.
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