Leek: Tourist Attractions and Places to Visit in the Peak District - Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire

A directory of tourist and visitor attractions near Leek in the Peak District area of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. Historic houses, churches, dams and reservoirs, theme parks, museums, railways and castles

Visitor Attractions around Leek

historic interest

 Brindleys Mill

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The Brindley Mill is a working watermill on the River Churnet, situated just off the road to Macclesfield 1km out of the centre of Leek. The mill was originally built about 1752 by James Brindley, the engineer who was responsible for the construction of the Bridgewater Canal - the first commercial canal in England. The mill is open to visitors and contains a nice little museum.
 
Brindleys Mill Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge
Leek - Brindleys Mill
0 - Leek - Brindleys Mill

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SJ978570


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How to get there

By Road:
from the centre of Leek take the Macclesfield road - the mill is about 1km from Leek town centre on the right hand side.

By Bus: the 108 Stockport - Leek bus runs past Brindley Mill.
When is it open?

Easter Sunday to the end of September on Sundays and Bank Holidays. We are also open on Saturdays in July and August, and Wednesdays in the school summer holidays. There are also special event days as set out on the website. From 2.00pm - 5.00pm. Phone: 01538 483741
What does it cost?

Members free/ Under 5s Free /Under 16s £1.00/ Adults £3.00 / English Heritage members half-price

Schools £1.00 per pupil, Teachers & Helpers free.

Other groups - as above.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.

Website: http://www.brindleysmill.co.uk

historic interest

 Cheddleton Flint Mill

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Mill wheel on the North Mill
Mill wheel on the North Mill
These are two water mills on the river Churnet at Cheddeton, 3 miles south of Leek. The north mill was a Flint mill, built in the late 18th century and the other was a corn mill, dating originally from the 13th century and converted into a Flint mill in the 19th century. The flint was ground by the mills and then sent via the nearby Caldon Canal to the pottery factories of Stoke-on-Trent, where it was used in earthenware pottery. The mills are grade II* listed buildings and are run by a trust and are open to the public. There is a small museum with cottage kilns, a canal boat and steam engines.
 
Cheddleton Flint Mill Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Cheddleton Flint Mill water wheel
0 - Cheddleton Flint Mill water wheel
Cheddleton Flint Mill
1 - Cheddleton Flint Mill

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SJ972527


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How to get there

By Road:
from the centre of Leek take the A520 south, signposted to Uttoxeter and Longton. About 6km south of Leek the road descends into the steep-sided Churnet valley to cross the river just before the village of Cheddleton, and the mills are on your right.

By Bus: The 106 Leek - Cellarhead - Stoke bus passes through Cheddleton and runs 5 times daily.
When is it open?

For opening times telephone 0161 408 5083 for recorded message
What does it cost?

Admission free, but donations welcome - suggested £50 for groups over 12 persons, and £20 for smaller groups

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary. See this link for more information on prices and opening

Website: http://www.cheddletonflintmill.com

historic interestgood for children

 Churnet Valley Railway

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Steam engine at Churnet Valley
Steam engine at Churnet Valley
The Churnet Valley Railway operates from Leekbrook via Cheddleton (5km south of Leek) and Froghall to Oakamoor, a distance of 11km, along the deep and picturesque valley of the River Churnet. The railway was once the North Staffordshire Railway (known as 'Owd Knotty' due to its emblem of the Staffordshire Knot) which ran from North Rode to Uttoxeter via Leek. The railway was closed as part of the Beeching cuts, between 1968 and 1970, though freight trains ran on part of the line until 1988.

Cheddleton Station
Cheddleton Station
The Churnet Valley Railway was started by enthusiasts with aid from the local authorities, and began running trains in 1996. These now run regularly at weekends between March and October and during the summer holidays, carrying 54,000 passengers in 2004. Several stations, including those at Cheddleton, Consall and Froghall, been restored.

