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.
'Manchester Skyline, Evening'
'On Cown 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.