So last Thursday after Winnats Pass I decided I would go to a virgin location to me, Bole Hill. What’s that you say, how can I have not gone already?! I’ll hold my hands up here, I’ve always snubbed it. Those that know me, know it’s not quite my usual style of photography but that said I always like to challenge myself and I had fancied it on a day with some lingering fog. It was my opinion, if it was going to work at all, it would be with a good amount of fog.
The fog would need to be quite high for Bole Hill, so one of your typical mornings would usually see fog and mist in the valley near Hathersage but not to the slopes of Over Owler Tor. Having been on Winnats Pass, I already had a good idea as the Great Ridge was only just poking out of the top, so I knew it would probably be high enough. I drove over and sure enough as I arrived at Surprise View car park, the fog was just milling around here, slowly burning off. It looked like I had timed it right. I got myself ready and started to walk across, passing Surprise View viewpoint. On the way I couldn’t help but grab a shot of these Birch trees with the fog passing by and the nice bright light:
Onwards I continued and dropped down from the viewpoint to cross the road. I took the public footpath in from here and walked along the track and spotted these fantastic abandoned millstones. I had seen some shots of them before and I was thankful after taking this way in, as had I gone what is apparently the more popular route I would have missed them. This is definitely my favourite shot from the location and the whole morning altogether. I have never seen a location with so many millstones, never mind arranged so neatly. I had also timed it just right because on getting there, the sun was just starting to break through and after I had done exploring the woodland it had burnt off and was just a regular scene.
Next, I moved onto the woodlands near the quarry. Quite strangely, the location is spelt Bole Hill on the Ordnance Survey map, although I commonly see it as Bolehill. But if you refer to the quarry, it then becomes Bolehill Quarry. How strange. I’m quite a stickler for these things after writing Peak District Through The Lens, old habits never die hard I guess.
The conditions were absolutely perfect, thick fog at times and then some breaking light others. I’m just going to showcase these photos as a set rather than explain each one as ultimately it is a photo of Birch trees in the fog, each with different compositions, which I individually like. I’m struggling to pick a true favourite but maybe the first?
I only wish I had a 50mm lens here to compress some of the trees, but I think I did well with a 35mm. It was such an enchanting place and I could have spent hours here if I didn’t have to get back to the car park for 10am. I actually loved it, but I still say it’s a place where you’ve got to have a bit of fog to really make it shine.
On my return to the car, some of the fog had started to thin out and sun rays were starting to break through, so I decided to shoot these other millstones with the light rays breaking through behind:
So I really enjoyed Bolehill in the end. I think I’ll use the location on many of my Peak District Photography Workshops as you’ll never get the same photo twice and it’s a good way to practice composition outside of golden hour.