Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Walk 4. Stanage Edge and Burbage Moor - Following in Ancient and Literary Footsteps

This walk follows the eastern boundary of Derbyshire with South Yorkshire. In addition to stunning and atmospheric views there are some interesting historic and literary sights, as you follow perhaps in the footsteps of iron age people and more recently, perhaps of Robin Hood, Little John and Charlotte Bronte.  For more of Robin Hood and Little John see paragraph 1 of the walk description below.  Charlotte Bronte visited Hathersage in 1845, to stay with her friend Ellen Nussey in the vicarage of St Michael's parish church, while Ellen's brother, the vicar was away on honeymoon. She was inspired to use Hathersage as the actual setting for  her novel 'Jane Eyre', (Morton in the book). Stanage Edge was also recently used as the setting for part of the film 'Pride and Prejudice', where Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightly) stands proudly surveying the countryside below, before conforming to societal norms and marrying Darcy. 

This is a circular walk of moderate difficulty. The full walk starts and ends in Hathersage village in the Hope Valley. It is a trail of approximately 10 miles. A shorter version, which would allow the walker to visit Stanage Edge and Burbage is approximately three miles shorter but involves some walking along minor roads. For either walk you should carry Ordnance Survey Dark Peak Explorer Map OL1. 

The longer walk starts and ends in Hathersage. You can come by rail or park in the car park opposite the swimming pool on Oddfellows Road, S32 1 DU. 

For the shorter walk drive through Hathersage until just before the sharp bend where the A6187 bears sharply right, towards Grindleford and Sheffield. Do not go around this bend but turn left onto School Lane. Drive past the Primary School on the right and Hathersage Parish Church on the left and head uphill towards Stanage Edge.  You will reach a point where there is a sharp left turn and a car park. Turn left here and drive past the first car park. Park at the second car park you come across - OS 237840. The instructions for walking the shorter walk are at paragraphs 4 to 15 below.  

1. For the longer walk - turn  left and left again out of the car park, heading for the centre of Hathersage village. If you have time before the main walk, or at the end, visit St Michael's Church, Hathersage, where the main interest is the grave of Little John, the reputed right hand man of Robin Hood. In the late Middle Ages Sherwood Forest stretched to this part of the Peak District and it  is said that Robin Hood was Robin of Locksley, an area now known as Loxley. It would have been a country area in the middle ages, but is now a suburb of Sheffield. Little John came from Hathersage, and, as legend has it, after Robin Hood's death, he returned to Hathersage, where he lived until his death.  There is an old headstone which is now too worn to read, and a more modern headstone next to an old yew tree in the churchyard which bears the inscription:
'Here Lies Buried 
Little John
 the Friend and Lieutenant of 
Robin Hood 

He died in a cottage (now destroyed) to the east of the Churchyard. 
The grave is marked by 
This old headstone & footstone
And is underneath this old Yew Tree.'

Some people dispute that there is any factual basis for Robin Hood or Little John. However, as many of us can recall, Little John was said to have been named such by Robin because he was extremely tall.  When the grave was opened in the 19th century a skeleton of a man of around 7 feet tall was found. Also, for many years a very ancient longbow and cap hung inside St Michael's Church.  

2. Retrace your steps back into the centre of Hathersage and head up Baulk Lane, which is signed as a public footpath. Continue on this footpath for nearly a mile, heading gently upwards, through the meadows until you see a rather grand building with many tall chimneys dating back to the 14th century. This is Brookfield Manor, now a popular wedding venue. In Jane Eyre it was the setting for Vale Hall. In the novel the owner of Vale Hall, Mr Oliver, was a needle manufacturer. In 1845 Hathersage had a large needle producing industry. Continue along the footpath until it ends at a road. Then turn right onto Birley Lane. Shortly after this you will see a public footpath sign. Take this path as it is leading you up a  narrow drive  to North Lees Hall. North Lees was  used by Bronte as the template for Thornfield' the home of Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre. It is a manor house, built in the 16th century by Robert Eyre with a tower  and battlements. Follow the footpath as it passes behind the hall. Then turn sharp right by the information board and cross a field until it turns sharply left. To your right you may notice a small standing stone. This was once the site of a Romano-British village 2000 years ago. 

