You don’t have to walk far from the picturesque village of Edale before the path climbs steeply up the southern flank of Kinder Scout (the only peak with mountain status in the whole of the national park). Easy to follow the rocky trail zigzags across the contours and after a brisk 45- to 50-minute walk you eventually arrive at the recognisable pillars.
The rocky escarpment offers a variety of compositions where you won’t be short of options of foreground interest. This is a location where, if you’re lucky with the light, you can let the shadows work for you. This will really help you to emphasise the rugged nooks and crannies carved by the elements.
Looking further afield (and below), the valley of Edale with its church spire, scattering of farm buildings and fields with criss-cross drystone walls can make a wonderful background or standalone image if you’re using a longer lens.
This location faces south but has views to the east and west, allowing you to shoot towards or away from the sun to suit your personal preference. This is a morning location and ideal for sunrise so long as you’re prepared to start your walk in the dark.
When to go
While the Derbyshire Peak District is a great location for all seasons, I tend to favour the winter months here when the sun is low and casts long, deep shadows. Frosty mornings or even a sprinkling of snow add a touch of magic, although extra care is also needed to access it. Early summer sees a scattering of cotton grass, and late August brings the colourful purple heathers that completely change the look of the Peak District.
Food and lodging
There are a couple of public houses with rooms to let within the village of Edale itself: The Old Nags Head and The Rambler Inn, for example. There’s a campsite as well, if that’s more your type of thing. The Penny Pot offers lovely homemade cakes and hot drinks as a perfect treat after all that walking.
Word of warning
It is pretty exposed on Kinder Scout and it is not unusual for the weather to quickly take a turn for the worse. So it’s very important to prepare for the elements. Make sure you have enough warm clothing in the winter – think layers – and of course plenty of sun cream for the spring and summer months. More importantly, always carry water bottles or a ask to keep hydrated, and snacks.
- Wide angle lens A wide angle lens is a must for this location in order to capture the sweeping vistas on offer. However, there’s also plenty of scope here for picking out details using a longer focal length. So if space permits, pack a telephoto lens.
- Head torch If you aim to shoot a sunrise from this location you’ll need to start your walk in the dark. While the path is clear, it is still very rocky and it wouldn’t take much to twist an ankle in the dark here.
- Tripod Increase your chances of sharper images by using a tripod. For the classic wide angle view you’re going to be almost standing on your foreground, so you will want a huge depth of field if you also want the valley floor to be sharp.