9 places to experience the sunset in the Peak District
- Credit: Gary Wallis
Whilst 2020 was an incredibly difficult year, it nevertheless produced some of the best sunsets I have witnessed for a long time. When restrictions allowed, I was out and about towards dusk in some of the most picturesque locations in Derbyshire and the Peak District. I would like to share some of, what I consider to be, the best images I captured of this beautiful time of day.
Given the evening looked to be closing in on a largely cloudless sky I was expecting to be somewhat disappointed when the sunset finally arrived.
However, an interesting arc of thin cloud began to develop and gradually the colours reflected from the setting sun increased in intensity.
This photograph was taken from the vicinity of the Millfield Car Park at the southern tip of Carsington Water.
Curbar Edge, Winter Sunset
Those familiar with Curbar Edge will know there are often very good sunsets from this lofty viewpoint. Having stood on this popular Gritstone Edge many times at the close of the day I have witnessed some impressive sunsets.
However, the image here is probably the best in my collection, taken as the temperature dropped dramatically along with the setting sun.
Long suffering members of my family have often acted as models when I need a figure to bring a picture to life.
On this occasion I had to make it up to my son after he gradually became very chilly posing for a series of photos from which this is taken!
This gritstone outcrop at an elevation of 1,410 ft (430m) is one of my favourite places in the Peak District. During the late summer months, the area is covered by a blanket of vivid heather and the sunsets from this lofty rocky outcrop are often spectacular.
Another classic location from which to capture a great sunset. This image was taken shortly after a summer storm from the bridge that connects to the A57 Snake Pass road.
Ogston Reservoir, two miles south-west of Clay Cross and home to Ogston Sailing Club, is another location to catch a great sunset. This image was taken from South Hill Lane just above the east bank of the reservoir looking west.
The reservoir, managed by Severn Trent, acts as a holding ground for Carsington Water and provides water for Ogston Water Treatment Works.
As well as being a functional reservoir, Ogston is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) famous for its variety of birds and, in particular, its winter gull roost.
There have been over 229 different bird species recorded at the reservoir and the site is a magnet for bird-watchers from all over the UK.
Robin Hood’s Stride
This gritstone outcrop appears on the horizon when driving between Winster to Birchover and is adjacent to Cratcliffe Tor.
There are two approaches to the Stride – one from the road to the east which runs below the village of Birchover, the other from the west and Harthill Moor.
This photograph was taken from the top of Robin Hood’s Stride looking west to Cliff Farm. For me it encapsulates a perfect summer evening in Derbyshire with cattle gently grazing next to a barn while the summer sun sets on the horizon.
This image of a setting sun through the branches of a lone tree casting long shadows across the grass was taken from the fields just below Robin Hood’s Stride and towards Harthill Moor.
Sunset from near Top Farm, Sheen Moor
I had set out with the intention of photographing Parkhouse Hill from the steep road just above Crowdecote, which is a classic view of the Reef Knolls. However, I decided to explore the minor road that runs from Longnor to Sheen across Sheen Moor.
From this road there are some fine views particularly eastwards over the valley. I captured this image of inquisitive cattle near Top Farm on Sheen Moor looking to the east.
The effect of the reflected setting sun on only a portion of the clouds in the sky reminded me of the Aurora visible towards the poles and provides an interesting backdrop to the cattle in the foreground.
This scene needs little introduction, the aptly named Surprise View which suddenly opens up when driving west on the A625 between Sheffield and Hathersage.
This photograph of a setting sun emerging from fast moving clouds above Lose Hill and The Great Ridge encapsulating the various shades of sunbeams I thought was particularly beautiful.
You can see more sunset photography like this one near Mam Tor that Gemma Young captured and shared to our Derbyshire and Peak District Walks facebook group.
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Or you can send your sunset images directly to us at email@example.com