3. Continue uphill and along a woodland path. Towards the top, through a clearing in the trees, you get a tantalising glimpse of Stanage Edge. Turn left along the road and you are at the car park where those choosing the shorter walk will start from. 

4. Walk up the path that leads onto Stanage Edge. You can now get a good view of the Edge, cliff- like, stretching over into the far distance. The name 'Stanage' comes from 'Stone Edge' and as my painting below shows it could not be more aptly named. It is the most northerly of a line of cliffs,   these include Burbage Rocks, Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge and Baslow Edge.

'The Edge, Stanage'
 (framed) oil on canvas 101 cm x 50 cm, £650

5. As you get closer to the rock of the edge itself look up at the rock face of Stanage Edge. Often, particularly in the better weather of the summer months these rocks are crawling with the tiny ant- like figures of climbers, as this is one of the best known British climbing venues.  

'Rock Face, Stanage Edge'
 (framed) oil on canvas 76 cm x 61 cm, £550

6. Ascend on the path to the top of Stanage Edge. There is a very well marked path at the top. This route was formerly a paved packhorse road, and, as you walk along you will see the stones in many places.  The path here forms the boundary between Derbyshire and South Yorkshire for a short distance and is part of the Sheffield Country Walk.  Walking along here, with the wind in your face,  you might be reminded of Keira Knightly,  'on top of the world', overlooking the land below as she stands on what is now called 'Keira's Rock', in the 2005 film  'Pride and Prejudice' . The views from the edge are truly spectacular. On a clear day you can see not just the patchwork of field below but over the Hope Valley towards Edale. You can also see along the top of the Edge in places, looking over in the direction you will be walking, towards Higger Tor and Burbage. In the early autumn, when the heather is still out the views of the countryside below are also spectacular.

 'From Stanage Edge - Patchwork of Fields' 
(framed) oil on canvas 30cm x 24 cm, £270

 'Across the Moors - Stanage'
(framed) oil on canvas 30 cm x 24 cm, £270

7.  Approximately half way along your route, just over the edge, there is a cave known as 'Robin Hood's Cave'. It is one of many caves which have been used over the years as a makeshift overnight shelter, but it is not known whether Robin was one of its visitors. Here is a painting of near the edge of Stanage, looking back a little down the path. 

'Close to the Edge, Stanage'
(framed) oil on canvas 75 cm x 46 cm £500

8. For anyone needing a really short walk, there is a minor path to the right shortly after this, which takes you back down to the nearest car park. If you do this you would then need to walk northward along the road for approximately half an hour to reach the car park I directed you to at the start of this blog. Below is a painting I did of the start of this path leaving Stanage Edge. This painting was inspired by a visit at sunset in early November, when there was a smattering of first snow on the ground and the bracken which still covers much of the Edge at this time of the year, remains warmly russet-coloured.

'Stanage, First Snow' 
(framed) oil on canvas 51 cm x 51 cm, £400

9. The main path soon continues slightly to the left, over White Path Moss and past the Cowper Stone, towards the road and Upper Burbage Bridge. Below is a mixed media drawing I did of the path and the view across here on a crisp and very icy January day. I started a painting after this sketch but decided I preferred the mixed media piece. 

 'Path Across the Moor, Stanage, January' 
(framed), charcoal  oil  and gesso on paper 106 cm x 73 cm, £450

10. On reaching the road across from Upper Burbage Brook, cross the road and take a moment or two to enjoy the view down and along the brook. You can see Burbage Moor before you, and over to the right, Higger Tor and the iron age fort, Carl Wark Fort. 

'Burbage Brook, Higger Tor and Carl Wark'
 (framed) oil on canvas 30 cm x 24 cm, £270

11. Take the path that heads out to the right of Burbage Brook. This path goes along the ridge called Fidlers Elbow. Then this path carries straight on and over Higger Tor. This next painting shows the view across the top of Higger Tor, inspired by a walk in September, when the heather was still in flower. 

