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  • Chris Nowell

peak district locations | part 2

Rocky Hill Side at Dawn
Higger Tor

Higger Tor

Higger Tor is a Gritstone Tor in the Dark Peak, in the north of the peak District National Park in England. It overlooks the Barbage valley and the iron age hill fort of Carl Wark to the southeast.

The tor stands to the south west of Sheffield, just within the city boundary, about 200 metres (220 yd) east of the border with Derbyshire, which runs along the nearby road to Ringinglow. The village of Heathersage is also located just down the road making this area of the Peak District full of access.

Over the years, this location has been a very welcoming location for quick and easy access for sunrises and sunsets in the Peak District. The best thing about this location is that it works fairly well all year round with a variety of compositions for the morning and evening. It is relatively easy to walk up the hill or take a much longer walk around the valley or to Stanage Edge with a planned route.

How to get here

Taking Ringinglow Road is the easiest and fastest method. You can find a set of laybuys at S32 1BR, which is easy to locate. From here, you should be able to see the hillside of Higger Tor ahead of you, and looking behind you across the fields, you should be able to identify another set of parking for Stanage.

After crossing the road for Higger, enter the small wooden gate and carefully climb the gritstone path to the top of the hill, which is only a few hundred metres away. Some people with mobility issues may find this challenging, but most should be able to make their way along the top of the plateau around the top of the hill. The heather season between August and September is an ideal time to visit this location.

Click on the map photograph below to direct you for Google Maps parking location.

summer sunrise
Higger Tor ( summer )

Winter Sunrise
Higger Tor ( Winter )

KitKat Stone

Walking along the top of the hillside taking the path to your left and scrambling over some of the rocks you will soon come across the well-known KitKat stones. From here there are very nice views across the valley and looking down towards the hillfort and beyond.

In the photograph below, you can see the KitKat shape and a pathway leading to Carl Wark's hillfort. If you would like a more adventurous walk, an alternative is to park at surprise view car park, which we have done a few times as a family. After reaching the top of Owler Tor, follow the path around the valley back to the river that feeds Padley Gorge, then return to the parking area. For most abilities, there are a number of options around here.

Kit Kat shaped stone
Kit Kat Rock

Snowy rock formation
KitKat stones in the snow

It is possible to walk around the hillside a bit further until you reach this large boulder of gritstone that offers a lovely view of Heathersage and the rest of the Peak District. It is technically possible to photograph this side of the hill at any time of the year, but this side of the hillside makes for the best sunset photography due to the better position on the other side, but remember to concentrate on sidelight in order to avoid lens flare.

Large grin stone
Misty Higger Tor

As you continue up the hill, you will come across a few more impressive gritstone boulders that make excellent compositions for photographs, as well as offering a pleasant place to sit and enjoy the view. We occasionally use this location as a family to enjoy a meteor shower later in the year, since it is convenient to access with the kids in the dark and simply enjoy the shooting stars. Despite the fact that I have stated that it is quite easy and quick to reach the top of the hill, you should also consider your own mobility. Yes, it is not a long walk, and getting to the top is quite easy. It is important to plan your walk, tell people where you are going if you are going to be on your own, and do some research beforehand, although these are basic steps that most walkers should take already. As long as you are just coming here to take a quick photograph or simply to enjoy the view, you should be absolutely fine, and hopefully you will come home with a decent picture.

light hits rock
Gritstone looking out to the peaks

Carl Wark

Views of Higger Tor from Carl Wark are equally impressive. The gritstone eyeball of the T-Rex is one of the compositions that my children enjoy the most. Obviously, you must have a little imagination, but my children enjoy visiting this location because they sometimes believe that it is a fossil. It is not a T-Rex eye, but it does resemble one. It can be seen in the photograph below, and it is relatively easy to get down from the top of the hill. You should take your time, be careful, and once you reach the bottom, it is a gentle walk over this small valley until you reach the fort.

It is all within a short walking distance, making it ideal for children. However, you should be aware of your own mobility, your own ability, and the ability of your young children if you are accompanying them. As with the rest of the Peak District, this area is full of adventure, so you should always be sensible.

Peak district in summer
Carl Wark

Kit Used


The first free photographs in this section are quite old images therefore they areCaptured using the Canon 5D mark three 24-105 lens

The last three photographs were captured using the Fuji film XT3 10-24 lens


Vanguard VEO 3+ Tripod

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Vanguard VEO Active 56 camera bag


Kase Filers

Wolverine filter system

Magnetic revolution filters

Outdoor clothing

Buffalo special six shirt

Buffalo mittens

Editing software

Affinity photo

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Chris Nowell Photography

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