101 Best Places to Photograph in the Peak District National Park


If you are looking for Peak District photography locations then join me on my adventure showcasing you the 101 Best Places to Photograph in the Peak District National Park

by James Pedlar

You can browse and click the pins on the map below to view each location. The red pins are the top 10 ranked locations.

Alternatively you can jump straight to see how all 101 locations were ranked at the bottom of the page Peak District locations to photograph.

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Welcome

For years now I have wandered and captured photographs in the Peak District. Some good some not so good, but that’s the challenge! To visit and re-visit new and old locations in the best available conditions and achieve a unique perspective and photograph.

We don’t have coastal scenes or vast amounts of water in the Peak to help us in our compositions, but what we do have are some of the most stunning beautiful rural scenes. Filled with rich greenery and rock formations, limestone or gritstone and some of the finest moorlands in the country.

This page ranks 101 locations that I have visited and photographed, and lists the top 10.

I ranked all of the locations individually taking into consideration how accessible the route is, how much available parking and if it is free, how many compositions are there, and what are the views like and lastly taking into consideration desirability.

If you visit one of the locations and take a few pictures, I would love to see the pictures so be sure to tag me on IG @jamespictures.co.uk

Top 10

Mam Tor

Mam Tor shouldn’t surprise you as being the number one location to photograph in the Peak District. It’s where all new photographers hone there skills and drills behind the camera! Just inside the Dark Peak of the National Park and well within Derbyshire, Mam Tor has stunning views over the Hope and Edale valleys.

It’s easily accessible, has lots of available parking and the number of compositions are endless. If you want to get a classic photograph of the Peak District then this is it. The gates, the ridge, the valley!

Admired and loved by all who visit the area who walk, climb, paraglide or just to enjoy and cherish family days out. Mam Tor and the Great Ridge has it all – It was also voted the UK’s number 10 walk in 2018 you can see why!

Mam Tor is the number 1 place to photograph in the Peak District
Out of 101 locations, Mam Tor is the Best Place to Photograph in the Peak District

If you are feeling energetic you can walk the 2 miles to Losehill Pike which is the last hill on the Great Ridge and shoot back towards Mam Tor.

However the most popular composition is of the gates on the northern side of Mam Tor, it can get very busy at weekends so get there early!

Even at 5 am I have seen 10+ photographers lined up waiting to get that shot, so my advice would be to visit midweek if possible.

If you want to check on the local weather, then check out this great free resource Mam Tor Info

Chrome Hill

Chrome Hill is my most visited place in the Peak District and with good reason. With its unique location and outstanding views makes it one of the best places to photograph in the Peak District.

Situated in the North East of the Dove Valley, known as the Upper Dove Valley it dominates the surrounding landscape.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills are both Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and are important for the limestone flora on the ungrazed rock ledges.

Chrome Hill Pinnacle
The limestone pinnacle makes for a great foreground up on Chrome Hill, looking out over to Parkhouse Hill

I prefer shooting Chrome Hill at sunrise, then again I’m an early riser and don’t struggle with any sunrise. For me, though mornings are always clearer air, less heat haze with the added possibility of low or hanging mist in the Dove Valley.
The Dove Valley is prone to mist following the River Dove, which divides Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

It is also worth noting that if the mist is as far up the valley as Parkhouse Hill, then you’re in for a treat! More often than not the mist will not come up the valley further than High Wheeldon hill to the south.

Bring a selection of lenses. Wide-angle to telephoto, the majority of shots that are seen from this location are from the Sycamore tree on the lower slopes. I have also seen some great shots from the limestone trinnacle near the summit.

Inversion at Chrome Hill
The view from Chrome Hill at dawn with an inversion in the Dove Valley.

Getting to Chrome Hill is straight forward. Parking in the villages of either Earl Sterndale or Hollinsclough you then walk the 20-30 minutes to the base of Chrome.

Allow yourself a good 20 minutes to get to the top, a little longer if you’re carrying a heavy camera bag.

On the walk in you can get your bearings and admire both Chrome & Parkhouse Hills and its exactly 1 mile from either village. Hollinsclough being the slightly easier option as its flat. I made this little Google Map so you can decide.

The Stunning Chrome Hill At Winter
The stunning Chrome Hill at winter, covered in snow

The Roaches

Ranked number 3 is The Roaches. It ranked ahead of Winnats Pass because of the variety of compositions and vantage points. Winnats Pass has Hope Valley, and whilst it is stunning you can admire the same valley from Mam Tor, which is number 1.

The Roaches attracts walkers, families, climbers and photographers. It gets very busy in the summer months. Its probably the number one photography location in Staffordshire.