'Looking West from Higger Tor'
 (framed) oil on canvas 76 cm x 76 cm, £600

12. As you walk down the other side of Higger Tor, straight ahead you can see Carl Wark Fort, where you are going next on this walk. 

'Carl Wark Fort'
(framed) oil on canvas 51 cm x 51 cm, £400

13. Approaching the fort from Higger Tor you can still see a wall and steps up.  The other three sides are steep, almost vertical cliffs.  The fort juts out into the surrounding moorland. Little seems to be known about the fort. Historians also disagree about how old the fort may be. Many think it is likely to date from the 8th to the 5th centuries BC. It is a scheduled monument now and there is a sign reminding everyone of this at the site.  It is  certainly a great vantage point for views of the surrounding moorland and has a fantastic atmosphere. Here is a mixed media piece of mine that shows the view looking west across Hathersage Moor. 

  'Hathersage Moor from Carl Wark Fort'
(framed) oil, charcoal and paper 52 cm x 50cm,  £270

14. Retrace your steps down from the fort and head due west. If you look at the OL1 Ordnance Survey map you will see your path heading west towards a place called Rain Gauge. You will have to pick your way across the moor at this point. It is often boggy and the path is sometimes not that easy to follow. As you near Rain Gauge you should find yourself passing the short end of a rectangular sheep enclosure. Just past here the walk takes you onto a minor road.

15. For anyone taking the shorter walk, at the minor road turn right and head north, back up the minor road to the top of the hill, where there is a junction with another minor road that passes around the side of Stanage Edge and down to the first car park (mentioned in paragraph 8 above). Turn right at the junction of this road, walking across the cattle grid and past the car park,  and follow the road back to the next car park where you parked.

16. For those walking back to Hathersage. cross the minor road at Rain Gauge, walking through a meadow that is also a conservation area called Mitchells Field. The meadows here are lovely in the spring and early summer when many species of rare wild flowers can be seen. Turn sharp left at   at Mitchell Field Farm, which is at the bottom of the meadows. Head on down past Scraperlow Hall. This is the third interesting building on this walk (after North Lees and Brookfield Manor earlier). This one is a rather eccentric looking farm house with crennelations, and a central doorway, just where you would think there should be  drawbridge. This is probably one of the best illustrations of the phrase 'An Englishman's home is his castle' that I have ever seen!. The path near the wall of Scraperlow is frequently muddy and slippery underfoot. There is an alternative footpath available that actually takes you through the gate of Scraperlow, past the well manicured lawns, and out the other side.

17. After Scraperlow, keep walking down hill. You will go through a gate and then down a track through a small wood and then down a rough track.  The wood is particularly beautiful in springtime when it has a carpet of bluebells and bright green. The path and track take you around the side of High Lees and onto A 6187 at the bottom. Once there turn right and return into Hathersage.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Walk 3 - Lumsdale Falls, Matlock

This is a lovely short walk through the Lumsdale Valley, near Matlock. The length of the walk varies depending upon whether you walk from Matlock, following the signs to Lumsdale, or, if (like me) you take the shorter version which is a walk of only around two miles, starting and ending in Tansley.

There is no designated public car park in Tansley, but there is some available road side parking, for example opposite the Tansley Tavern pub, postcode. DE4 5FR. This walk starts in Church Street.

1.Walk along Church Street, for approximately 5 minutes. You will then see a road on your left, this is Knoll Road. Proceed along Knoll Road until you see a sign for a footpath on your left signposted  to Lumsdale and Matlock. Take the footpath and enjoy walking along with woods and the river to your left and fields to your right. You will walk past a fishpond, which has some benches - a good place for a picnic. Continue to follow the path straight on. After approximately 10 minutes walking you will come to a road. Cross the road and turn right, walking quite steeply uphill.

2. Soon, on the right hand side, where Bentley Brook cuts dramatically down through the steep gorge that is the Lumsdale Valley, you will start to see the Lumsdale Falls. The rocks either side of the waterfall are as dramatic as the waterfall itself. It is totally impossible to see all the waterfall at once as it comes down from such a height,  twisting and turning, around rocky corners and then down, steeply down, and down again.

