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 eastern 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 to take a compass, some water, perhaps a sandwich and wear suitable clothing.

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.




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, from it's use as a point where a beacon would be lit 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.




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 need to climb over the stone wall, which has a stone step cut into it. See the painting below, the wall had a lovely show of foxgloves this year in spring.  Once on the path keep heading left straight over the fields, after just over a mile you will be back in Rowarth. ,



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)




 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, when you 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.



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 Rocks Farm to your right. 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. Firstly, looking north from Mare's Back towards Glossop. Secondly, looking west towards Manchester, where the Manchester skyline can be seen. Thirdly, Cown Edge itself.


'Towards Glossop'



'Manchester Skyline, Evening'




'On Cown Edge'

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 here. 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 on Cowan Edge'


'Cloudy Sunset, Cown Edge'



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 downn below. My painting of this view, inspired by a walk on a sunny winter's morning is shown below.



'Rowarth, One Winter Morning'

10. Take the path heading immediately  steeply down into Rowarth. Turn right, 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,

Sarah