Many years ago when the famous writer Rudgeyard Kipling's parents visited Rudgeyard Lake they thought it was so beautiful they named there son after this place. Whereas I won't be recommending the name to my recently pregnant friend I do agree that this place is truly stunning.
Rudgeyard is a small village in Staffordshire and is most famous for its lake. The lake is huge stretching around 8 miles long and is located between the towns of Leek and Macclesfield. Surrounding the lake there is woodland and fields so there is wildlife a plenty and the lake itself host many fish such as pike and trout.
Facilities at Rudgeyard Lake:
There are two car parks you can use. One is connected to the Hotel Rudgeyard which is a fantastic bar/resturant/hotel and is right by the lake. The other car park is a little futher down from the lake and is sign-posted. There is a little novelty steam train that you can catch from this car park to this lake which is very cute and popular with the kids but also quite expensive at about £3-4 I believe.
There are public toilets at the lake which is rather handy as you don't want to be caught short, especailly if you've just been on a hike!
Next to the lake there is a delightful little cafe which serves hot and cold food and drinks and is resonably priced. There is seating outside so you can have a cup of tea and look across at the lake. There are also various benches which each give you a different view on this beautiful lake. I know you may be thinking, its only a lake, but once you have visited you will apreciate the beauty of the different aspects of the lake as village is so busy and charming, the lake is the hub of it all.
There is also a wildlife centre which is very small and I feel could be greatly inproved but this gives some information on local history and local wildlife.
As well as this there is also a sailing club and various holiday cottages darted around the area.
Things to do at Rudgeyard Lake:
As a child we used to go on bike rides near the lake. You couldn't cycle all the way around but there are many paths which you can cycle on. My favourite thing to do is go on a hike all the way around the lake, its about 8 miles but it is very satisfying. Don't worry if you don't know the area you can't really get lost as its just following the lake. You will certainly find many hidden gems along the way when walking around the lake, there is small amazing old building and thousands of spectacuar views to behold.
You can also fish the lake which I have never done but you do see many anglers there. Of course you need a license but I dont believe there is any extra cost.
Of course its a lovely place to take the dog for a walk or you could just relax by the side of the lake.
Saving the best till last, you can hire a rowing boat which is extremely romantic and good fun. You are safe because you are given a life jacket and your not allowed to row to far away but getting the hang of rowing the boat is very amusing. I prefer to let my husband do the rowing!
I do have to say I was at Rudgeyard once and randomly some remote control battleships appeared on the lake and proceeded to have a duel. They were very large and let of a loud bang. I wasnt expecting that but then Rudgeyard does have its own little events and is rather quirky. They also have firework displays on Bonfire Night.
Things you cant do at Rudgeyard:
YOU CANT SWIM IN IT BUT... there are stories of eccentric residents of Rudgeyard who swear by a dip in the lake... rather them then me. As with all villages you do tend to find the odd eccentric whihc is lovely and adds to the British village feel. The people there are very friendly. And of course... you cant forget it. Rudgeyard Lake will find a special place in you heart.
Rudyard lake is a great family day out ideal for kids. Its convenient for the conurbations of Manchester, Sheffield, Stoke and Birmingham being within an hours travel by car.
The lake is beautiful and unspoilt and has a long history. park at Rudyard station ( free) and take the steam train ride on the rudyard lake steam Railway. this runs for 1.5 miles mainly along the side of the lake. you can see all the key features from the train and you can break your journey at any station at no extra cost.( fares 2010 adult £3.50, child £2.50)
There is lots to see on the Dam head, visitor centre, boats hire, boat trips, toilets etc. take a trip on Honey the ex WW2 destroyer cutter and get a great comentary and history of the lake.
Finish off with an ice cream at Platform 2 the cafe at Rudyard station. they do traditional scoop ice cream even wafers like we had as a child.
See http://www.rlsr.org for more information on Rudyard lake and its steam trains
A few months ago my partners mum bought a mobile home on location, in a purpose built park, within a 5 minute walk of Rudyard Lake. A short while after this I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend with my partner and her daughter in the newly acquired mobile home.
Rudyard Lake is ideally located very close to both Macclesfield & Leak (Just off the A523), and commutable from many surrounding towns / cities. The lake is a few miles in length, and on a 'family walk' you can walk around the entire lake within 3 4 hours. Although the one side of the lake is almost cycle track/canal like in appearance, the other side is somewhat more wild, and more of a mission, without specifically built tourist routes - Maybe not idea for young children who dad ends up carrying (this I can confirm from experience). On the one side of the lake there is a 'miniature train and track, which holds up to around 40 people, and is fantastic, starting in one of the car parks, and taking you most of the length of the lake (The train fare is around the £1.50-£2. Although I will double check and then update this review).
The central point of the lake is the Visitor Centre, and shop/cafe. This is accompanied by a smaller car park, that does get very busy, especially during the weekends and holiday periods. The visitor centre is an introduction and overview of the lake, detailing all activities and things to do and see while you are there. Joining this area of the lake is the boat moorings, and boat launching (prices of things I will give a summary of at the end) where there is always a lot of activity going on. You can bring your own boat for the day if you fancy a day's sailing (you can also hire a perminent mooring for your boat here). There is also the option of bringing or hiring your own canoes, and you can hire boats located at the lake (you need to contact them direct to get specific details on this). Finally there is an organised boat trip, that you can either do on the day or book privately. For these activities I would highly recommend either phoning them or checking out the website for more info.
