It's difficult enough to predict the weather in this country but even more so in elevated areas like Castleton. Mam Tor, located near to Castleton, is one of the most iconic areas of the Peak District, it attracts hundreds of hikers, walkers and explorers every weekend. It's also where 'The Great Ridge' is located and if the weather is just right you can capture some of the most amazing landscape photographs the Peak District has to offer. At sunrise there is a fair chance of mist and lingering low cloud which can really add to the atmosphere, so we set the alarm for 3:30am and crossed our fingers. The alarm went off, we checked the weather report "only 19% cloud cover, let's give it a try". We took the dogs with us for some company and set off. We arrived at about 4:30am, there was a lot more cloud cover than 19%, it was closer to 80%. We had gotten this far so did the short walk to the famous gate which overlooks Castleton, the ridge and the path. We waited until about 5:30am but the cloud didn't shift, in fact, it just got thicker and thicker. It was deflating and disappointing, we were already pretty tired from the previous day so it really felt like a waste. We packed up our things and headed home.
The weather was crazy all day long, it was sunny, then throwing it down with rain, then all of a sudden it was sunny again. We were indecisive, should we risk another potentially wasted trip to Mam Tor? We checked the weather again, the forecast was favourable but could we trust it? We decided to go for it. Just like in the morning, there was a lore more cloud than forecast. The landscape was dull and flat and stayed that way for about 45 minutes. Just as we were giving up, a few rays of sunshine burst through the clouds, it only lasted a couple of minutes but it was long enough to get this:
It wasn't the shot we wanted but it was something out of nothing. We will definitely be returning here if time will allow and the conditions are right. On the way to Mam Tor we visited two locations; White Nancy (location 64) and Windgather Rocks (location 65). Both of these locations are in the Cheshire Peak so commuting between them wasn't too arduous. White Nancy is a big white Grade II listed building on the top of a hill. We hadn't realised at the time but it had been decorated in commemoration of the terrorist attacks at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. We took a self portrait, the words written under the bee fit quite well with 73in73, I hope you agree:
As far as landscape photography goes, we might have been a little early in the evening for the soft light, if there was any that is, so many clouds! Windgather Rocks is usually a very busy location at the weekend, especially with groups of people learning to climb. The rain must have kept them away as we had the whole place to ourselves. The photos from each location can be found below: