Curbar and Baslow Edge - Part 2 of my Peak District Photography Guide

27th March 2013

Following on from the first part of my guide to photography locations in the Peak District National Park, part two features another favourite area of mine Curbar Edge and Baslow Edge which are both classic viewpoints in the Peak District and a firm favourite with landscape photographers. There is plenty of parking at Curbar Gap in either the pay and display car park or on the road as your start to go down the hill and this is a popular starting place for photographers as well as walkers and mountain bikers so can get very busy at weekends with people heading to Baslow Edge and along Curbar Edge towards Froggatt Edge. Curbar Edge is a great choice for photographers visiting from the south as it is so close to the edge of the City of Sheffield, for a year I lived in Dore which enabled me to get to Curbar in around 10 minutes making access for sunrise very easy!

I have created another map with some of the best parking spots to ease access and also viewpoints in order to plan a photography trip in the Peak District:

View Curbar and Baslow Edge Photography Locations in a larger map

Curbar Edge is great at sunrise, particularly in autumn which I have found is the ideal time to visit due to the frequent cloud inversions that occur down in the valley. The rock formations on the edge are both impressive and grand in scale leading to numerous opportunities along its length even when there are other photographers around at sunrise, there really is plenty of space for everyone unlike some other Peak District edges which can get over crowded.

Sunrise at Curbar Edge in the Peak District National Park

Curbar Edge looking towards Baslow Edge at sunrise

All along the edge are rocky features which can be used as foreground interest, not far from the car parks are abandoned Millstones on Curbar which provide good foreground interest, you can shoot from high above them or get down and place them firmly in the foreground.

Curbar Edge with Millstone down below

The Pinnacle Rock features in many Curbar images and is a little further along the edge, you will often find rock climbers in this area later on the in the afternoon so if you are out for sunset you may be able to use them in your photo to add some local interest. If you carry on walking down Curbar Edge it will eventually merge into Froggatt Edge, there are similar opportunities on Froggatt Edge and from certain points there are magnificent views down the valley. You can approach Froggatt Edge from the National Trust Car Park at the other end rather than the Curbar Gap end, there is also a great Bluebell Wood just below the national trust car park if you are visiting at the right time of year.

Dawn at Curbar Edge Froggatt Edge

From Curbar Gap you can either venture along Curbar Edge or crossing the road will lead you to Baslow Edge which offers similar photographic opportunities but with a different orientation so can work better at sunset, at dawn the sun rise is normally around 90 degrees to the left which can give you amazing side lighting if the cloud conditions are working in your favour. The whole length of Baslow Edge offers great photographic opportunities with rocks and groups of trees; you can shoot from here at both sunrise and sunset.

Baslow Edge looking down to the Chatsworth Valley

Some of the rock formations are very interesting in shape, I have in the past heard this rock formation called the ‘dog rock’ due to the way it appears to form the shape of a sitting dog if viewed from a certain angle.

Interesting rock formations on Baslow Edge

The views from Baslow Edge looking out towards the open fields of the valley below are quite spectacular and you can literally see for miles in a classic Peak District scene. The large single tree in the middle of the field is a personal favourite of mine and if lined up correctly can add a good focal point to an image, the valley is often laden with mist which hug the contours of the landscape.

Gorse Bank Farm and Baslow Village

I took one of my favourite and most popular photographs from the end of Baslow Edge looking down the Chatsworth Valley towards Chatsworth House on a cold September morning back in September 2009. When I arrived on location on a cold but bright autumn morning the view down the valley towards Chatsworth House was completely obstructed by cloud. As I made my way to the tip of Baslow Edge in the Peak District National Park the cloud began to clear and sink lower down into the valley revealing a temperature inversion which is typical in the right conditions for a Peak District autumn morning. As the sun rose above the horizon over to the left the cloud hugged the valley floor, revealing a hot air balloon which had taken off from Chatsworth House completing this beautifully peaceful autumn scene.

Hot air Balloon over the Chatsworth Valley

Baslow Edge and the Chatsworth Valley

Portrait – Baslow Edge

At sunrise the views away from Baslow Edge are often spectacular if the sun rises in a certain way, you can often create stunning images shooting directly towards the sun if the conditions are correct, particularly if you have a misty morning.

View east from Baslow Edge towards Ramsley Moor at Sunrise

Just behind Baslow Edge you will find a large stone known as the Eagle stone and is well worth a close up view. Further on from Baslow are the rocky outcrops of Gardom’s Edge and Birchen Edge which features the popular feature Wellingtons Monument.

You can view the rest of my Peak District Photography portfolio by following this link..

About Nick
Nick Cockman is a digital photographer from Sheffield specialising in UK Landscape and Seascape photography.

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Photo comment By Lesley Hughes: Great photos. An area I know well as I visited most weekend whilst living in Derbyshire. Now in Snowdonia which is probably good for photos too!
Photo comment By Dr Terry Froggatt: I find your photography of this area inspiring. I am currently tracing my ancestry from here in Australia. I now know that my descendents resided at Gorse Bank Farm in the 1800s.
Photo comment By John: Thank you for this location guided just moved to the area so this has helped me out a lot just sitting at cuber edge at the moment. Great photos as well Nick

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