Historic luds Church

Set amidst the enchanting woodlands of Staffordshire, Lud’s Church is a hidden gem that beckons adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. This ancient chasm, shrouded in mythical tales and natural wonders, offers a captivating experience that transports visitors to another world.

Venturing into Lud’s Church is like stepping into a realm of ancient folklore and mysterious old tales. As you traverse the moss-covered rocks and listen to the whispering winds, you can’t help but feel the weight of history and a sense of awe. Legends of Robin Hood, the Green Knight, and even Bonnie Prince Charlie are said to be intertwined with this extraordinary place.

But Lud’s Church is not just a place of legends – it is also a wonder of nature. This mossy canyon, carved by hundreds of years of erosion, is a haven for biodiversity. Ferns, mosses, and rare plant species adorn its walls, creating a lush and vibrant environment. As you wander deeper into the chasm, you’ll encounter picturesque waterfalls and stunning rock formations that will leave you mesmerized.

Luds church chasm

This was something we’d be wanting to do for so long, and it seemed like a lovely idea for family time outdoors, fresh air and relaxation

Social Wellness Walks

History and legends surrounding Lud’s Church

Lud’s Church holds a rich history and is steeped in legends that have been passed down through generations. One of the most prevalent tales is the association with Robin Hood. It is believed that Robin Hood and his Merry Men sought refuge in Lud’s Church, using it as a hideout from the authorities. The chasm’s secluded location and deep crevices made it an ideal sanctuary for outlaws.

Another legend associated with Lud’s Church is the tale of the Green Knight. According to the Arthurian legend, Sir Gawain challenged the Green Knight to a beheading game. The Green Knight survived the beheading and retreated to Lud’s Church, where he awaited Sir Gawain’s arrival to complete the game. When visiting it is easy to see how it is a strong contender to be The Green Chapel.

Additionally, Lud’s Church has connections to Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Jacobite leader who fought for the British throne in the 18th century. It is rumored that Bonnie Prince Charlie used Lud’s Church as a meeting place with his supporters during his campaign.

history filled luds church

The historical significance of Lud’s Church adds another layer of fascination to this already captivating destination.

Where Did The Name Lud’s Church Come From

Lud’s Church is known to have been used as a place of worship since at least as early as the fifteenth century, usually by those who would have at that time be persecuted for worship, such as the Lollards, followers of the early church reformer and so-called ‘heretic’, John Wycliffe.

At the time church services and bible readings where to be strictly in Latin but the Lollard dissented and wanted to read the bible in English.

A Lollard by the name of William de Ludbank is said to have used what is now called Lud’s Church as his place of worship. A sectret Church.

Back Forest Staffordshire

Natural features and geology of Lud’s Church

Lud’s Church is a geological wonder, created by the natural forces of erosion over hundreds of years. The chasm stretches for approximately 100 meters and is up to 15 meters deep. Its narrow, moss-covered walls create an otherworldly atmosphere, transporting visitors to a time long past.

The rock formations within Lud’s Church are a testament to the power of nature. The layers of gritstone, shale, and sandstone that make up the chasm’s walls showcase the geological history of the area. Over time, the combination of weathering and water erosion sculpted the rocks into their current form.

path to luds church

The lush vegetation that blankets the walls of Lud’s Church adds to its natural beauty. Ferns, mosses, and rare plant species thrive in the humid microclimate created by the chasm’s deep crevices. As you explore Lud’s Church, you’ll be surrounded by a vibrant green tapestry, enhancing the sense of wonder and enchantment.

How to get to Lud’s Church

Reaching Lud’s Church requires a bit of effort, but the journey is well worth it. The chasm is located near the village of Gradbach in Staffordshire, England. Visitors can reach it by following the footpath from Gradbach Car Park, which is the starting point for the Lud’s Church walk.