The Churnet Valley Railway takes you on a journey back to the classic days of railway travel on a rural line that passes through beautiful countryside known as Staffordshire's "Little Switzerland".

The picturesque stations offer lots of interest with a complete range of visitor facilities, and there's plenty more to see and enjoy along the way. In addition to the 10 mile return journey along the valley, there's a taste of contrasting moorland scenery on the 16-mile round trip along the Cauldon branch.

Kingsley & Froghall Grid reference SK024471
 
Churnet Valley Railway Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Churnet Valley Railway engine
0 - Churnet Valley Railway engine
Churnet Valley Railway steam engine
1 - Churnet Valley Railway steam engine
Cheddleton Station - Churnet Valley Railway
2 - Cheddleton Station - Churnet Valley Railway

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SJ982520


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How to get there

By Road:
Kingsley & Froghall Station is on the A52 Stoke-Ashbourne road at Froghall, access is adjacent to The Railway Inn.

For satellite navigation users please input post codeST10 2HA.

No access restrictions apply and thecar park is ideal for coaches. All coach parties are advised to go to Froghall due to bridge restrictions at Cheddleton.

Cheddletonvillage is on the A520 Leek-Stone road between Leek and Cellarhead (junction with A52). On entering Cheddleton village, brown tourist signs direct you along either Station Road or Basford Bridge Lane, both of which will bring you to Cheddleton Station.

For satellite navigation users please input post codeST137EE.

No vehicular access is permitted at Consall Station and passengers are asked to respect the local countryside.



By Bus: Froghall is served by the 235 Leek-Cheadle service, operated by Clowes Coaches. Alternatively, the First 32 Hanley-Cheadle-Uttoxeter calls at Kingsley, Royal Oak which is approximately 15 minutes walk from the station.

Cheddleton is served by the 16 Hanley-Leek service and 106 Longton-Leek. Book to Station Road (Red Lion Inn) or Basford Bridge Lane, from either of which stops the station is approximately 15-20 minutes walk.

Consall Station is approximately 5 minutes walk from the Black Lion Inn at Consall Forge on the Caldon Canal.


When is it open?

For running dates and times please see our calendar pages on http://www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk/calendar

Outside these times, footplate experiences, school parties, "Moorlander Limited" Wine & Dine evenings and charter services can be found running.

For special events, prior booking is essential. Enquiries from schools are especially welcome. For more details, contact Cheddleton Station on 01538 360522.


What does it cost?

Steam Hauled, All Day Travel

Adults £11.00/ Senior Citizens £9.00/ Children 4-14yrs £5.00/ Family (2 adults + up to 3 children) £28/ Dogs and cycles £1.50/ Children under 4 travel free.

One carer can travel free of charge with one fare paying disabled person.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary from event to event.



Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.

Website: http://www.churnetvalleyrailway.co.uk

historic interestgood for exercisegood scenery

 Lud's Church

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Lud's Church is an immense natural cleft in the rock on the hillside above Gradbach, in a forest area known as the Black Forest. The feature has been formed by a landslip which has detached a large section of rock from the hillside, thus forming a cleft which is over 15 metres high in places and over 100 metres long, though usually only a couple of metres wide.

Inside Luds Church
Inside Luds Church
Over the ages this place has offered shelter to all sorts of renegades and there is a tradition that Robin Hood used it. However, it is fairly certain that the Lollards (followers of John Wycliffe, an early church reformer, who were condemned as heretics) used it as a place of worship in the early 15th century, giving the place its current name. The church also acted as the model for the 'Green Chapel' in the classic mediaeval poem 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight', and the aura of mediaeval romance still seems to stick to it.

To reach it from Gradbach, park the car at the car-park and walk past the Youth Hostel and on downstream to cross a tributary of the Dane on a footbridge. Head uphill and then right, following a path towards Swythamley. At the top of the rise, turn sharp left to reach Lud's Church after a further 200 metres or so. Descend into the first chamber, which does not seem so impressive - the immediate thought is 'Is this all it is?'. Then follow the well-worn stone steps down into the main section, which immediately dispels any earlier sense of disappointment, for it is very tall and there is space for several hundred people here. It is possible to make an exit at the far end and follow a path back to the entrance.
 
