After a WHOLE month without a walk, we found ourselves in PERFECT conditions on our day off. We’d had a bit of snow in Bakewell, but from talking to friends who lived ‘in the hills’, we knew there was more the higher you went, so we decided to do the reef Knolls of Hollinsclough. These strange hills were once part of a tropical sea, and have been carved into interesting and (to us) irresistible shapes.
Remember, you can click on any of the pictures for a bigger version.
We parked the car on the old market place at Longnor. Longnor was, in the past, a VERY important place, and has still got the toll fees on a sign above the hall. There were four pubs, easily supported in the halcyon days of Longnor, but the hotel is now private, one of the pubs looks closed (the grapes), and one is for sale (at a reduced price). Times are hard!
We left by a snowy track, and headed out for the hills. The sky was still grey, but the forecast was for sunshine later on.
The cloud was already breaking up to show bits of blue sky.
We passed a farm where we saw these two survivors of Christmas. I BET one of them was called ‘lucky’.
They also had these two model sheep in their front garden, but why they would want models, when the real thing was in the fields is beyond me?
Now we drew sharp breaths as the panorama of what we’d come here for opened up. We needed to cross the fields and get up there.
A panoramic shot (click on it)
Sue shows the way, as always.
Then heads off into the snowy wasteland.
To our surprise, we were walking on virgin snow. No-one had been here before us, but we could see figures crossing Chrome hill already.
We took a track that dropped us into Hollinsclough hamlet. We did think about starting the walk from here, but with the tricky road conditions on the untreated ones, we decided on Longnor instead.
As we left the village, the upper Dove valley showed itself at its best in a mantle of snow.
This track led to the valley bottom and a footbridge.
Looking back down the Dove valley.
I KNEW I shouldn't have had those mince pies at Xmas!!!
Ahhh – this is why we came. The shoulder of Chrome hill, left, then the sharp point of Parkhouse hill, then Hitter hill, then High Wheeldon stretched out away from us. This is the upper Dove valley.
We had a few problems wayfinding at the start of Hollins hill, as there were no tracks or visible path but, after a couple of false starts, we gained height.
There were some pretty impressive drifts up here.
And some absolutely beautiful wall patterns.
Sue reads the map, but it’s easy here – just head upwards!
Looking across the valley from the top of Hollins hill. This remote and cold looking place is Stoop farm.
We would be passing behind it later as we made our way to the star of the show today – Chrome hill.
The 'open access' sign, this means the land is not used to grow crops etc, so walkers are allowed onto it, but they must treat it with respect.
I’m coming, I’m COMING!!!!!
The view up to Hollins hill from where we had lunch accompanied by a nice brandy-laced coffee.
Looking back to the stile we sat on for lunch, what a view, eh?
After lunch, sitting in the warmth of the sun, we headed off to Chrome hill across the still virgin snow (where WERE all the people on this perfect day???)
AHA! At last, signs of other people in the snow.
But just our tracks behind.
(Shiver) – looking over to Chrome hill, with Tor rocks in the foreground.
To us, THIS is what perfection is all about – snow, sun and a hill.
The long ridge of Hollins hill where we were less than an hour ago.
Come on then – the view from up here is great.
Not to be outdone, I was soon joined by Sue.
That long ridge to the left is again the one we crossed first, Hollins hill.
Some like jewellery, some like to lunch, but to Sue – THIS is heaven :-)
I suppose you could say we were on the slippery slope down here (and although Sue managed to stay upright, I ended up with a wet bum).
Looking across to the ‘dinosaur back’ of Parkhouse hill. We had intended to do this as well, but it was far steeper than Chrome hill, and a lot icier too. Also, the light was beginning to fade, so we decided to save that one for another day.
Dowall hall farm picked out in a shaft of evening sunlight.
The classic view of Parkhouse hill.
The light was already beginning to fade as we made our way back to Longnor.
It had been a superb day, one we really needed.
Home now to a hot bath and a relaxing evening.