THE RANGER AND EARL'S RIDE

 

 

Degree of Difficulty: Medium Length: 4 ½ miles

 

 

Appoximate Time: 2 hours

 

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Start at Oakamoor car park opposite the Admiral Jervis Inn, on Station Road

(public toilets available)

 

Turn left out of the car park and follow the road to the junction with the Red Road.

 

Keep ahead on the road as it begins to climb Stoneydale. The gradient gets steeper!

 

At the top of the hill, turn off the road onto a tarmac track signposted Youth Hostel

 

Enjoy the views along the ridge top and follow the track as it crosses a cattle grid

 

and turns right to the Youth Hostel.

 

Walk past the Youth Hostel buildings and take the path continuing on to a gated stile.

 

Cross the clearing, enjoying fine views across to Alton Towers in the distance

 

and come to another gated stile.

 

Continue down the hill keeping the wall on your right until some steps

 

take you down to the lakes in Dimmingsdale.

 

Continue between the 2 lakes and then turn right to follow the Forestry Commission

 

track with the lake on your right.

 

Continue as the track winds steadily upwards leaving the lakes behind.

 

Spot the milestones denoting the distance from “Alton Abbey”

– this is one of the Earl of Shrewsbury’s “ Rides”

 

After the second milestone, and a right turn, look out for a squeezer stile in the wall on your right

 

Pass through and follow the path diagonally left across the field,

then as it swings right down the hill to the road at Old Furnace

 

Turn right onto the road which will take you back to Stoneydale and Oakamoor

 

Enjoy well-deserved refreshments in the Admiral Jervis (open every day from 12 noon)

 

 

ITEMS OF INTEREST

 

 

Watch out for wildlife: woodpeckers, jays, buzzards, sparrow hawks, nuthatches,

goldcrests, treecreepers, kingfishers, little grebes.

 

 

Spot some trees: ash, oak, beech, elder, spruce, silver birch

 

Spot other items of interest: mill race, milestones, former Churnet Valley Railway tunnel