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Parkhouse & Chrome Hill Walk (The Dragon’s Back)

Parkhouse & Chrome Hill Walk (The Dragon’s Back)

Set off on an exciting trip along the Dragon’s Back, where you’ll meet the challenging terrains of Parkhouse and Chrome Hill.

Located in the beautiful surroundings of the Staffordshire Peaks, this adventure offers a mix of stunning scenery and a good physical test.

The route takes you through eye-catching fields and up sharp hills and even includes a bit of scrambling – it’s definitely more suited for the adventurous at heart.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Peak District as we cover everything you need to know before your visit!

Getting to Parkhouse & Chrome Hill

Chrome Hill and Parkhouse are best reached by car, located just a short drive from Buxton in the Staffordshire Peak District National Park.

I’d suggest beginning your journey in the village of Hollinsclough, though another popular starting point is the village of Earl Sterndale, situated on the opposite side of the hill.

Earl Sterndale has the advantage of being reachable by public transport, specifically the 442 Ashbourne Bus from Buxton, which is only about a 15-minute drive away (be sure to check the timetable). If you choose to start from Earl Sterndale, remember you’ll need to adjust your walking path accordingly.

Parkhouse & Chrome Hill Parking Options

Parking near Chrome and Parkhouse Hill is quite limited, and the lanes are very narrow. There aren’t any official car parks, so you’ll find yourself parking in the nearby villages and lay-bys.

It’s important to be considerate of local residents by keeping the roads clear and not blocking any access or areas marked with no parking signs.

Hollinsclough Village Road Side Parking (Free)

Hollinsclough Village Road Side Parking for Chrome Hill and Parkhouse

In Hollinsclough, you’ll find a few parking spots outside the Methodist Church and tea rooms. Further along, there’s a lay-by, and it’s possible to park on the grass verge along the road, accommodating cars all the way down the lane.

Bear in mind that farm vehicles often use these lanes, so ensure your car is well tucked in.

Parkhouse & Chrome Hill Walking Map & Routes

The circular walk starts from the village and crosses the fields, offering a clear view of the tall hills ahead. You have the choice to ascend Parkhouse Hill; afterwards, the paths merge as you make your way up Chrome Hill, where you’re treated to fantastic views. Following a short scramble down, you’ll circle around Hollins Hill using the marked tracks and footpaths, leading back to the village of Hollinsclough.

OS Map for Chrome Hill Walk – 6.2 km (3.9 mi) ~ 2hrs | Total Ascent 283m (929 ft)

OS Map for Chrome Hill & Parkhosue Walk – 7.2 km (4.5 mi) ~ 2.5hrs | Total Ascent 389m (1275 ft)

Warning: This walk is considered “hard” and might not be suitable for everyone. The ascents of both hills involve steep climbs, and the footpaths may not always be in the best condition. If this seems too challenging, you might want to explore some of our other, easier walks in the Peak District or those that still offer scenic views.

Dragon’s Back Walk Step by Step: 6-7km (4-4.5mi) ~ 2hr

1. Head down the road from the church, passing the school as you leave the village.

heading out of the village of hillinsclough


2. Shortly down the road, you’ll find the honesty shop just beyond the cattle grid. Continue along this track.

honesty shop with chrome hill in background


3. Further along, the track splits; take the right fork and pass through the gate on the other side.

track splits with chrome and parkhouse hill in background


4. Cross the small footbridge, heading towards the main road at the base of Parkhouse Hill.

bridge over river parkhouse hill in background


5. To ascend Parkhouse Hill, turn right and head towards the hill’s rear. Follow the visible path to the summit and down the other side, bringing you back to a similar starting point. If you’re in a mixed-ability group, others may be able to wait below (allow around 20-30 minutes, depending on ability).
 
WARNING: Parkhouse Hill can be a challenging scramble for those not confident in this type of hike. Always check the weather conditions, as high winds or muddy paths can make the descent very challenging.

Be #adventuresmart. Ask yourself: 1) Do I have the right gear? 2) What will the weather be like? 3) Do I have the necessary knowledge and skills?

