6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Derbyshire Life today click here

A photographic tour of the Northern Peak District

PUBLISHED: 09:31 30 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:45 12 March 2018

Near to Derwent Reservoir, the neighbouring Derwent Edge provides a memorable vantage point on such occasions

Near to Derwent Reservoir, the neighbouring Derwent Edge provides a memorable vantage point on such occasions

© Graham Dunn 2013

Photographer Graham Dunn continues his visual journey of the Peak District National Park

Derwent Reservoir Derwent Reservoir

Following on from the April 2017 issue of Derbyshire Life, where we enjoyed scenes from the Eastern Peak, we continue our visual tour of the Peak District National Park and now journey on to the Northern Peak. As with the Eastern Peak, we remain in Dark Peak territory, though this time the landscape is dominated by vast gritstone plateaus, reservoir-filled valleys and the delightful Hope Valley in the south. The terrain is more challenging here and in places requires more effort and determination to access, but exertion is seldom wasted and the more adventurous are rewarded with an abundance of stunning vistas. The Northern Peak also boasts the highest point in the Peak District – an area on Kinder Scout which stands at 636m above sea level. Again, the challenge of representing such a stunning area within the confines of a short article has proved tricky and though I have had to exclude the likes of, amongst others, Winnats Pass and the Woodlands Valley, I hope the following imagery will provide you with a flavour of what awaits should you decide to visit...


Black Hill Black Hill

1 Commencing in the north, we first visit Black Hill, a gritstone plateau that lies to the north of the Longdendale Valley. Here we see a flag-paved section of the Pennine Way winding its way towards the summit trig point, whilst en route to its end point just over the Scottish border.


Bleaklow Bleaklow

2 Moving south and the next significant hill, again a gritstone plateau, is Bleaklow. These plateaus have relatively impermeable bases which makes this ideal terrain for the formation of blanket bog. Whilst it can make for treacherous crossings, healthy blanket bog is vital for its abilities to store carbon and keep it from entering the atmosphere.


Doctor's Gate Doctor's Gate

3 Sandwiched between Bleaklow and Kinder Scout is a beautiful feature called Doctor’s Gate. The site of an old Roman Road, it is thought to have been named after a 16th century doctor who used this route to visit his patients from his base in Glossop. Here it is shown under stunning sunset skies – the vivid colouration provided by atmospheric ash from the Icelandic volcanic eruptions in 2010.


Kinder Low Kinder Low

4 At 636m, Kinder Scout boasts the highest point in the Peak District National Park. Kinder Low (pictured) sits just below this at 633m and offers fine views over the distant and mist-filled Edale and Hope Valleys. Another gritstone plateau, its edges are littered with fascinatingly-shaped and interestingly-named rocky tors.


Mam Tor Mam Tor

5 Directly south from Kinder Scout lies Mam Tor, the site of an impressive Iron Age hill fort, which sits proudly at the end of the Hope Valley and provides truly panoramic views. The Great Ridge (pictured) lies between the Edale and Hope valleys and runs from Mam Tor to Lose Hill, passing over Hollins Cross and Back Tor on the way.


Lose Hill (right) and its neighbour Win Hill (distant left) Lose Hill (right) and its neighbour Win Hill (distant left)

6 At the far end of the Great Ridge we come to Lose Hill (right) and its neighbour Win Hill (distant left). These iconic peaks are thought to have been named after a particularly bloody 7th century Saxon battle. With an army based on each of the two hills, a grisly encounter ensued in the valley between. The camp of the victors became known as Win Hill and that of the losers, Lose Hill!


Fairbrook Fairbrook

7 Back-tracking north-west slightly, we next arrive at Fairbrook. From here, water flows down into the River Ashop and then east into Ladybower Reservoir. After heavy rainfall, when the brook is in full flow, a number of stunning waterfalls come to life. The northern edges of Kinder Scout can be seen in the distance.


Ladybower Ladybower

8 Ladybower is the southernmost of the three Upper Derwent Valley reservoirs and is the largest body of water in the Peak District. Its construction was completed in the 1940s, requiring the flooding of the villages of Derwent and Ashopton.


Near to Derwent Reservoir, the neighbouring Derwent Edge provides a memorable vantage point on such occasions Near to Derwent Reservoir, the neighbouring Derwent Edge provides a memorable vantage point on such occasions

9 North from Ladybower sits Derwent Reservoir. Flanked by two dramatic dams, it is probably best known for its role as a training ground for the RAF’s 617 Dambusters Squadron in the Second World War. Lancaster Bombers can occasionally be seen re-enacting their training run as part of memorial flypasts – the neighbouring Derwent Edge provides a memorable vantage point on such occasions.


Ox Hey Ox Hey

10 And finally, we conclude our tour on a lesser known hill called Ox Hey, which stands over the northern tip of Howden Reservoir – the reservoir itself can be seen in the distance reflecting the colourful dawn skies.


In the next instalment, we will take a break from Dark Peak terrain and explore the wonderfully different landscape of the White Peak.

Graham is a full-time photographer specialising in fine-art landscapes, interiors and portraits. He also enjoys sharing his passion with others, especially those who wish to take their photography to the next level, and offers workshops on a 1-2-1 or small group basis. For more information and to see more of his work please visit his website at www.grahamdunn.co.uk

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Derbyshire Life and Countryside visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Derbyshire Life and Countryside staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Derbyshire Life and Countryside account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

For may people, Hathersage is the gateway to the Peak District. This selection of walks are all within a five mile radius of the popular village which is just ten miles south of Sheffield.

Read more

The designer of the Best Show Garden at last year’s inaugural RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, Paul Hervey-Brookes, takes us behind the scenes with a look at his garden for this year’s show.

Read more

How has the town fared since winning Best Market Town and High Street awards in 2014? Ashley Franklin talks to the people behind its success

Read more

Mike Smith journeys to Holmesfield, an ancient manor on the hills south-west of Sheffield

Read more

75 years ago Derbyshire became a practice site for World War Two’s most daring flying raid. Viv Micklefield travels to the Upper Derwent Valley, for many the spiritual home of the legendary Dambusters

Read more

Without the hindrance of stiles or gates, this leisurely ramble is quite simply a walk in the park!

Read more

The South-Derbyshire village of Kings Newton is one of the county’s most charming small settlements. Nestled alongside its larger neighbour Melbourne, protected from mainstream traffic, it commands the epithet ‘backwater’ in the most positive sense – a quaint and peaceful haven replete with fine architecture and a timeless air rendering it almost a ‘best-kept secret’.

Read more

Better weather, badgers and bluebells combine to make this Paul Hobson’s favourite month of the year

Read more

As months of work come to fruition at this year’s Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials Derbyshire Life meets Event Director, the Hon Patricia Clifton

Read more

Robert Vernon (snr) of The Bluebell Arboretum and Nursery at Smisby writes about the Prunus x ‘Kanzan’ flourishing in Smisby churchyard and, no doubt, in many other sites around Derbyshire

Read more

With dense pine forestation overlooked by a miniature Matterhorn mountain, on this walk you can imagine yourself to be hiking in Switzerland rather than the Peak District, writes Sally Mosley

Read more
Peak District

6 walks near Castleton

Friday, April 20, 2018

A selection of walks close to one of the most popular walking spots in the UK.

Read more

Spending a day in Bakewell

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ashley Franklin discovers a day just isn’t long enough when you’re planning to visit the Ancient Capital of the Peak

Read more

Mike Smith visits an intriguing location on the White Peak plateau

Read more
White Peak
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Derbyshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search