"A picture is worth a thousand words"

Distant urban areas of the Cheshire Plain light up the night sky

“A picture is worth a thousand words”, so they say. And with that in mind here’s a trip report consisting mostly of pictures. I’m sure you’ll agree no amount of superlatives can best describe the sights I’ve witnessed on the past couple of trips.

What I will say is this – how overlooked and perhaps underrated are the Western Moors of the Peak District National Park?

I was round that neck of the woods for a few days last week filming for a future video and it proved to be a real eye opener.

Covering approximately 50 miles in 3.5 days, there weren’t many places I didn’t place my feet and cast my gaze. It’s definitely an area worth a visit – not just for the honeypot that is the Roaches (splendid as they are) but the quiet and genuinely ‘remote’ valleys and homesteads. The views are wonderful and though I came across the odd right of way issue – it’s all easy walking if a little tiring with rough ground and undulating hills.

The weather was generally very good, hazy at times and even with a gentle breeze really quite cold at times – winter is certainly approaching….

Trig point on Axe Edge Moor

I pitched for the night not far from the trig point – being the only dry level ground I could find
Merrell Chameleon Evo Mid Syn GTX boots on test – their first trip out

All new Merrell Intercept synthetic jacket in action (folds into itself to form a pillow) with a distant Cat and Fiddle pub behind
Temps were dropping so it was time to get a down jacket on for extra warmth

Camp made, filming complete it was time to relax and have a beer
A reminder you’re never far from civilisation when out on the UK hills – the town of Buxton lights up nearby
Moonrise on Axe Edge Moor and camp
Dawn from Axe Edge Moor trig point – with a gentle temperature inversion thrown in for good measure
Looks nice and warm but it was really quite cold. About 1c, so not quite freezing.
Filming finished with it was time for breakfast and a coffee
Following the Dane Valley Way south to pay Three Shires Head a visit

Panniers Pool at Three Shires Head – a photogenic spot if ever you see one. I spent about an hour here with the video camera.
After paying the village of Flash a visit, I headed back into the moors and eventually from the west climbed Roach End.
The Roaches – a good vantage point and one I reached just in time for sunset.
A closer view of Hen Cloud.
I took in the sunset after which I then plodded about seeking somewhere to pitch my tent for the night
Eventually, I settled on a spot just by Doxey’s Pool.
The town of Leek lights up the southern flanks of the Roaches
The Plough constellation in the night sky above my home for the night.
After paying Lud’s Church a visit in the rain, I caught this mean and moody sight of Ramshaw Rocks as the weather began to improve.
Walks down quiet country lanes and little used tracks was the order of the day as I headed northwards.
Taking a look at the map as I plan my next move. I couldn’t help but note how the profile of Shuttlingsloe
on the horizon looked similar to Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales.
Britains second highest pub – The Cat and Fiddle (1690ft). Needless to say, I nipped in for a pint.
Having reached my camp for the night, the setting sun gently kissed the moors.
Visibility was superb. Top left you can see The Wrekin (45miles distant) and top right The Long Mynd (57miles).
Looking west, one could see the mountains of Snowdonia (The Carneddau particularly) across the Cheshire Plain.
It made for another splendid evening out on the hills – I was very lucky with the weather to say the least.
The Manchester conurbation with the mast on Winter Hill looking over.
Time for food and bed and to get out the biting cold winds.
Dawn came but the sun didn’t hang around for long as a storm was heading my way – which cut my trip short and so I headed back home.
However, I will be heading back to the Goyt Valley and it’s hills this coming weekend. Hopefully the weather will have improved.
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27 Comments Add yours

  1. Adam says:

    Great photos Terry, and a lovely light. Camping days away from towns (usually abroad,of course) has its own unique quality,but there is also a nice feeling about being camped just on the peripherys of town life looking down at the glow of lights or pillars of smoke from chimneys rising up tall into cold air. It's rather 'Last of the Summer Wine' to be on the periphery, stepping back for a moment and looking at our familiar from a distance just to get our lives into perspective.

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  2. terrybnd says:

    Couldn't agree with you more Adam, you've took the words right out of my mouth mate. There is something humbling and mesmerising about looking back at urban landscapes while out on the edges of places like the Peaks.

    Probably no better place to do that really, considering how the Peaks is surrounded by heavily populated urban areas, eh?

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  3. terrybnd says:

    Thanks Robin ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. atkypne says:

    What a great selection of photos, fantastic!

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  5. Jules says:

    Sometimes pictures just say it best!

    Great stuff again!

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  6. surfnslide says:

    Hi Terry
    That is a truly majestic collection of photos. The nightime shots are absolutely stunning. I used to live just south of the Peak so I walked extensively on the western moors and edges so this took me back. Did you climb Shutlingsloe – one of my favourites of thart part of the Peak
    Cheers
    Andy

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  7. Martin Rye says:

    New camera is getting results for you. Superb photos. Like the wild camps a lot.

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  8. Moonlight Shadow says:

    Shutlingsloe has room at the top, best choose a quiet night though…Will head up there soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Nice pics, it's a good area to explore. Nothing “wild” about it and there are plenty of views on urban sprawl but it is indeed an interesting time to ponder, sat up there on your own whilst all that life goes on below you.

