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Peak District

Only on hike #3 in England and I’m out in the wilderness on my own again! This time I’m in Derbyshire, but it’s definitely by far the MOST exhausting yet exhilarating ever (even more so than my climb up Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah), spanning across 2 days and covering approximately 75-kilometres of nature’s goodness on foot!


Lumsdale Falls | © 2014 Bryan J. Kwa

I remember a couple of photographers talking to me and dissing landscape photography, saying it’s one of the easiest things to do and the value in it is pretty low. After this trip, I really beg to differ. Granted, landscapes might not be as technically challenging as portraits of people or artsy indie street shots, but I can affirm the sheer amount of effort in simply traveling to these locations – many which are often inaccessible by vehicular means. Then again, it is often about the journey and not the destination! ^_^v

Lumsdale Falls was simply stunning – felt as though it came right out of a celtic/medieval setting, (think Rivendell from LOTR but in ruins). Grabbed my money shot from there, as you can see at the start of this travel post!

For the benefit of people not savvy with photography and wondering why the water looks so mesmerisingly ethereal; it’s achieved by using a slow shutter speed on your camera while mounted on a tripod. Same way you try getting light streaks in nights shots!

I then set off towards Peak District in direction of Stanage Edge. Managed to brave the elements as the heavens decided to take a piss on me three times that day. Got soaked to the skin but it added to the English-weather experience.

Literally saw the biggest cocks in my life (no pun intended) at Cock Hill, Baslow, made friends with a slug, parted a herd of cows and randomly met a trio of really outdoorsy youths on an escarpment. Friendliest bunch of people who were atop the cliff cheering me on as I made my way up!

Did I mention they live somewhat nearby and casually “hiked” out in just sneakers and hoodies? Shame on the rest of us always cooped up at home behind our computer screens and mobile phones! Embrace the great outdoors!

Arrived at Hathersage and had a home stay at Marion Codd’s. Delightfully pleasant lady who owns a charmingly quaint and homely country cottage! Had really nice talks with her over hot tea about her own travels, recommendation for anyone who wishes to visit Hathersage! (

Hiked up a couple of ridges the next day and met more happy hikers! Climbed to the peak of Mam Tor, a 517-metre hill, then scrambled up and down more hills in attempt to take a shortcut towards Kinder Scout (was an epic fail). Didn’t have time for Blue John Caverns though ): With deposits 250 million years old and minerals found no where else in the world, imma be back for sure!

Reached Peak District’s tallest waterfall, Kinder Downfall – A waterfall that falls for 30-metres from a river source 636-metres above sea level with occasional “anti-gravity” moments. Occasionally (when there are strong gusts of wind), the waterfall reverses it’s direction and sprays upward like a spray of mist! Breath-taking standing on the edge of a cliff watching this spectacle! Finally off to New Mills Newtown and a nice long train ride back to gloomy London!

Start: Matlock
End: New Mills Newtown
Hiking Distance: Approx. 75km

Hike 3

(Click to enlarge)

Day #1 Overview:
Woke up at 3.30am to wash-up and grab an early bus to catch the first train from King’s Cross St Pancras to Matlock! Started my hike towards Lumsdale Falls, passed through Darley Dale, hugged the River Derwent and passed Chatsworth House, traveled further up north towards Stanage Edge before heading back south towards Hathersage for a home stay.

Day #2 Overview:
Hiked to the top of a couple of ridges above Hope Valley and towards Mam Tor, cut across a couple of fields, detoured and bypassed Edale then started venturing north-west towards Kinder Scout. Climbed up to Kinder Low and carried on north towards Kinder Downfall. Made my way down and along the western shore of Kinder reservoir, through the town of Hayfield and finally ending at New Mills Newtown where I caught the train back to London.

Memorable Moments:
– Lumsdale Waterfalls
– Cock Hill, Baslow sporting the largest cocks I’ve ever seen in my life (no kidding)
– Making my way through a herd of cows blocking my path
– Stanage Edge
– Homestay with Marion
– Sheep laughing at me when I almost rolled down a hill
– Kinder Downfalls

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