A firm favourite with photographers of the Peak District, the beautiful and elegant twin peaks of Chrome (often pronounced ‘Kroom’) and Parkhouse Hills look lovely at any time of year and can be photographed from almost any direction, such is their appeal. These incongruous hills are the remains of a limestone reef knoll eroded by the meltwaters from the ice sheet that covered this area.
How To Get Here
Hitter Hill is a short walk from the village of Earl Sterndale which is reached by going south for just shy of 2 miles on the B5053 from the Brierlow Brow junction on the A515, 3 miles from Buxton or; if coming from the south, through the village of Longnor. There are various connecting roads from both the A53 in the west and the A515 in the east to the village. Park near the Quiet Woman pub in Earl Sterndale.
Parking Lat/Long: 53.200561, -1.867392
Nearest Parking Postcode: SK17 0BT
Location OS map co-ordinate: SK 089 670
To the south of Parkhouse Hill, accessed very easily from the nearby village of Earl Sterndale, is Hitter Hill. This Access Land hill provides an outstanding view of Parkhouse and Chrome Hills to the north west. This is undoubtedly one of the must see views of the Peak District. Also described are other viewpoints for these two hills, including the ‘beech tree’.
What to Shoot and Viewpoints
The path to Hitter Hill from Earl Sterndale goes past the Quiet Woman Inn while in the fields around the back you will often encounter a small and friendly group of donkeys. Chickens and ducks roam at will around the village green and pond of this beautiful and quiet Peak District village, which also has an attractive church.
Go round the side of the Quiet Woman pub following a footpath sign. From here you can either go straight through two fields to the summit of Hitter Hill, or right following a path behind houses and through a field to the north west slope of Hitter Hill overlooking Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, above Glutton Bridge.
Viewpoint 1: North West: Chrome and Parkhouse Hills
Walk from the summit of Hitter Hill or traverse round to the north west slopes overlooking Parkhouse and Chrome. There are many places to shoot from, one trick is to find a viewpoint where both hills are separate. Also go lower down the slope where there are some trees. If you head to the west toward the wall that goes down to Glutton Dale there are viewpoints here where Glutton Grange farm is hidden by trees.
Viewpoint 2: South
Around the other side Hitter Hill the view to the south along Dove Dale is seen, with beautiful lines of parallel walls that enclose buttercup-stuffed fields in summer, ruined barns and scrubby hawthorns. Best shot with the sun further ’round into the afternoon. The flank of the hill here is also a good place to find orchids and mountain pansies in late spring while the flat summit of the hill is a forest of thistles in midsummer.
Other Viewpoints of Parkhouse and Chrome Hills
Not only can these hills be photographed from a number of aspects from the surrounding hills (Hollins Hill and Stoop Farm) but such is their visual strength that there are many shots of each of the hills taken from the slopes of the companion peak.
Both hills are Access Land and can be accessed from footpaths near Glutton Grange farm at the bottom of Glutton Dale, from Hollinsclough and from Stoop Farm/Tor Rock by a concession footpath
From the flank of Chrome Hill, Parkhouse Hill makes a superb compositional figure against the retreating basin of the Dove Valley and Glutton Bridge behind. One great spot for this is halfway down from the summit of Chrome at a large sycamore tree looking at the lower slopes of Chrome toward Parkhouse.
June to August at this viewpoint sees the sun rise in the north east which illuminates the eastern flanks of Chrome and Parkhouse. When the sun rises in the east and south west later in the year they don’t get the morning sun until later because of impeding hills.
The complimentary view back from Parkhouse toward Chrome is equally appealing. To the west of the hills is the bowl of Dowel Dale into which the shadows of both hills are cast during evening light. The alignment of the hills is roughly NW-SE, which means that in midsummer a shot from Parkhouse to Chrome will be directly into the setting sun while in midwinter the complimentary shot from Chrome to Parkhouse is directly into the rising sun.
Evening light can be good as well with the west slopes of both hills illuminated, try north of the summit of both Chrome and Parkhouse.
It is a short stroll from the village through two fields to the viewpoints.
Hitter Hill Approach: 5 minutes, distance 400m, ascent 20m.
Best Time of Year/Day
The north west view from Hitter Hill to the twin peaks is great in the mid-afternoon at all times of year, with the caveat that in midsummer the sun gradually creeps around into the composition, throwing the hills into silhouette.
The view down Dove Dale is best with sun further round in the late afternoon and evening.