Lud’s Church: UK’s Hidden, Magical Place People Seldom Talk About

Britain is home to many beautiful destinations and landmarks known around the world. There’s the Big Ben in London, the Stonehenge in Wiltshire, the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, and the York Minster in York, among others. But what most tourists don’t realize is that there are many hidden, magical gems scattered around the UK; even some British themselves are probably not aware that such places exists. So, if you enjoy traversing through hills and ancient forests, make sure to hit the bookmark button because we’ll be featuring UK’s well kept secrets. And our first stop? Well, Lud’s Church.


Don’t worry, this is not another church tour. Lud’s Church is actually an immense natural cleft or rock chasm on the hillside above Gradbach in the Black Forest areas in Peak District, Derbyshire. The rock feature was formed hundreds of years of ago by a massive landslide that detached a large section of rock at the hillside, forming a cleft over 15 meters high and 100 meters long.


Stories have it that the place has been the escape route of people running away from persecution including some historical figures like Bonnie Prince Charlie, Friar Tuck, and Robin Hood (although the latter is mainly a legend). One thing is certain though, in the 15th century, early church reformers who were condemed as heretics used Lud’s Church as place of worship; hence, giving it its name.


Lud’s Church possesses a haunting and mysterious aura in it with the stones on both sides being covered with moss. Stepping into the chasm would make you feel like stepping back millions of years ago or to some place that exists in fantasy books. It makes it easy to imagine that the path will take you to Mordor or probably to some elfin kingdom, if you wish.

Being part of the Peak District, there are usually many tourists visiting the place. Strangely though, many misses its entrance. So you can definitely enjoy your trek peacefully and indulge your imagination.


Photos by: Hornbeam Arts and Andrew Barclay,

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