The Hanging Stone

Yesterday I went for a walk with a friend and was fascinated by The Hanging Stone – a gritstone rock outcrop on Back Forest Ridge on the western side of the Peak District, just to the north of The Roaches.  It overlooks Swythamley Hall, which was the home of the Brocklehurst family who owned the Roaches Estate until the death of the last in line in 1978. As far as I am aware, there haven’t been any hangings that took place there, so the rock probably took its name from the fact that the upper layers of rock overhang slightly, … Continue reading The Hanging Stone

Salt Cellar Boulder

The magnificent Salt Cellar Boulder stands on Derwent Edge, high above Ladybower Reservoir.  It is one of the many points of interest on our ‘Derwent Edge and Hills around Ladybower‘ guided walk. It is gritstone and part of the long ridge of stone known by geologists as The Chatsworth Grit that runs down the east side of the Peak District.  Stanage Edge, Millstone Edge, and Curbar Edge are all the same type of stone. The stone was formed around 320 million years ago when the area was in a huge river delta.  The grit was washed down the river from mountains further north and deposited in a … Continue reading Salt Cellar Boulder

Ilam Rock – An amazing limestone pinnacle

The limestone rock that forms parts of Dovedale is the fossilised remains of sea creatures that lived in a shallow, tropical lagoon about 350 million years ago. During the two ice ages, the limestone was cut into craggy shapes.  Dovedale is famous for its numerous limestone rock formations.  Ilam rock pictured here is one of the most spectacular, standing at about 25 metres high.  Others include Dovedale Castles, Tissington Spires, Reynard’s Cave, and Lion’s Head Rock. Ilam Rock can be seen on our ‘Dovedale Delights’ guided walk which is available throughout the year with a Personal Walking Guide Continue reading Ilam Rock – An amazing limestone pinnacle

An industrial site in a place of beauty!

A cement factory might be an unexpected thing to write about in a countryside blog, but if you have ever been walking in the Hope Valley area of the Peak District, you will have seen the Lafarge cement works which forms a dominant feature in the landscape. The factory is visible from the whole of ‘The Great Ridge’ – one of the most popular walks in the Dark Peak. The initial reaction that most people have when seeing it for the first time is ‘what an eyesore in a beautiful valley’. Admittedly it is a bit ugly, but there is a lot … Continue reading An industrial site in a place of beauty!

The wonders of Lathkill Dale after heavy rain

Lathkill Dale is a very beautiful and fascinating place for many reasons.  Its geological history is outstanding.  It is home to an abundance of wild flowers.  What interested us the most however on our guided Nature Walk yesterday was the River Lathkill itself. The River Lathkill rises in different places throughout the year depening upon where the water table lies.  After prolonged periods of heavy rain, usually in the winter it flows gently out of a cave called Lathkill Head Cave which is towards the western end of the dale.  In recent years however the point where it has risen has tended to be much further to the … Continue reading The wonders of Lathkill Dale after heavy rain

Britain’s biggest natural hole!

We are just back from our first ever long weekend of guided walks in the Yorkshire Dales.  Our aim was to climb the three highest mountains in Yorkshire over three consecutive days, taking it slowly to allow time to enjoy the views and look at points of interest along the route. Yesterday following our descent from Pen-y-Ghent, we passed Hull Pot.  A collapsed cave which now forms a hole in the ground approx 60 feet wide, 60 feet deep and 300 feet long.  It is rumoured to be Britain’s biggest natural hole.  A stream enters the hole part way down creating a … Continue reading Britain’s biggest natural hole!