Embark on a refreshing journey to Hen Cloud, a serene and picturesque hill nestled within the charming Roaches area of the Peak District.
Offering breathtaking views, Hen Cloud is perfect for those wishing to soak in the serene beauty of the Staffordshire countryside.
Whether you’re a seasoned rambler or just looking for a pleasant walk, Hen Cloud provides a welcoming environment for all to explore and enjoy.
Getting to Hen Cloud
By Car: Hen Cloud is best accessed by car, situated just off the A53.
Public Transport: Unfortunately, there aren’t any public transport options leading directly to the start point of Hen Cloud.
While there aren’t any official car parks designated for Hen Cloud, you’ll find a generous number of laybys along Roach Rd offering free parking.
If you’re out of luck and those laybys are full (it can happen on a sunny day). The farm at Roaches Tea Rooms occasionally provides all-day parking in their field for a small fee.
Parking Along Roach Rd (Free)
The above image is what part of the parking looks like, and the hill towering over is Hen Cloud.
Address: Roach Rd, Leek ST13 8UA
Parking on Roach Rd extends over a considerable stretch, beginning at ///offstage.catchers.fizzy and concluding approximately a kilometre further at ///acclaimed.tasty.ordering. Parking at around ///offstage.catchers.fizzy will put you in a good position to start the Hens Cloud walk.
The local authority is vigilant in issuing fines for vehicles parked outside these designated zones, so it’s important to ensure you’re within the specified boundaries.
To ensure you secure a parking spot, consider arriving early in the morning or later in the afternoon. The day of the week and season can significantly influence the crowd levels at Hen Cloud and the wider Roaches, so plan accordingly.
Hen Cloud Walking Map & RouteDownload file for GPS
The Hen Cloud Walk start at the Roaches Hall, and heads around the back of the hill, where you’ll then start a steep ascent before finally reaching the top, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Finally, you’ll head down the other side towards the roaches and rejoin the route on Roach Rd.
View OS Map Route
If you want a longer route, you should consider The Roaches Walk, which covers Hen Cloud and then heads even higher to the roaches’ trig point. You can extend it even further by stretching it out to Lud’s Church.
Step by Step Hen Cloud Walk 2km (1.3mi) ~ 0:40-1hr
Given the extensive parking along Roach Road, the starting point may vary. For the sake of simplicity, the route begins at the entrance to Roaches Hall. Walk down the road until you spot the turn-off, signposted as “Roaches Hall”.
1. Upon arriving at the entrance to Roach Hall, commence ascending the pathway; this route briefly meanders as the gravelled path rises over a minor incline.
Note: The track may seem somewhat foreboding due to several private property signs, but it is explicitly designated as a footpath, and there is a right of way.
2. Progress along the path, where you will encounter Roaches Hall (a former hunting lodge, now utilised as group accommodation).
3. At the back of the hall’s car park is a gate; pass through it to enter the wooded area.
4. Adhere to the track on the left as it begins its uphill ascent. In time, you will arrive at a point where the path reverts.
5. Persist along; it becomes quite steep, but the resulting view is well worth the effort. Eventually, you’ll attain the summit of Hen Cloud, providing a panoramic view of the surroundings, including Titsworth Reservoir and the Staffordshire countryside.
6. When you’re prepared to proceed, continue along the path across the summit, through a gate, and descend the hill.
7. As the path becomes level, you will traverse another gate, after which you should immediately turn left, progressing towards the road.
8. Once returned to the roach, turning left will lead back to the entrance of Roaches Hall, or opt for a right turn if you have parked further down the road.
Amenities & Facilities at Hen Cloud
Facilities at Hen Cloud are limited, so it’s essential to come prepared and ensure you leave no items behind.
In the summer months, you can often spot an ice cream van stationed in the layby at The Roaches’ base.
But if you’re looking for snacks and drinks, The Roaches Tea Rooms & Restaurant is just a short walk away, serving a variety of refreshments.
For those in the mood for a substantial meal or a classic pub experience, you might want to check out, Ye Olde Rock Inn, situated a brief distance down Roach Road, off the A53, or The Winking Man, a famous pub located on the A53, just a quick 5-10 minute drive.
For additional services, including grocery stores, the closest towns to The Roaches are Buxton, approximately a 20-minute drive, and Leek, around 15 minutes in another direction.
Hen Cloud FAQs
Why is it called Hen Cloud?
Hen Cloud is so named because its shape resembles a roosting hen. However, there is another theory suggesting the name could have originated from the Anglo-Saxon words ‘Henge Clud’, meaning steep cliff. The latter may not be as intriguing a tale, but it is noteworthy.
Is Hen Cloud a hard walk?
Hen Cloud walk is generally not considered hard due to its short distance. However, there are steep inclines in some sections, which may pose challenges, and it is not suitable for prams. Thus, walkers should equip themselves with suitable footwear and be prepared for unpredictable weather changes.
Is Hen Cloud dog-friendly?
Yes, Hen Cloud is accessible to both the public and dogs. However, dog owners should be vigilant, particularly at the summit’s cliff edges, and should keep their pets on a leash where necessary, especially in the vicinity of wildlife.