Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill from Crowdecote

An out and back of about 5.5 miles taking in the iconic Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill in the upper Dove Valley.

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Until the provision of the CRoW Act in 2000, access to the twin hills of Chrome and Parkhouse was limited as they were on private land and there are no public rights of way that cross them. Parkhouse Hill is now designated access land as is Chrome Hill, however, the land between Chrome Hill and the nearest public access road is still private. The landowner has granted a concessionary path across the land so that walkers can gain access to the hill itself. With these rights also come responsibilities - the last time I was on Chrome Hill, I removed several items of rubbish from the summit and on Parkhouse Hill, the smokers had been in action, leaving their cigarette butts behind.

OK, here is the walk outline ...

Map: Ordnance Survey 1:25 000 White Peak OL24 Explorer series

Parking: There is limited parking at Crowdecote.

Warning Not a good route for families with small children as there is a road which can be quite busy, farm slurry and steep slopes with rock steps that can be very slippery in wet weather.

Refreshments (pub) in Crowdecote.

In Crowdecote (or Crowdicote as the Ordnance Survey insist on calling it) take the minor road that leads towards Earl Sterndale but in less than 100 yards, turn left down a farm track signposted 'footpath to Glutton Bridge'. After the farm track ends, keep the field boundary wall on your right and cross a couple of stiles to reach another farm track. This takes you past Underhill (lots of slurry to wade through) and on to the B road at Glutton Bridge.

Follow this road with care until you can cross it to pick up the path that skirts the base of Parkhouse Hill. It brings you to the road that passes between Parkhouse and Chrome Hills. Follow that until the cattle grid where you can pick up the concessionary path that takes you to the access land. The slope steepens and very soon you find yourself at the summit of this fine hill. It is a great place, it has a big mountain feel if you can shut out the fact that it is barely 400m altitude and in the Peak District. In misty weather, you can imagine yourself as being in the Scottish Highlands or North wales on a narrow, sometimes rocky ridge with pinnacles, towers and gullies leading steeply down from the path. The views from the top are stunning, looking down on the sheep-dotted fields below and the distant Peak District and, if you are that way inclined, there are plenty of birds flitting around.

Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill Picture Gallery:

For photographs of Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill, click here.

Walk the full length of the ridge for maximum effect but always keep in mind the warning at the start about how slippery limestone becomes when it gets wet. Along the way, you will see a limestone arch and shallow cave. To make the return trip you can either drop down and follow the field boundary on the NE side of Chrome Hill back to the point where you reach the access land or better still, return the way you came along the ridge. Once back at the cattle Grid, the decision is whether or not to make the ascent of Parkhouse Hill as well. This is smaller but the ridge is steeper at the start and narrower. In damp or wet weather the first couple of hundred yards can be fairly challenging as the path up and the rocks are slippery. From the summit you get the same extensive views as from Chrome Hill - down the Dove Valley towards Hartington, over the valley to the Staffordshire Moorlands and Axe Edge, North and East over the rolling hills of the Peak District. You can then complete the traverse and return via a vague path on the Eastern flank of the hill. To return to Crowdecote, head back along the path you followed to get to these two fine hills.

The geology of Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill

The area north of Crowdecote was a shallow tropical sea during Carboniferous times which is when the rocks of Chrome and Parkhouse Hills were laid down. The environment of deposition resembles that of an atoll in the south Pacific ocean today. The Peak District at the time of the formation of Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill is therefore believed to have been similar to an atoll, with reefs found at the southern end of Dovedale, here and further north in the Castleton area. Chrome and Parkhouse are the fossilised remains of mud mounds. A mud mound is created by calcareous algae which excrete a lime rich mud. The mud and algae are intermingled and give shelter to shelled sea creatures such as brachiopods and molluscs. This then lithifies to form a limestone feature known as a reef knoll with a fine grained mass of limestone with little or no evidence of bedding. The brachiopods and Molluscs have also been fossilised and can be seen on both of these hills but that is all - if you find any, look by all means, photograph if you wish but these two hills are both SSSI's and therefore no rock or fossil should be removed. The topography of today is believed to represent the reef topography with a little extra erosion, possibly as it was in the middle Triassic, after which the area was buried in softer, more recent sediments.

Disclaimer - this is a brief outline, you should work out the full route for yourself using a map before setting off. Make sure that you and your party are suitably equipped and are fit enough.

The nearest tourist information office is at Buxton.

Other local points of interest:

To be added.

Accommodation close to this walk

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Manifold Trail | Chrome and Parkhouse Hills | Baslow, Gardom's Edge and Wellington's Monument | Tideswell Circular Walk | Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge and Padley Gorge | Short Walks from the Fox House Pub | Kinder Scout from Edale side | Kinder Scout from north side | Monsal Head and Monsal Trail Circular| Rowsley and Calton Lees (Chatsworth) | Derwent Edge from Fairholmes car park | Peak District Kinder Challenge Walk - Scout and Guides | Dog Walking | Digital Maps | Four Inns Walk | Blackwell Halt, Wormhill and Miller's Dale | Walking Boot Buying Advice

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