Photography at Roystone Rocks

Having a few hours to spare yesterday afternoon and with a promising forecast for photography, I decided to head out to Roystone Rocks, just a 40 minute drive away from Derby but a very different world. Roystone Rocks is in the southern Peak District where the predominant rock type is limestone. It is unusual in that there are a lot of rocks of dark limestone scattered about at random on the hill, with the odd tree growing here and there. It looks across to the neolithic burial mound of Minninglow, a distinctive feature visible from many locations. The High Peak Trail, once the Cromford and High Peak Railway, runs close by.

As I drove towards the Peak District, the conditions became more wintry with snow on the fields. Once parked, I had a 20 minute walk to Roystone Rocks and the light was looking quite promising for photography. This was my third visit and it is quite a challenge to find good compositions among the rocks, requiring a good exploration of the hill top. The whole place has a slightly eerie feel about it and I didn’t need any extra shivers from that adding to the ones I was already feeling from the cold; I really should have worn my thermal long johns. The only company I had were a few sheep. Moving around kept me warm enough, but once I set up my tripod to wait for the sunset, I really did start to feel the cold, exacerbated by the wind that was blowing. However, I stuck it out until after sunset, hoping especially for the beautiful purple hues in the sky that you sometimes get after sunset in the opposite direction to where the sun has set. These appeared to an extent over Minninglow.

Roystone Rocks, south Peak District
Roystone Rocks and an isolated tree
Roystone Rocks, south Peak District
After the sun had set
Roystone Rocks, south Peak District
Purple sky over Minninglow from Roystone Rocks

By now, some of my fingers were starting to go numb and it was starting to get dark. I therefore beat a hasty retreat and was glad to reach the shelter of the car with thoughts of home comforts ahead.


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