The best place to park is near the Rudyard Lake Steam Railway which runs at weekends and during school holidays and from here it is a short walk to the dam head which you can cross to gain access to the Visitor Centre, Activity Centre and cafe.
The path which goes up behind the activity centre leads to two footpaths; the Staffordshire Way and the Staffordshire Moorlands Way.
We followed both for a while and then cut off onto the Staffordshire Moorlands Way which took us behind some of the large, secluded houses which stand on the edge of the lake.
It was a glorious afternoon, with dappled sunlight underneath the trees and plenty of wildlife to watch and photograph. It was so quiet and still except for the birds flying between the trees and calling to each other; we saw plenty of blackbirds, a thrush, a tree-creeper and, of course, a squirrel or two. The air up on the pathways must be very clean as the walls alongside were covered in moss and lichens.
I love these old stone walls and I'm convinced that I can see a face in the one below. Or is it just my vivid imagination?
I found my first foxglove of the season, too, just coming into flower.
After a while we set off back along the way we had come and joined the walk to the picnic site which takes you as far as the boat house. Some days the lake is busy with people sailing or canoeing and also with the pleasure boat Honey taking people along the lake.
During our visit there were just a few people wandering around and a group of ramblers taking refreshments at the cafe. We paused at the cafe for ice-cream before setting off back towards the station to pick up our car and drive home.