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The Return Of The Herd!!

Last week saw the return (finally!) of the Backpacks And Bruises Walking Group, aka The Herd!

Picking up from where we left of before lockdown restrictions rudely interrupted our fun, we were finally given the nod from Bozzer and able to meet safely outdoors with a group of up to 30 people, and we jumped at the chance to reunite the pack and meet some new faces along the way.

Thanks to everyone who registered online beforehand, making it a breeze to keep to the government guidelines and ensuring we stuck to the correct numbers, and obviously making Sue's day, as she got to 'tick the register' making her look very efficient and giving her a sense of real importance!

Once we had all been 'ticked' for the umpteenth time, it was Onward! to the awesome Hen Cloud just in time for the rain and to get the heart beating for the first 'up' of the day. Making our way to the Roaches it was like we'd never been away, the conversations were flowing and the banter was back.

All sesaons in one day, the rain subsiding as we made our way across the rocky ridge with clear views across Leek and Tittesworth Reservoir, spotting the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank in the distance. A few photos of the epic views and we made our way to Doxey Pool, home of Jenny Greenteeth, mermaid (or blue Nymph) who is known to entice unsuspecting male victims down to a watery grave. We put our good friend Trudge out as bait but she wasn't biting today so we marched on (after another head count, just to be sure jenny had not grabbed one!)

Trudge (live bait) at Jennys Doxey Pool!

After the obligatory group photo at the trig point, it was time to find shelter on a very blustery ridge to eat a sandwich, it wasn't easy, so we didn't loiter for long and made our way down to seek shelter of the woodland that leads us on to the highlight of the day, the magical Luds Church.

Luds Church never disappoints, unsurprisingly its a popular place and even with a steady stream of people walking through you get a great sense of the history and secrets of this 18 metre deep, moss covered chasm. Myths and legends abound this place, from a secret place of worship in the 14th-15th century, outlaws (some say Robin & Little John knew of this place), plotting and scheming of outlaws, and ghostly tales, its worth reading up on what may have gone down in this place, wether you believe in the myths and stories, walking your way through the chasm you can sense the history these rocky walls have seen.

After some serious camera angles to get all the Luds beauty, we made our way out the other side and after a short re-group we make our way back to the trail on the Roaches, full of chatter and conspiracy theories.

Making our way back, the legs were tiring and plans for future walk destinations were being made. It was good to be back out and in the company of great friends and a chance to finally meet some new faces. Anyone who may be hesitant to join us on a future meet have nothing to fear, we are a friendly bunch and doesn't take long to feel relaxed in the company of like minded people.

Some very dodgy hat choices amongst us!

Over a very long Year, we have missed the group walks and it was great to kick off the return of the meet ups at The Roaches. Thank you to all who joined us, some of you made long journeys and it really is appreciated you decided to join us in the Peak District, and we look forward to seeing you again.

A very big thank you to Phil, Trudge and Dusty for letting us use some of their photos for this post, cheers guys.

Anyone wanting to join us on future Peak District Meets can find details here on our website and also announced on our facebook group page, and instagram feed @backpacksandbruises

Until the next one gang. Onward!!

Sam & Sue xx


graham barker
graham barker
Jun 07, 2021

wheres the vid ?


Dave Allen
Dave Allen
May 28, 2021

It was great to be back with you guys (and gals) again. It has been a long time coming. I would say that the weather could have been better, but I also know that it's been called bleak Leek for that reason. Like you said, it was like no time had passed at all, apart from we had so much catching up to do. Amazing people, spectacular scenery and returning with the heart and soul overflowing. Until the next one, onwards!!


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