2 Hrs 5 mins
5.3 miles (8.53 Km)
Car park on narrow road between Manor Farm and Gradbach Mill YHA
At time of writing, Gradbach Mill YHA has been sold so YHA signs may soon disappear. Will update this site if any changes take place.
Turn right out of car park, head up road and turn right at Scout Camp and Youth Hostel sign.
Take path opposite black doors to Youth Hostel.
Through a gate, then 150 mtrs take stile on right and continue to stone stile.
Turn right downhill after the stile to a bridge.
Turn right after bridge (signposted Danebridge) and at some point join the path a little higher up the bank (number of options possible).
Generally follow the well defined and signposted path downstream but at a fork bear right back towards the river.
The path eventually drops down to the river at which point a gate leads to a wide track ahead.
Follow the wide track uphill for about 100 mtrs then take the stile on left up steps.
Continue uphill through the woods (avoid path off to the right midway up) to a stile onto open fields.
Bear left after the stile, pass a large rock in the middle of field and continue to stile at top of field.
Right over stile and then trend leftwards uphill to another stile.
Over this stile and turn right (signposted Roaches).
Follow farm track for 250 mtrs to cattle grid then take the stile on left uphill to the large rock outcrop known as Hanging Stone.
Follow path trending right behind Hanging Stone passing 2 gates.
After 2nd gate turn left onto wide track and down to another gate.
Straight on after gate signposted to Gradbach and Lud’s Church.
At the junction of several paths by a rocky outcrop, it’s worth making a short detour here to Lud’s Church so take the right fork which is signposted to Lud’s Church.
200 mtrs on the right is a small bit of fencing with a sign “Erosion Control No Footpath”. The entrance to Lud’s Church is just left of this. Probably not the kind of church you were expecting and it’s far larger than the impression you might have when first entering. It’s unfortunately always muddy but it’s worth venturing in and seeing how extensive this once very secretive place of worship is and how well hidden it is from the outside, despite its size.
Lud's_Church on Wikipedia (new window)
There are a number of entrances to Lud’s Church so if you exit higher up the hillside, loop back round anti-clockwise to where you entered then back down the path to the rocky outcrop where several paths meet and where you were a little earlier.
Turn right (signposted Gradbach) and head downhill to a sign leading left also signposted Gradbach.
Cross bridge, head up to stile on your left, turn left over stile and head back to the Youth Hostel and on to car park where you started.