With a few weeks left until we can freely travel around the Peak District again for hiking I thought I’d share with you a guide of all about my current favourite hikes to photograph in the Peak District U.K. Now I’ve spent a lot of time hiking in the Peak District over the years and creating a top 5 list is rather tough but I’ve just chosen the 5 places that stand out to me right now! They all offer varied experiences but the views are aplenty and they’re worth hike for those views too. If you know me, you know I love the longer hikes so I’m not really one for a shorter stroll. 😅
Let me know if I inspire you to take on one of these yourself and your own favourites too. 🙌 #ExploreWithBrendan
1. The Alport Castles 🏰
Are landslip feature in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire. At over half a mile long, it is thought to be the largest landslide in the United Kingdom. Now I only discovered this place in 2020 but I instantly fell in love with it and every time I go back I am blown away with the scale and look of the place, plus the scramble up the “Tower” is great fun and offers some beautiful views of the surrounding area.
The “Tower” itself is the real standout for photographers as it resembles a full‑scale motte and bailey castle (pictured) and if you can make the 10k round trip hike there with all the right gear you won’t be disappointed. There is a shorter way there depending on where you park but whichever way you go be prepared for a steep hike and some scrambling if you’re feeling confident. I have planned 10k routes, 20K routes, and everything in between. You can either start at Derwent Dam, Ladybower Reservoir, or even Snake Woodlands for this one depending on how far you want to walk whichever you choose though it’s a great day out.
2. The Great Ridge/Mam Tor ⛰
The classic Peak District photography spot! Heres a shot of probably the most photographed gate in the peaks maybe even the U.K.? It’s a classic photography spot for a reason and it’s a great place to witness a sunrise/sunset so be sure to check it out if the weathers looking promising but be prepared to battle the crowds, especially if you go on a weekend.
If you do fancy the walk all the way to Lose Hill from Mam Tor along the ridge and back you’ll enjoy an easy hike of around 6K.
3. Baslow Edge 🐮
Now if you’ve spent much time looking at photos of the Peak District it’s highly likely you’ve seen many photos of the herd of Highland Cows that live on the land around Baslow Edge.
So if you’re a landscape photographer you’ll eventually end up wanting to give wildlife/animal photography a go too, or work in subjects into your landscapes which this herd (if you can find them) are great subjects. Most of the time they’re placid and loving beasts but if you catch them on a bad morning they may be fighting amongst themselves so it’s always best to be vigilant around them as I have found out. 🐮
Now in regards to the distance, you may hike here all depends on how long it takes you to find the herd or if you take in Curbar and Froggatt Edges too, there are many possibilities for longer but also pretty short walks here depending on if you’re just visiting to see the cows or to take in some of the natural beauty and great views over the village of Curbar too.
4. Winnats Pass 🌬
This windy pass is a limestone gorge and hill pass in the Peak District and it’s easy to see why so many photographers flock here.
Just like Mam Tor it is a great spot to go for a sunrise especially if you are lucky enough to witness a cloud inversion but it also offers many an epic shot throughout the day too, be it the winding road towards the view of Mam Tor (pictured) or the other way looking down into the Hope Valley or just the classic scale shots you can get here. There are many opportunities to satisfy your photography/instagram needs in all kinds of weather and seasons.
This one is quite a short hike but it’s not an easy one if you intend to see views from both sides as you can either park at the bottom or at the top but be prepared to endure a little scrambling if you want to loop around both sides.
5. The Dragons Back 🐉
Chrome Hill is a limestone reef knoll in Derbyshire, England, in the upper Dove valley beside the border with Staffordshire. It is adjacent to Parkhouse Hill, another reef knoll. (Which you can see me stood on in the picture looking out to Chrome Hill)
The name The Dragons Back comes from the fact that both these hills raise up from the land to look like exactly what they are described as, a dragons back. It makes for a beautiful and unique landscape to capture.
It also is a spot known to some as the place where you can witness a double sunset. The phenomenon is visible from Glutton Bridge in good weather for a short period around the summer solstice, when the sun sets just to the southwest of the summit of Chrome Hill, begins to re‑emerge almost immediately afterwards from its steep northeastern slope before fully reappearing and later sets for a second and final time at the foot of the hill. So if you’re into photographing natural phenomena this is the place for you.
Now when I visited here I ended up doing a hike around the whole area of around 12K starting from the small village of Earl Sterndale. My route took in views from the peaks of High Wheeldon, Parkhouse Hill And Chrome Hill before looping back around to Earl Sterndale but you can choose a shorter route if you’d just like to experience the main event that is Chrome Hill.