‘The Roaches lie across the Staffordshire landscape like the jagged back of a giant dinosaur. They are a course ridge of hard red sandstone grit. The ridge extends for three miles at a height of some 500m, from the detached southern cone of Hen Cloud (steep hill in Anglo-Saxon) to Roaches End at the north end, where it descends to the eerie chasm of Lud’s Church and Hanging Rock.

The finest view from the Roaches is south-west over the Churnet valley to the Tittesworth reservoir, built in the 1960s. Beyond it lies the town of Leek with its prominent steeple. This is fertile country, stretching out towards the Cheshire plain with the uplands of Wales and Snowdonia in the distance.
The Roaches are one of England’s strangest places, one minute almost a playground, another a mysterious and frightening moonscape, reminiscent of Australia’s Ayres Rock’

Extracted from ‘England’s 100 Best Views’ by Simon Jenkins, to be published by Profile books in October 2013 (£25 hardback)

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  • Sue Green

    Yes I agree with Simon Jenkins – one of the most beautiful views anywhere – especially on a summer’s evening…..but please don’t tell anyone just keep it as our secret!

  • Miranda Rijks

    I totally agree with Simon Jenkins that the view from The Roaches is one of the most spectacular in England. Indeed that small corner of England where Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire meet has truly breathtaking vistas. Sadly the view that Simon Jenkins shows in in his picture is in danger of being ruined. A wind turbine at Kniveden Farm, Leek has been approved, ignoring the views of 1000 locals who opposed it. Another wind turbine application has been submitted just off the A54 in Bosley, and if it goes ahead it will be the first thing anyone sees when entering The Peak District National Park. We are so fortunate to be blessed with such beautiful landscapes. Locals and tourists don’t want these views blotted by wind turbines; government policy is now supporting this stance. If only the planning authorities would take heed too. Renewables are essential, but not when they blot views like this.