Lud's Church Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Luds Church
0 - Luds Church
Gradbach Mill
1 - Gradbach Mill

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SJ987656


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How to get there

By Road:
Gradbach lies along a minor road which branches off the A54 Buxton - Congleton road at Allgreave. The other end of this road is at Flash, where it joins the A53 Leek - Buxton road. In Grandbach itself, follow the signs to the Youth Hostel. There is a small public car park.
When is it open?

Lud's Church is on access land.


good for childrengood for exercisegood scenery

 Rudyard Lake

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Rudyard Lake is an artificial lake created between 1797 and 1800 as a reservoir for the local Caldon and Trent and Mersey canals. It became a popular local pleasure resort from 1849 onwards with the opening of the North Staffordshire Railway, which ran along the lakeside. It is now a centre for fishing, rowing, walking and sight-seeing, with boats for hire, signed walks, pleasure cruises and fishing permits all available. There are hotels and other accommodation nearby.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries thousands of visitors would be disgorged each weekend by the trains - many of them from local towns such as Leek, Stoke and Macclesfield, but others from all over the country. These included the parents of the poet Rudyard Kipling, and they were so entranced by Rudyard that they named their son after the place.

After World War II the number of visitors declined and the closure of the railway in the 1970s added to this, though the Lake is
Rudyard Station
Rudyard Station
still a popular spot for local tourism, walking and fishing.

The lake is owned by The Canal and River Trust (successor to British Waterways) and run by The Rudyard Lake Trust Ltd, who operate a visitor centre and car park at the south end of the lake, where there is also a sailing club. A narrow-gauge railway (the Rudyard Lake Steam Railway) runs for 4 km along side the lake along the track of the former North Staffordshire Railway and steam trains operate at weekends from the middle of March to the end of October.

The Canal and River Trust recommend Rudyard Lake as a particularly good place to exercise your dog. See this link for more details.
 
Rudyard Lake Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Rudyard Lake
0 - Rudyard Lake
Rudyard Narrow Gauge Railway Station
1 - Rudyard Narrow Gauge Railway Station

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SJ952583


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How to get there

By Road:
Turn off the A523 Leek-Macclesfield road about 3km north of Leek and take the B5381 to Rudyard. The railway station is just by the railway bridge which you pass on the way into Rudyard village. For the Lake, continue into Rudyard village, turn right at the roundabout and then fork right again. The British Waterways car park is beyond the hotel, down an unmade track on the right.
When is it open?

The car park and visitor centre at Rudyard Lake is open all year. The steam trains run from mid-March to the end of October, weekends only.
What does it cost?

See the Rudyard Lake web site for a detailed breakdown of the costs of the individual activities.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary. See this link for more information on prices and opening

Website: http://www.rudyardlake.com

good for exercisegood scenery

 The Roaches

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The Roaches Upper Tier
The Roaches Upper Tier
The Roaches, with Hen Cloud and Ramshaw Rocks, form a gritstone escarpment which marks the south-western edge of the Peak. Best viewed from the approach along the Leek road, they stand as a line of silent sentinels guarding the entrance to the Peak District, worn into fantastic shapes by the elements.

The Roaches Lower Tier
The Roaches Lower Tier
The area is one of rock and heather which once belonged to the Swythamley Estate. Following the break up of this estate, the area including the Roaches and Hen Cloud (an area of 975 acres) was purchased in 1980 by the Peak District National Park Authority in order to protect this unique area and guarantee access for the public.

Hen Cloud is an impressive, solitary edge which rises steeply from the ground below. The Roaches themselves have a gentler approach and actually consist of two edges, a Lower and Upper tier, with a set of rock-steps connecting them. Built into the rocks of the Lower Tier is Rock Cottage, a tiny primitive cottage which was once the gamekeeper's residence and has now been converted into a climbing hut. Below and to the west of the main edge is a line of small subsidiary edges known as the Five Clouds.