Most photographers tend to compose an image of the wall as a leading line with Tittesworth Reservoir in the far distance, as I have done too. It’s a classic.

one of the best places to photograph in the peak district
One of the best places to photograph in Staffordshire and the Peak District
Heather Roaches Peak District Photography
The heather on The Roaches at its best

Yet the Roaches have much more to offer than just that composition. On the top is Doxey Pool a small pool of water and underneath is the ancient woods. Great for moody, atmospheric shots when the weather is poor or misty. At the northern end, which is best shot at sunset is the triangulation pillar with lots of Roaches gritstone and compositions galore.

The Roaches come to life in the Autumn months as the heather flowers in plenty.

Most photographers tend to head to Surprise View, but I can’t recommend the area around Roach End Barn enough, especially Back Forest. Heather as far as the eye can see.

Doxey Pool in Staffordshire Peak District
Up on top of The Roaches is Doxey Pool
Staffordshire Roaches
The stunning Staffordshire Roaches one evening in the summer when the heather was in flower.
You can visit The Roaches at any time of the day, I prefer sunrise, but I have also got some great shots at sunset. Remember, if you are shooting sunrise to park at the southern end. And for sunset, you should be parked at Roach End Barn and then walk the short 15 minutes to the summit.
 
Watch out for parking wardens! They are renowned for being strict near the southern end near Hen Cloud as the local authority has placed the entire road as a no loading area.
 
You can only park in the designated bays. Don’t park on the side of the road as you will get a ticket.

Winnats Pass

Winnats Pass for me is the northern boundary of the White Peak. Where it transforms from limestone to the darker gritstone of the Dark Peak. Let’s be honest it’s also a fantastic view!

Its arguably one of the most unique and distinctive views in the Peak District and people come and admire from all over the world.

I have pushed Winnats Pass down 1 place because in my opinion it is very similar to that of Mam Tor, shooting the mist or inversions that regularly form in the Hope Valley below, and for the lack of compositions.

The best vantage is from high up on the Southern banks as you get to look straight down the road and into the valley beyond, using the road as a leading line. If you are early enough you can use the car headlights as a long exposure feature.

one of the best photo locations in the peak district
Admire the amazing views from Winnats Pass at sunrise

Parking is at the Mam Nick Pay and Display, you can then follow the public footpath over windy knoll and behind the rear of Winntas Head Farm. Once you hit the road, cross over and head up the right-hand bank following the wall. A little further and you get a little higher where you can admire the view, be sure to stay away from the edge.

Unfortunately, there is no continuation of the path to Castleton or Cave Dale. You must return back the way you came once you have finished your shoot. Again, one of the reasons I have marked this location down in its rank.

The best time of day to photograph this location is sunrise and the best time to get an inversion because I know that’s what everyone wants to admire! Is between the months of January – April, and September – November. Yes, you can get them outside of those months, but those are the most favourable if that’s what you seek.

Winnats Pass Mist And Light Trails
Get here early and you can shoot car trails using a long exposure
inversion at winnats pass - peak district
If you’re fortunate enough to witness the mist creeping up the road, then you’re in for a treat!

Parkhouse Hill

Parkhouse Hill is the smaller of the two most visited in the Upper Dove Valley, Chrome Hill being the other. I ranked Chrome Hill as number 2 in the top 101 locations because the views are somewhat better than Parkhouse.

Parkhouse Hill is in Derbyshire in the Upper Dove Valley and has a distinctive shark tooth like shape to it.

If you want to visit this location, it’s a short but sharp assent to the summit and is best climbed from the south. Be aware that there is no path as such, and you will be out of breath on the way up!

Getting back down can be tricky in wet and snowy conditions as the limestone is very slippery – take care.

The best time to shoot from the summit of Parkhouse is at sunset looking over to Chrome Hill. I have found that shooting at sunrise and is great as the sun casts some strong shadows over Chrome Hill.

Admiring Parkhouse Hill in Derbyshire
Parkhouse Hill with its distinctive Shark like tooth shape
The view from Parkhouse Hill at sunrise
Looking out from the summit of Parkhouse at Sunrise

Getting to Parkhouse is straight forward. You can park in the villages of either Earl Sterndale or Hollinsclough, both are a 1-mile walk, however, if you are intending to go up Parkhouse I would probably choose Earl Sterndale as the easiest ascent is from the Southern side.

I made this quick Google Map that covers both Parkhouse & Chrome Hills for your convenience.

Curbar Edge

Curbar Edge looks down upon Derwent Valley in Derbyshire and is a gritstone edge rock formation. Loved by walkers, climbers and photographers it is one of the more popular and accessible locations which has been admired by many. It ranked in at number 6 because of its endless composition opportunities and ease of access.

