Exploring Rudyard Lake
Derbyshire Life|October 2020
This easy-going perambulation of Rudyard Lake is a sneak into Staffordshire on the western fringe of the Peak District
Sally Mosley
ROUTE

1 From the station of Rudyard Lake Steam Railway head north-west following the 10.25 inch narrow gauge line on the track bed of the former Churnet Valley railway that had been laid in 1829 to link Uttoxeter with Manchester. On operating days look for the quaint miniature rolling stock including Frances, the Isle of Mull Rambler, being a pretty little electric engine with cosy open carriages (see the website rlsr.org for timetable).

Rudyard Lake soon comes into view. It was built in 1796 as a feeder reservoir to supply the Caldon Canal. On a clear day it appears like a giant blue puddle amongst the Staffordshire hills, far more reminiscent of a scene from the Lake District or some Scottish loch rather than a man-made reservoir in landlocked Staffordshire. There’s normally a flotilla of small boats and buoys bobbing about on a gentle swell, often with kayaks and canoes cutting a knife-like wake through the glassy surface.

The lake is well-known because of the famous journalist, poet, short story writer and novelist Rudyard Kipling who was born in Mumbai, India in 1865, but evidently named after a visit here by his parents in the early 1860s. An unusual choice perhaps to name their baby, but it could have been worse had they visited nearby Tittesworth!

You will shortly arrive at the first stop or halt of the little railway, which is named The Dam.

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