Walks Near Manchester: Lud’s Church

Completed all of Manchester’s waterways? Need a new place to get the steps in?

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 27 July 2022

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Just a short trip out of the city centre will take you a step back in time…

Contrary to its name, you won’t find a church in sight along this route on the outskirts of Buxton and Macclesfield – but you will step straight into a prehistoric landscape that wouldn’t feel out of place on the set of Jurassic Park.

It may only be a short route, but the scenery is immense. Hidden high up in the moorland over an ancient, wooded valley, Lud’s Church offers a truly atmospheric day out. Sometimes known as Ludchurch, this charismatic chasm was created by a massive landslip on the hillside above Gradbach (Staffordshire).

Boasting a history as fascinating as its views, Lollard followers used this landscape as a secret place of worship during the 15th century and, according to local legend, was also once used as a hideout by Robin Hood and one of his merry men.

There are many ways to reach this unique landmark, some of which intertwine with another popular route amongst ramblers, The Roaches. We stumbled upon this route accidentally after parking at Dane Bridge in the quaint village of Wincle and found a public footpath heading towards Lud’s Church – an unreal accidental find!

You can either follow the River Dane straight up towards the entrance of Lud’s Church, or climb the steps located close to the starting point just off the bridge – either take you on a circular route which is fairly well signposted throughout.

If you’re looking to extend the walk, combining Lud’s Church with The Roaches gives you the best of both worlds. Usually less-populated but equally as atmospheric, this route features unusual sandstone landscapes, timeless woodlands and breath-taking views that’re well worth the extra few miles.


Weekend Walk: Lud’s Church

The Route
Starting point: Dane Bridge
Distance: 4.5 Miles
Time: 2 hours
Elevation gain: 680 feet


MAD Walkers are a hiking group for 20s and 30s for people who live in and around the Greater Manchester area. With over 400 members, they offer a variety of group walks to suit you and many other like-minded people.

Head to their website to find an upcoming walk…

MAD Walkers