Congratulations! That is the steepest climb of the whole walk over with and we need somewhere to get our breath back. This pronounced summit offers an obvious place to sit, almost like a few stone stools bunched together – so take the weight off your feet. You might need something for a cushion as you will quickly notice that this limestone is very hard indeed.
The view westward is towards Chrome Hill, our next objective and at once you will see how much higher it is. Best, for now, to ignore it and turn the other way. Take in the calming, broad sweep of the Dove Valley behind you. The river’s course can be made out by that sinuous line of alder trees which line the riverbanks for almost its entire progress.
All those meanders mean that the Dove at this point cannot be a fast flowing river, while the narrow line of alders betrays its very modest width – not much more than a large brook. It looks a little dwarfed by the impressive valley; surely some other, more powerful force than the trickling Dove must have helped shaped this scene? Dragons perhaps?
As you descend the hill, you will be forgiven for thinking you are walking along the vertebrae of a sleeping dragon’s back; or perhaps a Stegosaurus? You will see what I mean as you near the bottom of this tricky descent.
Continue along the ridge, descending now, taking the easiest way around the knolls. Nearing what looks like the penultimate knoll, take the alternative way to your right which swings back into the open field a little way, before skirting the base of the hill to your left.
This trail was originally developed by Simon Corble for the Royal Geographical Society’s Discovering Britain.
Simon Corble is a theatre director, playwright and actor based in Derbyshire’s Peak District, is passionate about the countryside and discovering the hidden secrets of the natural world.