Parking at Curbar Gap, you can make the short 5 minutes walk up to admire 180-degree views over the edge and into the valley below.

I personally prefer to shoot this location at sunrise as the sun rises and hits the rocks in the foreground.

If you’re lucky you might even get to witness mist rising in the Derwent Valley and rolling over Baslow Edge which is across the road to Curbar Edge.

one of the best places to photograph in the peak district
This was the first composition of the morning at Curbar Edge.
best places to photograph peak district
Curbar Edge has many lovely compositions and is in my top ten places to photograph in the Peak District

Curbar has a lot to offer if you take your time and slow down. There are a few milestones dotted around, as well as a prominent 10ft pinnacle which to be fair is hard to photograph.

Whilst at Curbar you can also carry one walking down to Froggatt Edge, or head over the road to Baslow Edge which overlooks the Chatsworth Estate.

This area is rather nice when the heather is in flower, as are most of the Peak District to be fair.

Manifold Valley

It took me a while to discover the hidden beauty of Manifold Valley. I knew it was there of course, but exploring it is was not easy. I have many childhood memories of the area, eating ice cream at Wetton Mill and then walking up to Thors Cave. I returned with my children, bike riding and letting them explore too… Making memories as you do!

Landscape photography is about getting out and exploring just as much as it is learning technical skills. There is no point understanding what hyperfocal distance is if you can’t frame shot.
Photographers including me struggle to find a unique perspective in the Peak District as it has been photographed so much.

Manifold Valley gave me that uniqueness I craved – one image I have shared in this section took me 3 years to capture! Waiting for those perfect conditions with mist in the valley. People tend to head for Mam Tor when an inversion is looming. Not me!

one of the best places to photograph in the peak district
This image took me three years to get. Waiting for the right conditions and light.

Planning when to return is all part of landscape photography. Taking into consideration the local vegetation, shadows, and sunrise & sunset positions. I made a mental note then at home studying the map to find the easiest route.

I worked out from parking to location was 40 minutes and then you realise that this is why people go to Mam Tor – out of the car and on location in 10 minutes!

I have explored all of the Manifold Valley from Beeston Tor in the South to Swainsley Tunnel in the North. It’s a beautiful part of Staffordshire. The best views are from Ecton, Wetton and Ossoms Hills not forgetting up on top of Thors Cave!

The best parking is at Wetton Mill. The old mill is now a cafe where you can grab a brew or an ice cream before or after your walk.

Prior warning you will need a map for this area – don’t think you can turn up and know where to go because you won’t.

manifold valley one of the best places to photograph in the peak district
Looking down Manifold Valley. One of the best views in the Peak District to photograph

I started exploring the valley on miserable days parking in the village of Wetton and walking North West exploring Wetton Hill. There were some nice compositions looking down the valley South. Taking note of the location and capturing a few mobile phone pictures for future reference I studied the map.

My next aim was to explore Ecton Hill, which is North from Wetton and much larger. Ecton Hill covers approx 611 acres and is a historic mining area. Exploring it was awesome but hard work! It took me several visits and many hours.

I guess this is where you need to be persistent and plan. Knowing that I needed to explore the South of Ecton Hill, I eventually found what I was looking for. I was rewarded with a grand view looking down the Manifold Valley to Thors Cave. This was the shot!

thors cave manifold valley
The view from the banks of Ossoms Hill

Dean Rocks

Dean Rocks places Greater Manchester on the map for one of the best views in the Peak District. High up on Saddleworth Moor looking down onto Dovestone Reservoir is a view worthy of the hour’s hike.

Saddleworth Moor in the Dark Peak of the National Park is predominantly moorland, very remote and sparsely inhabited. This means that its one of the quietest places to visit to get away from it all.

Setting off from Binn Green Car Park it’s a straight forward route over the reservoir, up Ashway Gap and around to the right onto Dean Rocks.

Once on location, there are so many compositions to work with, Dove Rocks, the Cairn on Fox Stone and Dean Rocks themselves. One of those locations that you can just sit and watch the world go by.

the view from Dove Stone Edge on Saddleworth Moor at sunset
Looking down from Dove Stone Edge from Saddleworth Moor at Sunset. One of the harder places to reach in the Peak.
The Cairn on Fox Stones - Dove Stones
Fox Stones Cairn on Saddleworth Moor at Sunset.

I have always shot this location at sunset, and I have always had great results. The best time to visit is when the heather is in bloom, it’s in abundance up on top and it will no doubt add to your compositions.

Be sure to take a good torch and a map of the route as you will be walking down in the dark if you stay for the last light.

If you want a slightly closer location but still great views and similarity of Dean Rocks then give Ashway Rocks a look.