3. This walk is not just interesting  because of the stunning scenery as it is also of historical significance.  The Lumsdale Valley is the site of several mills, built by Sir Richard Arkwright, which harnessed the power of the waterfall to power the mills. Some of the ruins can be seen and explored as you walk further up the hill following the waterfall. However, for now, my drawings and paintings have focused on the waterfall itself.  Here is a view of the middle section. This one is a charcoal study for a painting I am still in the process of finishing.

'Charcoal Study, Rocks and Water',  (framed) 29 cm x 39 cm  £150

4. It was a lovely sunny day in late May when I visited. The light was sharp and I wanted to catch the tones and colours of what I think of as the main section of the waterfall, a little higher up the hill than the section shown above. Below is the charcoal and ink tonal sketch of this, and, below that, my painting of a sunlit Lumsdale Falls.

'Charcoal and Ink Study - Lumsdale Falls, Sunlight', (framed) 38 cm x 58 cm £220

'Lumsdale Falls, Sunlight', oil on canvas (framed) 61 cm x 92 cm, £700

5. Heading further up the hill you will see yet another view, this time of the top of the waterfall, shown below. As you progress up the valley you will see more of the mill buildings. At one point you can look down into the housing for a huge mill wheel which would have harnessed the power of the waterfall for Arkwright's industry.

'Charcoal and Pastel Study - Near the Top of Lumsdale', (framed) 37 cm x 27 cm £150 

6. Near the top of these falls there is an information board, which tells the visitor much more about the mills and the Lumsdale Valley. There is also a beautiful serene pond, a little hump-backed bridge over the pond, and some benches to sit and contemplate the beauty of this spectacular location. When I visited I was fascinated by the blue of the water by the little bridge. This painting attempts to catch something of this:-

'Blue Water By The Bridge', mixed media, oil and paper on canvas (framed) £600

7.After the pond follow a small road that bears right,walk past a solitary house called Oakedge Farm,  through some trees and eventually back down towards Tansley.   

I hope you will have enjoyed this short walk. I have only been there in summer, but I am told that it is just as beautiful a walk at other times - in autumn when the many trees around this valley are changing hue, or in winter when it is a favourite haunt for photographers taking shots of the spectacular  frozen falls  against the backdrop of the mills -  part of our industrial heritage. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Walk 2. Rowarth, Lantern Pike, Cown Edge returning to Rowarth

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.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Walk 1 - Kinderscout from Hayfield on the Snake Path

 The walk described below is a day walk that  is a favourite of mine. I last did this walk in July this year with my family and dog, many of the paintings included reflect this. It is more usual to do  a circuit of Kinderscout  by starting at Bowdon Bridge, opposite Hayfield Campsite and return there. Instead  this walk takes you up onto the Snake Path and then  onto the top of Kinderscout from there. The walk is approximately 10 miles, assuming you choose the slightly longer route described below, walking via Edale Cross. It takes around 4 to 5 hours to complete.
The Kinder Plateau is a very interesting, stunningly beautiful and fascinating place. A huge plateau of unrelenting black peat moorland. It has numeroush  unusually shaped and weathered gritstone rocks and, at it's edges impressive dark gritstone cliffs. Kinderscout is 636 metres ( 2,087 ft) above sea level, is the highest point in the Peak District, and also the highest point in Derbyshire and the East Midlands.  This walk takes you up the Snake Path for part of the way, The Snake Path is a fantastic walk in itself - another candidate for one of my Art Walks at a later date I suspect. It goes across the high moors, crossing Black Ashop Moor and ending on the  A57, Snake Pass, which connects Glossop to Sheffield. Ending, somewhat conveniently in time for a few beers at the Snake Pass Inn.

There are is a wonderful view of Kinderscout itself and the  Kinder Reservoir and then up on to the western edges of the plateau to the Kinder Downfall waterfall then on to Kinder Low, the highest point in the Peak District National Park. Kinderscout is of huge historical importance to all hill walkers. In 1932 a large group of locals from the now Derbyshire and Greater Manchester area set off on a walk that was to change public access rights and hill walking in Britain forever. Most wild land was at the time owned by Game Keepers and Private Landowners who used the moorlands and hills for there hunting pleasure. Not allowing access to the general public who needed to get away from the large industrial cities at weekends. In a defiant stand these proud walkers confronted the land owners and set off on the historic 'Mass Trespass' which started an uproar from the public that went on for many years and in 1955 the first access agreement to Kinder was signed, a first of many to come that allowed us to walk the hills and moorlands today. 

