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Padley Gorge Group
CREDIT: Geoffrey Carr

Bolehill Quarry and Padley Gorge with Dave Glenn

RPS Landscape Group Newsletter, February 2024

Bolehill Quarry and Padley Gorge with Dave Glenn

by Geoff Carr LRPS

Bolehill Quarry and Padley Gorge are both well visited and photographed sites close to Hathersage in the Peak District National Park. Various past years and seasons have produced some great images that have appeared in photographic publications including the RPS.

The event was scheduled for the 1st November and prior to that there had been a few days of heavy rainfall but for this date there was luckily a window of both cloud and sunshine and minimal rain but with more rain following. We were full of optimism when six of us met Dave at the leisurely time of 1030 at the “Surprise View” car park nearby.

A fairly short walk took us down to the Bolehill Quarry as the sun made a hazy appearance and we started our photographic day. Some time was spent around the quarry rock face as we settled into the mood before walking a little further to the well-known “Millstone zone”. Here a mix of moss-covered completed millstones presented a photographers dream and we set up various photographic angles and settings to capture the scene. 

Perhaps a place here to certainly return to another time was the view of most of us. Nearby was the Birch woodland which was photographed more briefly due to most of the leaves having blown off in the past few days and light fading a little due to thick cloud. From here we descended through the more colourfull Beech and Oak woodland where we took further challenging images but which provided a learning curve for some of us.

We dropped down through the woods towards the café next to the rail station and tunnel as it started raining heavily so that was well timed Dave! After this welcome break with good food the sun appeared and there was then an urgency to get back out and ascend Padley Gorge. 

With the sun behind us this was ideal and still with many leaves on the trees it offered a great mix of typical autumn colours. The paths were very wet from earlier rain and quite slippery in places as we ventured on to our next photo-shoot location near the first bridge. We had perhaps a half hour here setting up for various angles and the sun lighting up the scene. A lot of peat-stained water from the distant moorland was tumbling down the gorge and provided some excellent photographic opportunities and for all of us to test out camera settings to tease out the best images.

From here we moved on to another location which was quite dramatic with the tumbling water and a half sun providing decent light on the multi-coloured leaves. We moved on up to the next foot-bridge but on arriving found out this had been recently washed away so we had to double back to the first bridge where we crossed and ascended the zigzag path up through the oak woodland and out into rough pastureland back near the car park.

Everyone seemed well satisfied with the variety and challenging photographic opportunities presented by Dave and with some vowing to return at other times of year and spending more time at a particular scene.

All Images © Geoff Carr LRPS

Header Image: Padley Gorge Group © Geoff Carr LRPS



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