The hidden gem of the Staffordshire Moorlands

Lying in a fold in thickly wooded hillsides, Rudyard Lake is a haven of peace and tranquility less than a mile from the A523 that links Leek to Macclesfield.

The two and a half mile long lake was created more than two centuries ago to supply water for the then expanding canal system of the West Midlands.

Today it is a popular day out, offering walking, boating, sailing and
fishing for visitors from a wide area, from the Manchester conurbation in the north to the Potteries in the south.

The story of Rudyard really began in 1797 when an Act of Parliament authorised the construction of a two and a half mile long reservoir just north of Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Its purpose was to feed the ever growing system of canals that were vital arteries of the Industrial Revolution in the Midlands.

Then, in 1829, the North Staffordshire Railway Company laid a track skirting the lake, part of a line linking Manchester with Uttoxeter, and built a station at each end of the lake. Before long it became a weekend mecca for day trippers, with a constant stream of excursion trains from Manchester and the Potteries disgorging thousands attracted by the beautiful surroundings and the many activities laid on for their pleasure. Awaiting them was a fleet of rowing boats, a funfair, brass band concerts and dozens of tearooms.

Among the numerous courting couples who walked the tranquil banks of the lake in 1863 were a certain John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Macdonald. Their love blossomed, they married, and their first-born was named after the lake. He became one of Britain’s greatest writers.

More information about Rudyard Lake and can be found on Rudyard Lake’s own web site here