Chrome Hill Walk: 3 Routes with Incredible Views

Chrome Hill is a true gem of the Peak District with a distinctive dragon-like shape. So much so, that it’s commonly called Dragon’s Back.

And, with its stunning views and growing popularity, Chrome Hill Buxton is quickly becoming one of the top Peak District walks. So, does this sounds like your cup of tea?

Then you’ll need to keep reading this guide to 3 different Chrome Hill walk route options.

With helpful information on the best time to visit (and how to avoid crowds), Chrome Hill parking, directions and downloadable GPS maps. You’ll be able to choose the walk best suited to you!

But, all that really matters is that every walking route gets you to the top of Chrome Hill Dragon’s Back. Where you can enjoy some of the most special views in the national park.

I was so excited to finally get to do this walk after hearing about it for so long. And, I can’t wait to share it with you! Truly a beautiful spot in the heart of the Peak District National Park!

Where is Chrome Hill?

Chrome Hill is located in the heart of the Peak District National Park. It’s positioned on the Derbyshire-Staffordshire border in the Upper Dove Valley.

See its location on Google Maps here.

The peak of Chrome Hill Derbyshire is approximately 4 miles south of the spa town of Buxton as the crow flies. Additionally, it’s also very easy to get to Chrome Hill on foot from the nearby villages of Earl Sterndale, Hollinsclough and Longnor.

The sun sets over the Peak District with a great view from the top of Chrome Hill. The steep walk up Chrome Hill is worth it for this!

How High is Chrome Hill?

The peak measures 425 metres above sea level. Meaning, it towers over its easterly neighbour, Parkhouse Hill (360 metres).

Can You Walk Up Chrome Hill?

Yes – I go into more detail on the different routes below! But, it’s totally possible and allowed to walk to the top of Chrome Hill Buxton.

No trespassing is needed, as the route is mostly roads and permissive paths.

Permissive paths are those that are on private land but the landowner has allowed the public to use them. However, these paths aren’t public rights of way. And they can be subject to certain rules (eg. no bicycles or dogs) and access can be revoked at any time.



On the final uphill stretch to the peak of Chrome Hill against the glowing sunset in the Peak District

What’s the Best Time to Climb Dragon’s Back Derbyshire?

The views of and from Chrome Hill can be enjoyed at any time of the day. However, I know Chrome Hill Peak District can get exceptionally busy during the day.

But, for simply breathtaking views, you should definitely aim to reach the top of Chrome Hill for sunrise or sunset on a fairly clear day. The soft, glowing light illuminates Dragon’s Back Peak District and surrounding areas in a truly magical way.

Of course, while sunrise is a lot later between late autumn and early spring, you’re much more likely to encounter clouds, fog and rain.

On the other hand, there are better conditions in the summer months. But sunrise can be as early as 4.30 am with first light almost 2 hours earlier.

If you’re looking to experience a Chrome Hill sunrise, you’ll have to balance the pros and cons. And whether you’re a morning person or not!

Enjoying a Chrome Hill sunset may be a better option for timing, but the more sociable hour means you could find that the walk is quite busy.

I would recommend taking this Chrome Hill Dragon’s Back walk at sunset on a weekday as a balance. I visited on a Wednesday evening in time for sunset in early May and only saw one other person! The emptiness really added to its charm.

Looking north over the Peak District during this Chrome Hill walk for beautiful rolling hills and blue skies

How to get to Chrome Hill (Walk Route Details)

Despite its location in the heart of the Peak District, Chrome Hill is actually quite isolated.

And there’s only one path up/down to the top. This means that there are only a few places you can start the walk from that don’t require you to walk unnecessarily far.

The closest two villages that best suit circular walks are Glutton Bridge and Earl Sterndale.

Glutton Bridge is closer but Earl Sterndale has more parking. Both of these Chrome Hill circular walk routes are described below.

Another option is to take a straight, short, there-and-back walking route from Glutton Bridge to the top of Dragon’s Back Peak District.

This is the quickest and shortest option. And still gives you amazing views and a total sense of accomplishment after completing it. The choice is all yours!

Chrome Hill Walk from Glutton Bridge (Circular Route)

The climb might be difficult (and your legs might get sore). But, at the summit, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the Peak District.

It’s worth it, I promise! I huffed and puffed my way to the top and don’t regret it!

As a word of caution, sheep do roam on Chrome Hill Derbyshire. Remember to give them plenty of space. Especially in lambing season when they’re particularly protective of their babies.