1.  Park in the middle of Hayfield, cross Market Street, and turn right onto Kinder Road. Walk up Kinder Road for approximately 5 minutes, until see the signs for the Snake Path which goes up a track between the houses to the left. (National Grid ( OS) Ref SK 04070 86820). The path  continues up a  stony, rutted track, with lovely views back across the village.  You are soon walking through sheep grazed lowland. Sheep are a big feature of this walk and our family dog, who loves 'worrying' them had to remain on her lead throughout. 

2. After about 10 minutes of uphill you encounter to your left the clump of trees which is known locally in Hayfield as "Twenty Trees".  If you count them, as we did, you will find that there are now 18 - look our for evidence of the two missing ones though - it does look like there were twenty trees originally.

3.  Follow the Snake Path on up from Twenty Trees. By now Hayfield village has disappeared from view and the views are of the hills behind it. You can see "Twenty Trees" in the bottom right hand side of the painting.

'Above Hayfield, Derbyshire' - oil on board, size 30 x 20"   

4. The path continues as a track through a field next to a stone wall. Paths like this are such a common experience in the Peak District - this painting could be of numerous places in Derbyshire really! 

'Track Alongside the Wall, Hayfield'(oil on board) size 24 x 20"

5. Continue on the same track, you are still on the Snake Path, and follow it as the track changes to a path which heads  north east, across the moor, called Middle Moor. The path flattens out, all around you is the moor, depending upon time of year, but a large flat area of scrubby grass, bracken and heather. In the far distance you get your first glimpse of the Kinder Plateau..

Middle Moor, nr Hayfield ( 20 x 18")  

6. Shortly after this the Snake Path comes to a crossing with the footpath  which is signed to Glossop, going left ( North West) or right ( North East) to Edale. Our route carries on towards Edale. If you are walking this way for the first time you might wonder why there is a small white hut just over the moor to your left. This is the Shooting Cabin, which is also marked on the Ordinance Survey Map. Perhaps more importantly at about this point in the walk there is the first view of the reason for the walk - a most  fantastic view of the Kinder ridge itself. The ridge of Kinder and the higher slopes stretch out in front of you and over to the far right ( North East). This is probably the most complete and best view of Kinderscout, and a major reason for taking this route, rather than starting from Bowden Bridge as most people do, where you are simply too close to the mountain to get  a view of the whole like this.

Kinderscout - (oil on board) 36 X 12"  

7. Follow the path round the side of the hill. You will soon see Kinder Reservoir below to the right. At this point there is a choice of paths, stay on the higher path running level above the reservoir. You will soon see Kinder Reservoir below to the right. At this point there is a choice of paths. Stay on the higher path running level above the reservoir. You are now on White Brow, following in the footsteps of the 1932 trespassers, who gathered at Bowden Bridge Quarry and then scrambled up the steep hillside to White Brow. They then followed the Snake Path to Nab Brow and then onto William Clough. As they ascended the hill towards the top of the plateau the trespassers were met by the Duke of Devonshire's gamekeepers. After a bit of a scuffle  in which one of the gamekeepers was slightly injured the trespassers carried on up to the top of the plateau. They met a group of  Sheffield - based trespassers  who had come over from Edale. After congratulating each other the trespassers returned, with the Hayfield trespassers returning the way they had come, back to Bowden Bridge Quarry.

8. So, leaving the reservoir behind, head up the William Clough path which crosses the stream in several places. Keep going uphill, at one point the path goes over some rocks and up some steps.  This ascent from White Brow is the steepest stretch of the whole walk. At the top of this path by a cairn you turn right, onto the Pennine Way, leaving the Snake Path which heads over to the left over Black Ashop Moor. The walk is still up hill, but is not so steep as you are now on the ridge of the Kinder Plateau. The painting below shows the view from the top of the William Clough path, looking back down to Kinder Reservoir.