Apart from the varied watersports and walking available there is a host of wildlife every inch of the way, and there is fantastic fishing available. Unless there is a fishing match on (pre check with the warden) you can turn up and pick your spot, let your family leave you in peace and wait for the warden to collect your £4 for the day. You do NEED to have a rod license (available from the internet or the post office) !! It is an instant fine now and no excuse policy - you have been warned. The fishing is great, lots of bigger fish including Pike, Perch & Bream (I was lucky enough to catch 2 fantastic perch of about 4-5 in weight). Although the pegs are not great after a lot of rain and the water level has risen. However when there isn't a match on, you will usually have the choice of over 40 pegs, to suit your preferance.
There are many more things I could describe about the lakeside activities, but without wanting to cover a lot of ground that the website gives you. For all details I would highly recommend looking over their website (address below).
The lake is of course child friendly, and also dog friendly. The one thing I would say here is that there have been the occasional outbreak of blue algae at the lake, which are documented at the visitor centre, and sign posts give you the current situation.
Around the lake there are many nice grassy areas with great viewpoints, and loads of space to relax with a picnic and watch the world go by. For the more energetic Rudyark Lake is the centre of many walks and walking paths through the hills, along rivers and canals.
It isn't the easiest place to find, so do research directions prior to your drive there. From Macclesfield it takes us about half an hour to get there. For people that require disabled access, then there are many disabled facilities on offer (including a special hoist for boat access), along with toilets and changing rooms.
Train around £2 each way (I will confirm this and update)
Fishing £4 per day
Boat Launching £7 - £10 per day
Canoeing day ticket £5 (group discount available)
Boat Hire £5 per hour
Boat Trip £3 adults £2 children
There are also varied opening times for the lake, the parking and activities. Again I would recommend checking anything like this before setting off.
I think it only fair to mention the slight downside of Rudyard lake for the majority. That is simply the Weather! I am happy there come rain or shine, but for a family with kids it's not the best place to be in bad weather. It is very much outdoors! Without many places for shelter. So again double check the weather and makes sure you are prepared for this.... just in case!
All in all it can be a fantastic day out for all the family. The views are fantastic in all directions, and you are spoilt for choice with things to see and do.
If you are lookig for a pleasant pic-nic location or a serious walk in the country, rudyard has it all.
Have Fun !!
Rudyard Lake over the years has become one of my favourite places to go if I am looking to go out for a picnic or a fairly chilled out day. I discovered Rudyard only a couple of years ago even though it is located very close to where I live and only 20 minutes drive away. I had heard people talking of it, however never ventured out to take a look for myself, having been there quite a few times, it is really a worthwhile place to visit for a tranquil setting.
Rudyard Lake is situated near Leek, Staffordshire. Following the winding roads through the Staffordshire Moorlands, you will come straight to Rudyard Hotel, a very nice hotel, quite cosy and nice to sit outside and have a drink before you venture out to the lake. Its very old fashioned and to be honest I have never really seen many people in there, however I don't think that many people are actually aware that there is a hotel there. It would be a really great place to go if you were looking to go somewhereb for a romantic night out and a little bit of piece and quiet.
Rudyard Lake itself is five minutes walk from the hotel. The Lake is two and a half miles long and as soon as you get to it the front is opened up and you can see straight down the middle of it. For people that are wanting to take a look around the lake, there is a small train that does trips around the Lake every half an hour, which is extremely pleasant if you have kids and will keep them entertained as there isn't really a great deal for kids to do if parents are sitting around and sunbathing. However for adults its quite nice to take a walk along the tow path at the side of the lake or alternatively if you are looking for something a little bit more adventurous, you can go around the other side of the lake, which is a lot more uphill and more for people that like rambling.
There is a small tea shop at Rudyard Lake that serves sandwiches, cakes and various types of beverages which is always a hit with the old dears that want to sit around by the Lake with a cup of tea and a scone. There is plenty of seating area around the shop. At the end of the Lake there is a big grass area, which is it is a nice day, its always nice to take a towel and go a spot of sunbathing as it gets like a sun trap in this particular area.
Rudyard Lake is great if you have pets too. There is an area that is shallow and if you dog likes a little swim, its easily accessible for the dog to gain entry and get back out again and the water is extrememly clean so you don't have to worry about it being contaminated or anything or the dog getting dirty.
There are other activities that can be done on the Lake, Canoeing is available at a cost and also sailing. If you have your own boat, mooring can be also arranged on the Lake. Boats can be hired if you are competent in one, however on bank holidays they do offer boat rides across the Lake which normally cost around £5 per person.
For the keen fisherman, with a valid licence, day passes are available for you to sit on the bank side and spend the day fishing. Rudyard used to be the main place up North for angling matches.
For a peaceful and pleasant day out, Rudyard Lake is a really nice palce to visit. Take a picnic and soak up the sun, and I can assure you, you will enjoy the breathtaking sights of the Lake itself.