Leek is an attractive town with many fine examples of architecture dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. Leek really prospered with the boom of the textile industry, particularly the dyeing process for which Leek became associated. This expertise attracted many influential visitors to the town, the most notable of which was William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement. History still provides a focal point for Leek as it is now the North West’s largest antique centre. A bric a brac market is held every Saturday and the town still enjoys a lively general market on Wednesdays.
Our breakfast will set you up for a good days walking in the nearby Peak District. A “must do” is Nicks’ recommended walk on The Roaches taking in Luds Church ( where Sir Gawain is supposed to have met the Green Knight ) and maybe calling in at Wincle and Danebridge. The Roaches are a stunning gritstone ridge, the southern tip of the Pennine chain, overlooking the Cheshire plain, Staffordshire & Shropshire. On a clear day it’s possible to see the Welsh mountains.
Another personal favourite spot is the Manifold Valley. The light railway that once ran through the valley has since been replaced by a walking and cycling track ( bikes can be hired at Waterhouses, 6 miles from Leek ). At Wetton Mill you can find where the river disappears to flow underground and reappear in the grounds of Ilam Hall. Thors’ Cave, near Wetton,has to be one of the most impressive sights in the Peak District.
Also closeby are the Potteries with their rich industrial heritage and Alton Towers, the UK’s leading themepark.
A number of historic houses are within easy reach. Shugborough, the ancestral home of Lord Lichfield, Eyam Hall situated in the historic plague village of Eyam, Little Moreton Hall regarded to be the most perfectly preserved timber framed moated house in Britain, Haddon Hall one of the most complete medieval manor houses in the country and Chatsworth House, “Palace of the Peak” providing an unforgettable day for all ages.