This walk is a lovely lowland Peak District walk which has great views and is easily accessible from Greater Manchester. It starts just inside the western fringes of the Peak District, at Rowarth Derbyshire. The walk is around 8 miles in length. In most places the paths on this walk are well marked, but it is advisable to arm yourself with Ordnance Survey Map OL1, which covers the entire area of this walk, and of course a compass, some water and perhaps a sandwich.
Drive to the car park to the Little Mill Inn, Rowarth (Postcode SK22 1EB). This lovely 18th century inn was originally a mill and it still has a large water wheel which can be seen on the river side of the building.It also has a large car park and its owners do not seem to mind a few additional cars. Alternatively, park in Rowarth itself and walk through the village to the Little Mill.
1. With the pub facing you, turn left and continue on this road until you come to a junction. A road goes left and a bridleway goes right. Take the bridleway. A little further on there is another junction. Again take the bridleway. You will now be heading due south. The bridleway takes you up a rather stony path which then opens out and and allows views over the open countryside. Soon,to your right you can see views over to the village of Birchvale in the distance. The painting below was painted after a spring walk along this path.
'Towards Birchvale, Spring' - oil on board (framed)
89 cm x 35 cm, £550
2. Continue along the bridleway, walking through Weathercotes Farm. Very shortly after this you reach a single track road. Turn left along the road and walk part of the way down a steep hill. On the left is a stone cottage and just after the cottage there is a narrow lane that goes up to Lantern Pike. Follow the lane going sharply north now, up to Lantern Pike. This hill got it's name, Lantern Pike, because a beacon would be lit at the top to warn local people of danger, or for other reasons, perhaps in times of national celebration. As you climb higher you get lovely views looking over the wall at the side of the path towards Hayfield Village and Kinderscout.
'Hayfield and Kinderscout from Lantern Pike' - oil on canvas (framed) 92 cm x 31 cm, £550
3. Continue on the footpath in the direction of Blackshaws Farm. Just before Blackshaws you come to a point where the footpath, now a bridleway, continues straight on. Blackshaws is along a single track lane to your right.
4. If you wish to take a short cut back to Rowarth take the path to your right, near Bullshaw Farm. To access this you need to climb over the stone wall, which has a stone step cut into it. The wall had a lovely show of foxgloves this year in spring which inspired the painting below. Once on the path keep heading left straight over the fields. After just over a mile you will be back in Rowarth.
'Foxgloves By The Wall' - oil on canvas (framed)
30 cm x 24 cm, SOLD
5. The way to Cown Edge is to keep straight on following the bridleway north. This takes you past Matley Moor Farm. As you walk along this bridleway you will be able to see the hill of Cown Edge over to your left (see below)
'Cown Edge' - oil on canvas (framed) 30 cm x 24 cm, £270
6. Keep going well past Matley Moor until you reach the corner of the road. At this point turn right and walk along this path which then joins up with the bridleway, which is part of the Pennine Bridleway. Follow the Pennine Bridleway along until the next corner, and then take a short path over the field towards Higher Plainsteads Farm. The painting below was inspired by the buttercups in the meadow in the evening when I walked through this field in May.
'Buttercups By Moonlight' - oil on canvas (framed) 61 cm x 76 cm, SOLD
7. Walk up the track that leads past Higher Plainsteads Farm on your left and keep going until you see a path that heads right, behind Rock Farm. You will soon see the remains of an old quarry on the hillside. Walk past the disused quarry. Follow the path around Mare's Back and onto Cown Edge. There are some good views to be had from Mare's Back. Below are three paintings of different views from here. First, looking north from Mare's Back towards Glossop. Second, looking west where the Manchester skyline can be seen. Third, Cown Edge itself.
'Towards Glossop' - oil on canvas (framed) 30 cm x 24 cm, £270
'Manchester Skyline, Evening' - oil on canvas (framed)
50 cm x 41 cm, £350
'On Cown Edge' - oil on canvas (framed) 30 cm x 24 cm, £270
8. Follow the footpath in a southerly direction along Cown Edge. You will reach a place where a path goes off left down towards Rock Farm and Higher Plaintsteads. Continue straight on in a southerly direction. As you are walking over the fields on the top of Cown Edge there are often stunning skyscapes to be seen southwesterly, over the patchwork of fields below. Here are two paintings inspired by different evening walks on this Edge.
'Sunset Over Cowan Edge' - oil on canvas (framed)
61 cm x 61 cm, £450
'Cloudy Sunset, Cown Edge' - oil on canvas (unframed)
76 cm x 122 cm, £850
9. After a little more walking you will find yourself on the edge of the hill, walking past several large hawthorns. From here you have a good view of Rowarth down below. My painting of this view, inspired by a walk on a sunny winter's morning, is shown below.
'Rowarth, One Winter Morning' - oil on board (framed)
74cm x 46cm, £550
10. Take the path heading steeply down into Rowarth. Turn right, walking into the village, and then left, take the footpath which runs to the right of a house called 'The White House'. This takes you back down towards The Little Mill Inn.