Hitter Hill

The Upper Dove Valley in Derbyshire has 3 of the top 10 best locations to photograph in the Peak District, and Hitter Hill comes in at number 9.

With its ease of getting on location fast, combined with free parking, views, and accessibility you can see why it scored high on the desirability.

Lacking in the composition department it still manages to be a place you should aim to visit.

This location has managed to impress the judges in the Take a view – Landscape Photographer of the Year competition by myself in 2016 and Francis Taylor in 2017. Out of interest, both shots were taken after heavy snow fall.

Parkhouse and Chrome Hill from Hitter Hill
Hitter Hill at winter. Looking across to Parkhouse and Chrome Hills
the view from hitter hill in the peak district
Hitter Hill one of the best locations for Peak District Photography

Getting on location is very easy. Park in Earl Sterndale village, you then walk to the rear of the “The Quiet Woman” pub follow the public footpath over the stile and bear right once up on top.

To get both Parkhouse and Chrome hills in the frame you are going to need a telephoto lens for this location. Using a full-size sensor I was shooting at a 60mm focal length (40mm for crop sensor).

If you want to isolate the hills in your composition you will need at least a 90mm (60mm cropped sensor) focal length lens. If you only have a wide angle lens you’re going to struggle – something to factor in if you’re preparing a visit.

Salt Cellar

It took me a while to discover Derwent Edge and the Salt Cellar. I started my photography exploration close to home and ventured further afield little by little.

My first recollection of Derwent Edge was whilst visiting Bamford Edge in the November of 2013.

Admiring the view across to Ashopton Viaduct and beyond I knew it was a place I needed to explore. There were no guide books back then, a map and compass and the urge to get out and explore!

My personal circumstances changed though, and I didn’t get to return to Derwent Edge until some 3 years later. A planned visit one weekend to Abbey Bank looking over Howden Reservoir spurred me on to visit the Salt Cellar.

derwent valley from the salt cellar
The stunning view from the Salt Cellar as the sun sets

On the way up you will no doubt stop and admire the views to catch your breath.

Passing by Whinstone Lee Tor, Hurkling Stones, Wheel Stones and White Tor before you reach the boulder rock formation of the Salt Cellar.

Salt Cellar stands at around 16ft approximately in height and is a peculiar weathered looking rock which seems to look top heavy.

There are plenty of compositions to try in both landscape and portrait format, and you should try to take a variety of lenses to cover all focal lengths.

the view from the salt cellar on derwent edge at sunset
The view of the Salt Cellar on Derwent Edge at sunset

By this time there was a guide book released by James Grant and I knew this was one of the locations in his fantastic book. I planned to visit in Autumn when the heather is in flower which seems to be the best time of year. In fact, it seems to be a very popular time for most moorland photography as it adds so much to the foreground compositions.

It’s not uncommon to see 20+ photographers at Surprise View when the heather is in flower, but upon Derwent Edge, you would be lucky to see 1-2.

One of the reasons for its lack of photographers is the leg work that’s involved. It’s a good hour walk from Heaherdene or Cutthroat Bridge Car Parks – and it’s all uphill!

the gritstone rock formation of the salt cellar
A close up shot of the Salt Cellar with stunning heather at sunset

A comprehensive list of the best places to visit and photograph in the Peak District


The table below is the collective information of all 101 locations.

You can use the search field below to filter your results, for example if you search for hill spring it will show you all the hills you can photograph at spring.

If you hold down shift on your keyboard and click a header you can filter your results twice for example you can click County and then hold shift and filter by Rank to show top ranking and bottom ranking locations.

You can scroll left and right on the table below on mobile

A comprehensive list of the 101 best places to visit and photograph in the Peak District
Description Location Rank Difficulty County Best Time Best Season Google Map OS Map Link Parking
Description Location Rank Difficulty County Best Time Best Season Google Map OS Map Link Parking

Locations are approximate and are taken from Google Maps Latitude and Longitude coordinates.


About This Project

After shooting landscapes in the Peak District for a few years I decided to put together this comprehensive guide to help you find and admire those same scenes that I have grown to love.

Unbeknown to me, I started this project years ago. I guess it started back in 2015 when I started to plot all the locations that I had visited into Google Maps. I found it extremely helpful because half of the time I never knew where I was. I roamed exploring most of the time without a care in the world. It turned out to be a very useful resource that helped me visit all 4 corners of the Peak.

Occasionally I would share a few of these locations with friends and strangers on Social Media when they asked for directions. Everyone seemed to love it. In 2019 after neglecting my website for several years, I decided to transfer those locations to the Google Map API and this project was born.

the top locations to photograph in the peak district View Google Sheet
the best places to photograph in the peak district Data Studio Report
peak district locations ranked data analysis Data Studio Statistics