To get to Gradbach Car Park, you can use the postcode SK17 0SU for your GPS navigation system. From there, follow the signs or use a map to guide you to the start of the walk. It’s advisable to arrive early, especially on weekends or during peak tourist seasons, as parking spaces can fill up quickly.

river near Lud's Church

Once you’ve parked, prepare yourself for a scenic walk through the woodlands of Staffordshire, leading you to the hidden entrance of Lud’s Church. The walk itself is an experience in its own right, offering glimpses of the natural beauty that surrounds this enchanting destination.

pretty staffordshire river near lud's Church

Lud’s Church Walk: Route and highlights

The Lud’s Church walk is a circular route that takes you through picturesque woodlands, alongside the River Dane, and ultimately leads you into the heart of the chasm. The entire walk is approximately 6 kilometres long and can take around 2 to 3 hours to complete, depending on your pace and how long you choose to spend exploring Lud’s Church.

The first leg of the walk takes you through peaceful woodlands, where you’ll be surrounded by towering trees and the sounds of nature. As you follow the path, you’ll catch glimpses of the River Dane, meandering through the landscape. Take your time to appreciate the tranquility of the surroundings and breathe in the fresh forest air.

Continuing along the trail, you’ll eventually come across a footbridge that crosses the River Dane. This marks the transition into a section of the walk that offers breathtaking views of the river and the surrounding countryside. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the landscape before continuing on your journey.

As you approach Lud’s Church, the path gradually descends into the chasm, leading you into a world of wonder and discovery. The narrow entrance opens up to a spacious cavern, with towering walls covered in moss and ferns. It’s difficult not to be captivated by the sheer size and beauty of Lud’s Church.

Exploring Lud’s Church is an adventure in itself. Take your time to wander through the chasm, following the natural path carved by the river. As you delve deeper into the chasm, you’ll encounter small waterfalls cascading down the rocks and unique rock formations that have been shaped by centuries of erosion. Each turn reveals a new marvel, and every step brings you closer to the heart of this hidden gem.

muddy pathway staffordshire at Lud's Church

Footwear tip

While Lud’s Church is a captivating destination, it’s important to take certain safety precautions and be mindful of your surroundings. The chasm can be slippery, especially after rain, so wearing appropriate footwear with good traction is essential. Additionally, be cautious when walking on the uneven surfaces and be aware of your footing at all times.

The path along the river can get very muddy and slippery indeed.

luds church Gradbach Mill

Riverside Cafe

On the Lud’s Church Walk there is the opportunity to get refreshments too. From Spring to Autumn the Riverside Cafe (known to many as Lud’s Church Cafe) is open at Gradbach Mill.

riverside cafe at luds church

Nearby attractions and activities

If you have more time to spare, there are several nearby attractions and activities that you can explore after visiting Lud’s Church. The Peak District National Park, known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor activities, is within close proximity and offers endless opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife spotting.

Another must-visit destination is The Roaches, a ridge of gritstone rock formations that offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The area is popular among rock climbers and hikers, with various trails of different difficulty levels available.

border of cheshire and staffordshire

For those interested in history and culture, the nearby town of Leek is worth a visit. Explore the charming streets lined with historic buildings, visit the Leek Heritage Centre to learn about the town’s heritage, or browse the local markets for unique souvenirs.

horse behind the wall


Lud’s Church offers a unique blend of natural beauty and captivating history, making it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. The enchanting tales woven into its history, coupled with the awe-inspiring natural features, create an unforgettable experience that transports visitors to another world.

Whether you’re exploring the chasm’s moss-covered walls, discovering hidden waterfalls, or immersing yourself in the legends of Robin Hood and the Green Knight, Lud’s Church offers a journey of discovery and wonder. The Lud’s Church walk provides an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and connect with the ancient tales and natural wonders that lie within this hidden gem.

So, lace up your walking shoes, pack your camera, and embark on a journey to Lud’s Church. Be prepared to be enchanted by its history, awe-inspired by its natural beauty, and immersed in a world that feels both timeless and magical. Lud’s Church awaits, ready to unveil its secrets to those willing to explore.

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