Leek is the principal town of the Staffordshire Moorlands on the south western edge of the Peak District National Park, situated in an elevated position by the River Churnet. The town has a long history being mentioned in the Doomsday Book, but it certainly pre-dates this.
In the late 18th and 19th centuries the town grew to become a centre of silk weaving and several mills were built at this time, however nothing now remains of the silk industry in Leek today. The town has a bustling shopping centre and a market every Wednesday and provides an excellent base from which to explore the south and western Peak District.
To the north within the Peak District National Park is an area of rock and heather called The Roaches, with Hen Cloud and Ramshaw Rocks, forming a gritstone escarpment which marks the south western edge of the national park. The Roaches consist of two edges, a lower and upper tier, with rock-steps connecting them. Hen Cloud is an imposing solitary edge which rises steeply from the ground. This whole area is well known to walkers and rock climbers, providing some of the best gritstone climbing in the country.