Kinder Reservoir from William Clough  - ( oil on board) 20 x 16")

9. Follow the Pennine Way path, heading slightly uphill, with fantastic views over the gritstone cliffs towards the Kinder Reservoir.

Kinder Reservoir View  (oil on canvas) 30 x 20" 
10. The path eventually levels out as you continue to follow it to the left around the gully towards Kinder Downfall. This is where the River Kinder cuts through the rock to the valley below. This waterfall  has a huge drop, approximately 100 ft ( over 30 metres). Depending on the time of year and weather when you do this walk it can be a really amazing spectacle of thundering water and spray, or a little trickle. Follow the path over the river bed at the top of the Downfall.

River Bed, on top of Kinder Downfall (oil on board) 24 x 24"
11.After you have crossed the top of Kinder Downfall turn right and continue to follow the Pennine Way, crossing over to the right of Kinder Low's summit. Kinder does not have a particularly obvious summit, as it is a plateau. But there is is a trig point, and apart from that it is very flat, with a large number of rocks seemingly scattered around in the landscape..

'View from the Summit, Kinder Low' (oil on board) FOR SALE 24 X 12" 

12. Continue across the plateau, bearing left to pass to the left of Edale Rocks. Continue onto a stone path. This heads slightly downhill. Where there is a for in this track take the right fork. Carry straight on and you go around the hill called Swine's Back, where the path hugs the stone wall to the right of the hill. The path then comes to a junction with a stone track, this is a bridleway which goes from Hayfield to Edale. Turn right to make your way down towards Hayfield. As you turn, take time to have a look at the Edale Cross, set into the wall to your right. This is a medieval cross, thought to have originally been erected in 1157 by Cistercian monks of Basingwerk Abbey. The cross marks the old boundary between three areas of the Forest of the Peak, Glossop and Longdendale, Hopedale and Campagna. At some point the cross came down and was found later by local farmers, buried in the peak. They re-erected it in 1810 and carved their initials and the date on the front of the cross.

13. Walk downhill from Edale Cross. The simplest way to complete this walk is to continue on down to the bottom of this track, approximately half an hour's walk. This takes you onto a narrow road that runs alongside the River Kinder. Continue to follow this road down. Then turn left, following along the side of the River Sett. Cross the River Sett next to Hayfield Campsite and then turn left and walk along Kinder Road, heading back towards Hayfield.

I hope you will enjoy this walk and have enjoyed looking at my paintings, inspired by this walk. All paintings are for sale. If you would like to view and or purchase please contact me on 07946432818 or through my website, www.sarahmorleyfineart.com.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Introducing Inspiring Art Walks

Hello Everyone!

I am Sarah Morley, an artist, primarily a painter, currently living and working in Stockport. I am a daily painter and oil painting tutor. In my spare time I am on a crusade to get fitter and trimmer - perhaps this sounds familiar?

Welcome to what I am hoping will be an interesting and truly inspiring blog. The idea  for this came out of the first walk that is described, a circular walk around Kinderscout, Derbyshire. I had such a good time that I came back with so many images from the walk that I wanted to paint. I like to paint in a series if I can. I find that one painting feeds off another, usually the later paintings are better than the earlier ones and this is a great way to develop artistically. Also I can have several  paintings on the go at once and finish them while I an 'in the zone' of that particular project.

Then, while I was doing my paintings I had an idea - why not  write a description of our walk and make this into a blog, using my paintings as illustrations. The new idea for a blog  was truly inspirational to me, a great for keeping fit and a good way of sharing with you.  A whole new concept was born!

The blog will feature  a variety of walks,  which inspire me to paint, rural and urban, long and short, well known and obscure, in the UK and occasionally abroad. I hope you will try some of the walks yourself and also that you might like to  suggest new inspiring art walks for me.

If you would like to see more of my art then there are links to my other art sites  in my profile on the right hand side of the screen. You are also welcome to visit  me at my studio which is located in an old cotton mill, at Vernon Mill, Stockport, but please ring first to make sure that I am there to welcome you ( 07946432818). All paintings are for sale, unless otherwise indicated.

Yours, in Art and Fitness,