The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed 18th April 2014
Post-production completed 14th June 2014
Alternative version completed 13th January 2016
Running time 16 minutes
Curbar Edge is one of the most popular gritstone edges in the  Peak District . I decide to go on a circular walk here, which also takes in the neighbouring Baslow and Froggatt edges .....
Filmed in the  Peak District  in the county of  Derbyshire  featuring Baslow Edge, Curbar Edge and  Froggatt Edge . Other locations include the villages of the same name and  Grindleford .
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Background and production details
I knew that I wanted the next film of “Solitary Rambler” in the  Peak District  to be shot around Curbar Edge. My original idea was to make my film along this gritstone edge as well as the Longshaw Estate and Padley Gorge . However, just a few weeks before I went out to film my ideas changed considerably.

Although I was pleased with the results, I had decided that the previous film “ Wayfarer of Windermere ”, with its running time of almost 65 minutes, would be the last film at such a long duration.  I had spent nearly six days filming and it took a long time to complete the post-production afterwards, a big commitment which I wasn’t sure I wanted to make anymore. Even though composing the music is always the best part of creating these videos, I can spend absolutely ages messing on my keyboard getting no motivation whatsoever as to what to record, and with a lot of music to record for “Windermere” in particular, I often get to the stage where I begin to lose interest.

When I first began making “The Solitary Rambler” way back in 1993 YouTube wasn’t around in those days and I wasn’t planning on showing my videos to a wide audience, they were made simply for my own personal pleasure. Therefore, I always aimed for my films to run at around 60 minutes, which for me was a decent duration in which to tell my stories and build up enough atmosphere. However, with YouTube now being very much a large part of people’s lives when watching videos I decided I did want a bigger audience to see my films.

During the early months of 2014 I had seen a lot more videos on YouTube, including those posted by people who had filmed their own walks in the Peak District as well as other areas. Many of these videos tended to run on average for a duration of around 10 to 20 minutes and they often had a high number of views by other users of YouTube.

So with all these points above in mind I knew I needed to make my next film of “The Solitary Rambler” much shorter, so I decided to aim for around 20 minutes. This would hopefully attract more viewers if they could see the video wasn’t too long. It also meant I could probably shoot one short film in a single day and then spend a lot less time afterwards on the post-production, which wouldn’t be anywhere near as committing as the earlier films were to make. I then thought this idea would give me much greater flexibility as I could go to different places where I hadn’t thought of filming before and spend only one day out to shoot a video.

Planning and scripting
I was becoming very excited about my new ideas of making short films. In my mind I had already started to list many places in the Peak District, as well as other regions in the UK, where I could make lots of short films over time.

I still wanted my next video to be made along Curbar Edge, but I wouldn’t include Longshaw and Padley Gorge in the same video, that could now be the following short film if I wanted. My film was now going to feature Curbar and its neighbouring edges of Baslow and Froggatt as well as the villages of the same name.


On the 18th April 2014, which was Good Friday, I drove up to Curbar Gap very early in the morning to start filming just before 8.00am. It was a long day as by the time I finished it was around 6.20pm. However, bearing in mind this was my first short film I wasn’t sure how much footage to shoot or how long it would take, but it was worth the effort and I discovered from this that subsequent short films wouldn’t require as much filming as this in a day.

I walked into  Curbar village  and followed a path below Baslow Edge, which took me into  Baslow village . After filming several scenes here I climbed up to Baslow Edge to begin filming along the long gritstone edge. It was a gorgeous day of sunshine and was very busy with other walkers, not surprising really considering it was Good Friday as well. Anyway I reached Curbar Edge by about lunchtime and had completed shooting along the adjacent  Froggatt Edge  near the end of the afternoon. I then dropped down to  Grindleford  to follow the path below the edges again back to Curbar Gap. I made one final visit up onto Curbar Edge in order to shoot a very dramatic shot whilst it was less busy by this time and the light for the shot was absolutely perfect.

It took me only a few hours to edit all the scenes I wanted to use, a great deal of which I had to cut as I had actually filmed approximately two hours’ worth of footage to produce a film that ended up at a running time of 21 minutes.


I had composed a specific melody, which I wanted to use in “Companion in Curbar” as the main theme for the majority of the film. Overall the musical soundtrack would be quicker and easier to compose and record with the film’s shorter duration.

I still wanted to try and use my main theme for the Peak District, so I managed to compose a very pleasant and different new instrumental version of “Song of the Peaks” for just a couple of the scenes.
Next: Lamentation in Longshaw
Previous: Wayfarer of Windermere
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