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Getting here

The lake is 2 miles north of Leek on the Staffordshire-Cheshire border.

From Leek take the A523 towards Macclesfield for approx. 1 mile. Turn left onto B5331 for half a mile to arrive at Rudyard Station, or continue, taking a right at the mini-roundabout, right again to head down Lake Rd where you'll find the Hotel Rudyard or the path down to the Dam shortly after.

Slide North end sailing club Dam Station PARKING We have a pay & display car park at the Dam but spaces are limited. There are free car parks: One at the station and one at the north end - accessed via a track from Beat Lane. DAM / HOTEL- £3 / Day North End - £FREE

The Dam

Prioritised towards Lake Users. Pay and Display - Limited spaces during busy months.


Parking costs £3 for the day, but this is refunded if you spend over £5 at the bar.

Sailing club

Racing, social sailing, RYA accredited training in beautiful Staffordshire countryside!

North End

Free Car Park off Beat Lane, Rushton Spencer. Ideal for anglers, walkers and cyclists.


Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Rudyard located?

Rudyard is in Staffordshire, located north-west of the town of Leek.

Can I walk all the way around the lake?

Yes.  The lake is about 2.5 miles long and it’s about a 5.5 mile walk around the lake.  The east side of the lake is the old railway line and has a wide path.  The west side of the lake has narrower paths in places and not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs in certain places.

Can I cycle all the way around the lake?

No – cycling only permitted on the Eastern shore (old railway track bed) the western shore is the Staffordshire Way through farmland, closed gates & stiles and cycling is Not permitted.

Is the train running?

The Steam Train is operated by the RLSR, a separate company from Rudyard Lake Ltd.  For all information about when the train is running, please see their timetable here:

Can I swim at Rudyard?

Swimming is not allowed at the lake.  There are by-laws against swimming in the lake and various other reasons why we cannot allow swimming.

  • Rudyard Lake is an active reservoir, meaning there are underwater currents.
  • There are lots of underwater obstructions and as the water level decreases these dangers are closer to the surface.
  • Cold water shock / Cold shock response.
Can I let my dog off the lead?

We would like to say yes but unfortunately each year we receive a lot of reports of incidents caused by irresponsible dog owners.  If your dog is well-behaved and not going to jump up or attack other dogs (or people!) then it should not be a problem, but please keep your dog close at all times and please follow the Countryside Code.

Are dogs allowed in the cafe area?

Yes, dogs on leads are allowed in the outside seating area, but please don’t bring dogs inside the cafe or the orangery.  Dogs in this public space must be on leads, please.

Can I bring a barbecue?

If you do bring a disposable BBQ, please be responsible, make sure it is raised off the ground and leave nothing but footprints!


Do not use portable BBQ’s on the grass or wooden seats & benches. We have a BBQ area on the Western shore in the picnic area where seating is also provided.

Do you rent kayaks/canoes/Sups?

These are available at weekends & weekdays during school holidays in any of 3 sessions per day by booking through the Moorland Adventure site and include a qualified Instructor.

Do I need to wear a life-jacket?

All children 16 and under are required to wear life-jackets.

We strongly recommend that adults do so too, especially for activities where you are more likely to get wet! (SUPs, inflatable canoes/kayaks etc).

Our tickets include life-jacket rental – please ask a member of staff (usually found around the Ranger’s office).

If you choose not to wear one then you do so entirely at your own risk.

Please remember to return all life-jackets before you leave! 🙂

The tickets are sold out - can I still come down?

Answer TBC! (Please contact the Ranger).

Is parking free?

Please see above for all information regarding parking and how to get here.

Is it open for Fishing?

There is no off-season for fishing at Rudyard. Angling is permitted from dawn until dusk and night fishing is only allowed by prior arrangement with the Ranger.

Can I take my own Kayak/SUP onto the lake?

Yes.  Please buy a day ticket online prior to your visit.  This ticket will include parking at the Dam Head car park.

Can I take my own boat onto the lake?

Yes. You can launch your own boat for the day or pay for annual mooring fees. (Subject to availability) Only electric motors are permitted and the craft must be no more than 22ft in length.

Both bank side moorings and lake swinging moorings (for larger craft) are available from time to time and a waiting list can be joined.

Please see the Launch and Mooring fees section for prices and more information.

When is the cafe open?

The lakeside cafe is typically open from 10am – 4pm..

Is the walk around the lake wheelchair-friendly?

The old railway line down the east side of the lake is fairly level and the best option for disabled visitors, although there can often be puddles and small stones (e.g it is not tarmac).


The path down to the Dam from Lake Rd is quite steep and we don’t recommend wheelchairs or prams access the lake here.  The west side of the lake has narrower paths and more uneven ground which isn’t recommended for wheelchairs/prams.  There are also stiles & cattle grids.

What fish are in the lake?

Bream, Roach, Carp, Perch, Pike.

Are rowing boats available?

Yes, generally from 10.30am to 4pm each day, dependant on weather conditions, we also have a small number of electric boats for hire (subject to availability).

Are there toilets on site?

Yes public toilets & changing rooms are available at the Dam Head from 9am until 5pm each day.

Can I bring my dog on my SUP / Kayak etc?

Yes, that’s ok – but you do so at your own risk.

Are inflatable canoes/kayaks allowed?

Yes, so long as it’s of decent quality and not a flotation toy.

Please wear a lifejacket (just ask a member of staff -usually found around the Rangers’ office).

Have another question?

Contact Us


There are many organisations around the lake, a lot of places to stay and things to do. Here are some to check out:

Hotel Rudyard

A tranquil 3-star country hotel set on the edge of Rudyard Lake.

Steam Railway

A ridable miniature railway that runs along the side of the lake.

Sailing Club

Sailing, racing & RYA accredited training in beautiful countryside.

Rudyard Lake Cafe

Enjoy a bite to eat with lakeside views down at the Activity centre.

Rudyard Garage

A nearby garage specialising in all aspects of Land Rovers and 4x4's.

Caravan Park

Rudyard Vale is a small quiet park in a superb, sheltered location.

Rowing Club

A friendly and enthusiastic club that welcomes all ages and abilities.

89th Sea Scouts

The group has a Training Site on the eastern shore of Rudyard.

The Bothy

People travel a long way for extraordinary. But you don't have to.

Rudyard Sailability

A charity that enables people with disabilities to sail and enjoy water.


The Society was founded in 1899 by a group of dedicated anglers.

Go Fishing

Guided tuition in Staffordshire, Cheshire and the Peak District.


Check the forecast before your visit in case you need to bring a coat! 🙂
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