Rudyard Lake, near Leek, Staffordshire
Rudyard Lake is an artificial lake created between 1797 and 1800 as a reservoir for the local canal system. It is now a centre for fishing, rowing, walking and sight-seeing. A narrow-gauge railway runs for 2 km along side the 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 still a popular spot for local tourism, walking and fishing.
The lake is owned and operated by British Waterways, 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.
Rudyard Lake Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
How to get there
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
Useful links:Rudyard Lake Steam Railway The website for the steam railway running alongside Rudyard Lake
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