Chrome Hill Walk Map

Overview

Distance: 3.9 miles/6.2 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate
Walking time: 2.5 to 3.5 hours

Start and endpoint: Glutton Bridge

Directions

  • From Glutton Bridge, head off of the main road (B5053, Buxton Road) along the single-track road next to the grey telephone box.
  • After about 600 metres, the path splits – take the right fork. Continue for around 300 metres, then turn left off of the road just before the cattle grid and onto a path (over a stile).
  • Keep to the trodden path as it steeply makes its way towards the top of Chrome Hill Peak District. Although, don’t forget to look behind you to get a good view of Parkhouse Hill.
  • Once you’ve finished taking in the view from the summit, continue northwest along the path as it covers the ridge of Chrome Hill Derbyshire and then descends.
  • Still on high ground, the trail weaves its way through various fields towards Stoop Farm. The path crosses a road to the right of the farm and here you need to turn right onto the road and then right again after 100 metres.
  • Next, you need to follow the road for 1.3 km and then turn left off of the road and onto a path. Luckily, that 1.3 km is all downhill and you’ll be feeling as light as a feather!
  • After 700 metres, the path forks – take the right option. In another 700 metres, you’ll get to Glutton Farm.
  • The permissive path continues alongside the farm and back to the B5053 road (Buxton Road). Head right on this main road to return to the starting point – the grey telephone box.

Click the link above to download the file for use in a GPS viewer. This way you’ll be able to track where you are on the route using your phone’s GPS – avoiding accidental detours and providing reassurance for less experienced countryside walkers! Once you’ve downloaded the GPX file above, install a GPX viewer app (Google PlayStore or iPhone App Store) and load the GPX file.

Chrome Hill Walk Peak District from Earl Sterndale (Circular Route)

This longer Chrome Hill hike is similar to the one above but starts from Earl Sterndale. In this small village, there’s more parking than in Glutton Bridge.

As such, this is an ideal starting place if you’re walking on weekends or during nicer weather when it’s busier.

Route Map

Walk Overview

Distance: 4.7 miles/7.6 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate
Walking time: 3 to 4 hours

Start and endpoint: The Quiet Woman Pub in Earl Sterndale

Directions from Earl Sterndale

  • Head out the back of the Quiet Woman Pub on the path. Keeping to it as it runs parallel to the dry stone walls and crosses the field.
  • At Underhill Cottage, turn right onto the path. Keep going until you reach the road (B5053) at Glutton Bridge.
  • Turn left at the road and then right onto the smaller road next to the grey telephone box. Follow the road along for 600 metres passing Parkhouse Hill on your right.
  • Keep right as the path forks before turning off the path to the left at the cattle grid. Cross the stile and keep to the well-trodden path all the way to the top of Chrome Hill Peak District.
The start of the path that leads to the top of Chrome Hill!
At the cattle grid turn left off of the road, over this stile and onto the path that leads to the top of Dragon’s Back Derbyshire.

Enjoy bird’s eye views of the surrounding hills and wide Peak area at the summit. And you’ll want to savour your time at the top, for sure.

But, what goes up, must come down and that is where you’re heading next!

  • Keep to the trodden path as it slowly descends from the peak towards Stoop Farm. Here, join the small road and shortly after turn right onto the road that runs downhill.
  • After approximately 1.3 km, turn left onto the path. Then follow this straight for 800 metres until you come to another road.
  • Here, turn right and continue straight all the way back into the village of Earl Sterndale (straight at the crossroads after 700 metres).

Chrome Hill short Walk from Glutton Bridge (Straight Route)

This is a short but sweet Dragon’s Back walk Peak District.

It’s perfect for those wanting to spend less than a couple of hours out. As well as those wanting to catch a Chrome Hill sunrise or sunset.

Walk Map

Short Walk Overview

Distance: 2.1 miles/3.4 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderate
Walking time: 1.5 to 2 hours

Start and endpoint: Glutton Bridge

Directions From Glutton Bridge

  • Starting from Glutton Bridge, head down the single-track road next to the grey telephone box.
  • As the path splits, keep right and continue until just before you reach the next cattle grid. Turn left off the path and climb over the stile.
  • The ascent of Chrome Hill Peak District starts here! And, while it’s steep and rocky in places, it’s easy enough to follow the well-trodden path to the summit.

The views at the top are incredible and after the hard work of getting there, you’ll definitely want to enjoy them for as long as possible!

From the top, simply walk back the same way you came… Down the eastern side of Chrome Hill Dragon’s Back and back along the road to Glutton Bridge.