6. Continue left up the road and over the stile or cattle grid at Chrome Hill’s base. You should see a rough path leading uphill.

trarmac road heading towards chrome hill


7. Ascend the hill until you reach a large tree and gate; proceed through and keep ascending. Remember to look back to see the Dragon’s Back coming to life. Enjoy the views of the surrounding area.

chrome hill main tree and gate


8. At the top of Chrome Hill’s summit, you’ll see the rocky descent. Continue following this path. Note: This section may require scrambling, so take care with each step.

back of chrome hill path down - dragons back


9. The path soon veers right towards a gate and wooden walkway on the other side. Note: From here, the path diverges from the map. Follow the black arrow markers, the official concession paths.

gate with walk way after chrome hill


10. Follow the path to a fence and another gate, then start the steep climb. You may need to rest along the way.

gate and path up steep hill


11. At the top of that hill, pass through the gate and continue along the path, weaving through the fields.

gate and view over fields


12. After about five fields, you’ll reach a tarmac road leading to Boot Farm. Follow it down towards the farm. (There’s also a path beside the road, which was quite muddy on this visit!)

path down road overlooking booth farm


13. The path then climbs away from the farm, over the cattle grid, skirting the back of Hollins Hill. The ‘no entry’ sign applies to motor vehicles only – don’t worry it’s a public footpath.

track leading behind hollins hill + no entry sign


14. Continue along the track until you reach a house. Pass it on the left but take the downhill path on the right just beyond it.

house on the right of path


15. Follow this path downhill through another gate, and soon you’ll get another view of Chrome Hill, Parkhouse, and High Wheeldon in the distance.

view of Chrome Hill, Parkhouse, and High Wheeldon in the distance


16. The path eventually leads down to the River Dove and a bridge. Cross it, followed by a short uphill section back to the village’s main road.

bridge over river dove and rusty white gate


17. Turn left down the road to return to your starting point in Hollinsclough.

road back down to village

Chrome Hill Amenities & Facilities

The village of Hollinsclough and the area around Chrome Hill are quite remote, especially in winter. It’s important to bring everything you need and ensure you can carry it back.

Despite the remoteness, there are a few places to grab a snack or a drink along the route and nearby:

  • Chapel Tearooms (at the start of the walk in the village): Open from March 24th, Saturdays and Sundays, 9.30 am-4 pm. This spot is known for its cakes, scones, and cream tea.
  • Honesty Shop (Exact: ///successor.grafted.relaxing – on the walking route): Open daily, 7:30 am-7:30 pm. A convenient place to pick up a drink, ice cream, or cake, with picnic benches outside offering views over Chrome & Parkhouse Hill.
  • Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn (Longnor): Just a 4-minute drive away. A classic, newly refurbished Peak District pub with a large beer garden.
  • Flash Bar Stores: A 7-minute drive away. A popular local café known for breakfasts (including oatcakes), sandwiches, coffees, teas, and cakes.

Please be aware that there are no official public toilets near this walk.

The nearest major town is Buxton, only a 20-minute drive away, with Leek and Bakewell also a bit further away in other directions.

History & Significance of Chrome & Parkhouse Hill

Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill, nestled in Derbyshire’s Peak District, are distinguished by their geological and natural significance.

These limestone reef knolls, remnants of an ancient tropical sea, are celebrated for their distinctive pyramid-like shapes (similar to Thorpe Cloud in Dovedale) and the captivating double sunset phenomena observed at certain times of the year.

Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), they are protected for their unique geological features and rich limestone flora. Access to these hills has been improved, allowing the public to enjoy the scenic “Dragon’s Back” walk that spans both hills.

Besides their natural beauty, Chrome Hill has inspired artists and even featured in the TV series “Peaky Blinders,” highlighting its cultural impact.

 FAQs

Is Chrome Hill and Dragons back the same?

Chrome Hill and parkhouse hill which is which image

Chrome Hill is one of the peaks that form the “Dragon’s Back,” also referred to as “Dinosaur Hill” in the Peak District.

Best viewed from above, the Dragon’s Back spans over Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill.

While the two hills are sometimes confused or referred to interchangeably, they each have distinct characteristics.

Is Parkhouse hill dangerous? 

The summits and scramble to the top of Parkhouse Hill can pose risks.

Always check the weather before ascending, as high winds, slippery conditions, or poor visibility can make the hill particularly challenging, especially for those less experienced or without the right equipment.