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  • Chris Nowell

Peak District locations| part 1

landscape photographer on  a hill
Bamford Edge

Bamford edge

In terms of my own recovery process and landscape photography journey, this area of the Peak District was very special to me. While this was not one of the first locations I visited, just seeing some of the images created by other photographers had me hooked from the start. The first thing I did was browse the Internet viewing other photographers' incredible images and imagining those fantastic views across Ladybower reservoir and the hills beyond. When my wife and I visited it for the first time, it was truly breathtaking to see this landscape come to life. One of my first encounters here was with fellow Peak District landscape photographer and military veteran James Pictures. As part of my recovery process, this was one of the first locations where I completed a wild camp with pictures. This was my first camping experience in the Peak District, and despite the lackluster imagery in the morning, it was a very enjoyable and humorous experience.


Looking towards Ladybower reservoir
Bamford edge Sunset

How to get here

To reach this location, there are two realistic options I would recommend. The first is to drive up the hill on the new road, just before the Yorkshire bridge on your way to Ladybower Reservoir. After approximately 1 mile, you will arrive at a style and public footpath layby on your left. From there, you can climb over the style and make your way directly up the hill on the path in the middle of the three options. While this path is steep, it levels out after a short while and then you just need to follow the edge of the gritstone for under 1 mile. Soon, you will reach the overhang gritstone formation shown in the image above.

The second option is to park at a different car park called Heatherdene, located further down the road A6013. This car park also has public toilets available at certain times of the day. From there, you can take a footpath that will lead you through a small pinewood and up a steep hill. Be careful to take the path directly up the hill, as the path to the right will lead you along the bottom of the hill. While this hike may be difficult for some, it is only about 1 mile long and eventually flattens off after approximately 800 meters. At the top of the hill, you will then turn right and follow the path towards the overhang whetstone.

By clicking on the photograph above of the dry stone wall, you can easily navigate to the exact location of the overhang gritstone on Bamford Edge using Google Maps. This feature allows for precise and efficient planning and exploration of the area without any confusion or guesswork.


I am not a professional wildlife photographer, but I still find joy in observing nature. Whether it's the sight of a bird of prey soaring through the sky or the sound of a grouse bird rustling in the heather, these encounters are truly special. However, I do not have the patience to sit and wait for the perfect shot, even though I am willing to walk long distances for it. Sometimes, I come back empty-handed, but the experience itself is still worth it.

However, it's important to remember that the presence of wildlife in the district also brings potential danger. While observing and enjoying the wildlife, it's crucial to respect their natural habitat and keep a safe distance. Additionally, certain animals, such as stags during rutting season, can become aggressive and pose a threat to humans. Therefore, it's important to always be aware of your surroundings and follow safety guidelines when encountering wildlife in the district.

Grouse  bird standing in the grass
Male grouse

Also in the area

Bamford Edge, located opposite Win Hill, offers another great option for a walk with stunning views and a different perspective. At the bottom sits Ladybower Reservoir, where visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the water and even make their way to the Derwent visitors centre, which offers a shop and public toilets. For those looking for a break, the Yorkshire Bridge Inn is a charming pub nearby, and from there, visitors can take a short walk to the plug hole, where they can witness the release of water from Ladybower Reservoir. The area also offers various activities for all types of visitors, including tours on the water, walks, cycling, and artistic inspiration. With something for everyone, this area is a must-visit, regardless of mobility or interests.

Landscape photograph with purple Heather and gritstone in the foreground
The View from Win Hill

Heather season

The hills and moorland in this area are known for their beautiful flowering heather, which grows incredibly well in this region. If you are planning a visit, I highly recommend coming in August and September, when the weather is usually much better and the heather is in full bloom. The sweet smell of the heather, combined with its vibrant purple color, covers the landscape and creates a serene and picturesque setting. As you explore, you will also hear the sound of busy bees hard at work, adding to the natural beauty of the area. It is truly an experience that should not be missed.

Flowering heather at dawn
Purple Heather before sunrise

Purple flowers and gritstone
Flowering heather

James pictures

If you have enjoyed this blog and would like to know more about the Peak District, I would also recommend checking out this website created by my fellow veteran and friend James Pictures. Titled "101 Best Locations in the Peak District to Photograph," this is an incredible source of information that offers an easy guide to follow for those with a smartphone and good service. It not only provides directions and information about Bamford Edge, but also many other stunning locations in the Peak District. Additionally, it includes a guide to the difficulty and length of time it may take to reach certain locations, making it a valuable resource for planning your adventures in the Peak District. I highly recommend checking it out!

up next

Thank you for checking out this blog and I hope this guide will assist you in your own adventures. However, Bamford Edge may not be the most difficult location to complete, but it is not necessarily the easiest either. It falls somewhere in the middle in terms of difficulty. While most people should be able to complete it, some may find it more challenging. It is important to know your own body and abilities before attempting it.

Next, we will explore Derwent Edge, which is not far from Bamford. This location is slightly bigger and offers more to enjoy, especially for photographers, wildlife enthusiasts, and those seeking stunning views.

Thank you to everyone who reads this and please check out James' website for even more information. I appreciate all of you in advance.

Stone formation looking down on water
Bamford edge

Chris Nowell Photography


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