Rudyard Lake - near Leek, StaffordshireRudyard Lake - near Leek, StaffordshireRudyard Lake - near Leek, Staffordshire

Rudyard Lake - near Leek, Staffordshire

Find out more
• Home
• Lake activities
• Around the lake
• Getting to Rudyard
• League of Friends
• Rudyard Lake Trust
• Rudyard in history
• Meet the neighbours
• Wild About Fishing
• Nature Corner
• Boathouse Project
• Photo Gallery
• Contacts

Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery
Our photo gallery features some stunning photos from around Rudyard, many thanks to Richard Jones for our latest photo of the lake on a bright Summer day.
Click here for more

Wild About Fishing
Wild About Fishing is an innovative project based at the lake.
Wild About Fishing
Rudyard Lake Trust and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust are working in partnership to deliver the project, which combines angling with nature conservation.
Find out more

Rudyard in history

Rudyard Lake Railway StationThe 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.

Day trippers enjoying a boat ride on the lakeThen, 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.

Blondin, the world's greatest trapeze artistRudyard Lake's peak of popularity was towards the end of the 1800s, when in one day as many as 20,000 excursionists would buy cheap train tickets. There were plenty of celebrities to entertain them too. The world's greatest trapeze artist, Blondin, fresh from his feat of crossing Niagara Falls on the high wire, came to Rudyard to repeat his achievement. And Captain Webb, the first man to swim the English Channel, delighted the crowds lining the line with a demonstration of his prowess.

Made by Melted Media
Fishing at Rudyard
Fishing at Rudyard
Picture: 32lb Pike caught by Sebastian Kondraowicz on Saturday 12th March 2016. For more information on fishing at Rudyard click here.

Nature Corner
Nature Corner
Our new feature which brings you a month by month report on what's been spotted on the lake. Read more

Meet the neighbours
There is a wealth of wildlife living near the shores of Rudyard Lake... Read more