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  9. Some amazing pictures of the camp at night very nice indeed

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  10. terrybnd says:

    @atkypne – Thanks mate.

    @Jules – Thank you. Was easy really. Weather was top drawer and scenery was lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

    @surfnslide – I was going to climb Shutlingsloe. I reached Wildboarclough, but the weather was a bit pants at the time. So, I ditched the idea and headed back on myself and aimed for the Cat and Fiddle. I had planned to camp up there mate LOL

    @Neil – LOL Thanks mate

    @Martin Rye – It's a good camera mate. What with my video and all that, I jumped straight into the manual modes. Quality of the sensor and lens on the cam really surprised me. Built in video aint so great, but I obviously didn't buy it for that LOL But as far as advanced compacts go – it's impressive

    @Paul aka Themuss – Cheers mate. The night pics were tricky to execute. Some pics take around 3 minutes to produce. 10 sec timer, then 60sec exposure taking pic while ensuring the tripod is rock steady, then 60 sec to process the pic and view it to see if you nailed it LOL Worth it though.

    Wished I had another torch at times, to lay and aim at nearby tors to light them up a little in some shots. So, that's for another trip ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  11. Adam Long says:

    Lovely stuff Terry!

    That's not the Long Mynd – its Caer Caradoc which sits across the Chruch Stretton valley from the Mynd, which would be just out of frame to the right. A lovely little hill if you're ever in the area, quite unique. Its pretty rare you can see the Carneddau too, well captured!

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  12. terrybnd says:

    @Adam Long – Thank you. Yep, you're right about the hill. My error. Was referring to another pic I taken but uploaded another one instead.

    I was only at Church Stretton and the Long Mynd et al earlier this year, mate. Lovely area and so overlooked by the masses, eh?

    Some cracking views from up them hills into Wales.

    But yeah, from my camp that evening, visibility was excellent. Well, it was 'very good'. I've been up Kinder in winter and could clear as a bell see Snowdon and Tryfan. Couldn't this time though as cloud blocked the view.

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  13. Simply stunning stuff there Terry. That camp on Axe Edge must have been rather special. I look forward to your Goyt trip.

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  14. terrybnd says:

    @Charlie Penny – Thanks mate. Aye, I was surprised at how far ranging the view was from up Axe Edge Moor trig point. Well, to the east at least. Would make a cracking vantage point if there were a cloud inversion!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Which was duly noted, I have to add and I'll be making a return when conditions suit ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  15. Neville says:

    Really nice photo's, what camera are you using now? I carry my DSLR on day walks but want something smaller for multi day trips.

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  16. terrybnd says:

    Hi Neville,

    For stills I'm using a Panasonic Lumix TZ8, mate. It's good. Got some gripes with it when compared to the likes of DSLR but it's got a good sensor. Just manual controls are somewhat fiddly and confusing to get to grips with

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  17. David says:

    I have been following your blog for a little while Terry and it just gets better and better. You have produced some wonderful images to support your trip report. I appreciate it's a lot of hard work but it is certainly worth it – great stuff.

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  18. Some cracking photos there Terry, the light is really lovely. I do love those western moors, a bit further to get to from the east so often overlooked. What's your new camera?

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  19. Rob says:

    Nice one Terry, very good pics of the lit up tent against the night sky

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  20. Dean Read says:

    Excellent post Terry, I've been thinking that I should head over to the Roaches.. Your pictures have confirmed this. They are fantastic, look forward to the footage

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  21. Alan Sloman says:

    Thoroughly marvellous. 'Nuff said!

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  22. terrybnd says:

    @David – Thank you David. You're very kind mate.

    @James Boulter – Agree. The western moors are defo worth a visit. I really enjoyed my 3/4 days round there. Another side of the Peak District I've not fully explored before and become enlightened to.

    New camera? Panasonic Lumix TZ8 mate. Picked up cheap from Argos LOL

    @Rob – Cheers matey. They were a bit tricky to say the least those night shots with tent. It was hard to gauge in the dark without a spare torch to see where I was pointing the camera LOL Lesson learnt though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Dean Read – You not been to the Roaches? Lovely area to explore. Above and below and around mate. More to the area than just those distinctive cliffs I have to add.

    @Alan Sloman – LOL Thanks Alan

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  23. James Grant says:

    I absolutely love the area (including chrome and parkhouse hill). A place I've spent a lot of time in photography wise and wish to do more. Axe Edge moor did always appeal for a wild camp too especially with its FANTASTIC panoramic views from the summit.

    Oh….what you said about civilisation near the hills, ever been to Skye? I've never seen somewhere so pitch black at night! You can clearly see the milky way on any clear night, it's insane.

    Like

  24. PhilR says:

    Terry, you captured some fantastic shots there, like the ones contrasting the wild with busy civilisation.

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  25. terrybnd says:

    @James Grant – Mate, I was quite taken aback at the view from Axe Edge Moor. I went up there, then headed on elsewhere – only to then realise what a cracking view it was and headed back LOL

    @PhilR – Thanks mate. I like those pics too. There's something ethereal about it eh? Out on the dark moors with a sense of wilderness per se, only to look the other way and see the grubby pawprints of man litter the lowlands. It's quite a contrast.

    The western moors certainly help for that contrast. It's up there at night you appreciate how the Peak Park can be put under immense pressure by urbanisation and numbers etc

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