Ramshaw Rocks
Ramshaw Rocks
The area was once famous for its wallabies. These were released in World War II from a private zoo at Swythamley and managed to breed and survive until the late 1990s, when the last survivors seem to have disappeared.

The whole area is a favourite place with walkers and rock-climbers, and the edges provide some of the best gritstone climbing in the country, with famous classic routes such as Valkyrie, the Sloth and The Swan. In some ways the area has become a victim of its own popularity for the area is very busy at weekends.
 
The Roaches Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
Roaches
0 - Roaches
Roaches - Lower Tier
1 - Roaches - Lower Tier
Roaches - Rock Cottage
2 - Roaches - Rock Cottage
Roaches Upper Tier
3 - Roaches Upper Tier
Hen Cloud
4 - Hen Cloud
Hen Cloud from Blackshaw moor
5 - Hen Cloud from Blackshaw moor
Ramshaw Rocks
6 - Ramshaw Rocks
Ramshaw Rocks
7 - Ramshaw Rocks
Ramshaw Rocks
8 - Ramshaw Rocks
Roaches - Climbing on the Lower Tier
9 - Roaches - Climbing on the Lower Tier
Roaches Upper Tier Climbers
10 - Roaches Upper Tier Climbers

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK002628


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How to get there

By Road:
turn off the A53 Buxton - Leek road on the steep hill at Upper Hulme. Pass through the village and turn off to cross the stream and go through the works. Continue along the narrow road until you see the crags. Parking along the road below has been severely restricted and at weekends a shuttle bus service operates from Meerbrook.

By Bus: the X18 service from Buxton to Leek goes through Upper Hulme, as do the 443 and 448 Leek - Longnor services. Walk from there or pick up the shuttle bus.
When is it open?

Access land - no restrictions.


good for childrengood for exercisegood scenery

 Tittesworth Reservoir


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The dam at Tittesworth was constructed across the River Churnet between 1959 and 1963, to provide for increasing water demand in Leek, Stoke on Trent and the surrounding area. It replaced a much smaller (about a third of the size) Victorian dam which had been built to supply the local dyeing industry in Leek. A new treatment plant was commissioned in the mid 1990s, to supply up to 45 million litres (10 million gallons) of water a day.

A new visitor centre, interactive exhibition, shops and enlarged restaurant were opened in 1998. The river Churnet enters the reservoir just by the visitor centre and there is a picnic area here. The reservoir lies just below The Roaches, which form a spectacular backdrop.

The reservoir has a wide range of wildlife. There is an information area, exhibition, restaurant, shop, play area, water-saving garden, bird-watching hides and trails. Please note that fishing is not allowed. Parking and limited wheelchair access - parking costs 2.50 for 2 hours and 4.70 for all day.

Events & Activities Hotline: 0870 179 1111
 

Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SJ990608


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How to get there

By Road:
from the centre of Leek head out on the A523 Macclesfield road, but about 300m from the church turn right along the minor road which crosses the Churnet and leads to Meerbrook. In the village turn right and then right again to the Visitor Centre. From the A53 Buxton - Leek road, coming from Buxton, turn right at the Horsehoe Inn at Blackshaw Moor.

By Bus: the X18 service from Buxton to Leek goes through Blackshaw Moor, as do the 443 and 448 Leek - Longnor services. From here it is a walk of about 2km.
When is it open?

The Visitor Centre is open every day except Christmas Day from 10.00am. For more information, telephone Tittesworth Water on 01538 300188.
What does it cost?

No charge for the Visitor Centre the car park costs 2.50 for up to two hours or 4.70 all day.

Prices and opening times are shown as a guideline only and may vary.

Website: http://www.stwater.co.uk/leisure-and-learning/reservoir-locations/tittesworth-water/

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