Incredible views on this short walk with both rocky and rolling hills the landscape contrasts in this area of the Peak District

Chrome Hill Parking

If you’re wondering where to park for Chrome Hill Buxton, then Earl Sterndale is your best bet.

It used to be possible to park at the – now-closed – Quiet Woman Pub. But recently signs have been put up stating not to park on private land.

However, there’s free on-street parking available in Earl Sterndale. Just be sure to check for signs and don’t block access or homes.

Closer to Chrome Hill Dragon’s Back, parking for one or two cars is available on the grass verge next to the grey telephone box in Glutton Bridge.

Cones have been placed near the houses on the bend, so don’t park there. But parking for Chrome Hill is possible at the telephone box so long as you’re off the road and not blocking the gate to the field.

Practical Tips

  • Unless it’s quite wet or icy, good trainers will be fine for this Chrome Hill walk. Although, walking shoes or boots will provide more support in the rockier areas.
  • Even on the warmest days, the exposed area at the top of Chrome Hill Peak District can be very windy. Layer up and check the weather forecast before you set off (and dress accordingly!)
  • For a Chrome Hill sunrise, it’s best to walk towards the peak in a clockwise direction on the circular routes. This way, the longer, second stint of the walk will be in daylight and you reduce the chance of missing sunrise!
  • Or, for a Chrome Hill sunset, you may prefer to walk in an anti-clockwise direction. This means you’ll have a shorter walk back from Dragon’s Back Derbyshire to Glutton Bridge or Earl Sterndale in the fading light.
  • Don’t forget to bring your camera – the views are incredible, especially in the hour or so before sunset.

If you have any questions or want any more information on Dragon’s Back Peak District drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

Information correct as of May 2023 but is subject to change in future.


Other Peak District Walks You May Be Interested In…

SHINING TOR: Straight and Circular Walking Route Guides

THE ROACHES: Walk Route & Full Guide for Panoramic Views

LUD’S CHURCH: Circular Walk Route For An Other-Worldly Experience!

THOR’S CAVE: 4 Circular Route Options From Wetton

LATHKILL DALE: 6-Mile Waterfall Walk

PADLEY GORGE: 4-Mile Route via Millstone Edge

THREE SHIRES HEAD: 4 Route Options from Gradbach & Wildboarclough

HARTINGTON: 5.3-Mile Walk in the Peak District Countryside

MAM TOR: 4 Routes with Stunning Views

LADYBOWER RESERVOIR: 6-Mile Circular Route including Derwent Dam Viewpoint


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9 thoughts on “Chrome Hill Walk: 3 Routes with Incredible Views”

  1. Hi. I’m visiting in early September (2022) and staying at the caravan club site on the edge of Buxton. Is there a cross-country route to Chrome Hill via permissive paths and quiet roads? Thanks, Graeme.

    1. Hi, yes it’s definitely possible by taking footpaths towards Harpur Hill, around the quarries and then up to Chrome Hill. I think it will be about 7 km each way (assuming caravan club to the top of Chrome Hill). I can send over a gpx file with a route suggestion via email if you’d like?

  2. Hi there, thank you for providing such comprehensive routes, it’s been so helpful with my planning! Could you please let me know with the 3rd and shortest route, whether there is parking at Glutten Bridge? I see that it is the start point but cannot tell if there is off street parking? Do you have a postcode and/or What 3 Words location? Many thanks.

    1. Hi,

      There is space for 1 or 2 cars on the grass verge next to the grey telephone box in Glutton Bridge. The telephone box has it’s own pin on Google Maps and the three words location is ///nutrients.condition.alarm
      An alternative short route is from Hollinsclough where there is on-street parking in the centre of the village.

  3. Hi there,

    I’m hoping to take my (very active!) 5yr old on this hike. Is it suitable for kids?

    Thanks!

    1. Hello! I don’t have kids so hard to comment but I would say that it is steep in places but I think manageable for an active 5 year old, especially if they’ve walked outdoors before. The uphill section is pretty short distance wise albeit steep, so it’s over somewhat quickly. If you do the walk with your child, I’d love to know how you get on. Thanks 🙂

      1. Hi there, thank you for your reply. I just thought I’d pop back and let you know how we got on.

        We parked up in Hillinsclough and did Chrome hill first. The walk and the views were amazing! My son enjoyed himself so much that once we got down to the bottom he insisted we did Parkhouse also. This was a much shorter walk, but more of a scramble in places but totally manageable. Thank you ?

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