Monday, 18 March 2013

Chrome Hill......it shines!

Chrome Hill, while not made of chrome, really does stand out. Parkhouse Hill next to it has even more character. They have the look of mountains with the dimensions of medium sized hills. And it's only due to the much appreciated good graces of local farmers that we have access.
 
There are a few approaches to Chrome Hill, I chose the village of Longnor. A nice little village with a few pubs and cafes which come in handy after your walk. I initially followed the road to the tiny village of Hollinsclough.
 
 



As you work your way towards Hollinsclough your target is clearly in view. To the right, in clear view, are both Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill.
 
 



Passing through Hollinsclough brings you to a path that should take you down to the bridge across the River Dove. Unfortunately, March 2013, the bridge here is closed due to being in a dangerous condition.
 
 


 
There is a second bridge, which I used, about a kilometre further on. From the bridge you make an approximately 45 degree turn to the left, up the path to Leycote, the stone barn just visible.
 
 



At the barn follow the farm track north-east towards and through Booth farm. A hundred yards or so up this road you come to the gate and stile leading into Stoop Farm.
 
 



At this point Chrome Hill comes back into view.
 
 
 
 
The concession path through Stoop Farm is brilliant. It is clearly sign posted all the way through. A demonstration of how a path through farmland ought to be sign posted so as to prevent, as much as possible, tension between landowners and walkers. I've also seen this in the Dales and it makes sense.
 
 


The route up Chrome Hill is fun, there is some challenge, but nothing too strenuous. And once at the top the views are quite breathtaking. I have to say that at this point Chrome Hill was making me think of Catbells in the Lake District. Chrome Hill is of 'Special Scientific Interest' and so should be respected. With Parkhouse Hill off to the south-east I continued on after taking several photographs.
 
 



Parkhouse Hill is a different animal. Chrome Hill has a peak at 425m while Parkhouse Hill is 360m and a prominence of 35m. So it isn't that big. It does however take some getting up. The path up it's north-west ridge is extremely steep and offers a reasonable challenge to almost it's peak.
 
 



The way down the south-east ridge isn't quite so steep, but caution is needed. The path disappears off to the right just before the drop-off to a small tree.
 
 


I headed on south-east through the fields and gates to the main road. At this point I found somewhere for a sit down and a drink.....phew.
 
 


 
With an excellent view of both hills I followed the road a mile or so back to the village of Longnor and an excellent sandwich and drink at the cafe there. It felt the right thing to do as parking on the village square in Longnor is free.



I can't recommend Chrome Hill enough, Parkhouse Hill if you want a small challenge.