Midlands - The Peak District

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in the midlands

10. Kinder Scout Walk

Top 10 ten places to visit in the Midlands - The Peak District

Kinder Scout Walk

Kinder Scout is a high, windswept, upland plateau, most of which stands at around 600 metres above sea level. The highest point is Crowden Head, which at 631 metres is the highest point in the Peak District. This is the largest and grandest of the great upland areas of the so-called 'Dark Peak,' formed of gritstone, and an impressive and imposing place. This walk covers about 8.5 miles and should be attempted only by well equipped, able bodied walkers who can use a map and compass.  
Walk Description 
Kinder Scout, visiting Kinder Downfall and Kinder Low. Distance: 8.5 miles. Time: 6 Hours

Unsuitable for pushchairs. Suitable waterproof and windproof clothing, equipment and footwear required. 
In Brief: Strenuous upland moorland, route covers tracks, paths and rough moorland paths and has steep ascents and descents. Reaches an altitude of 633 metres on a very exposed moorland plateau.

Start: Starting point:- Bowden Bridge Car Park, Hayfield (pay & display), public toilets are adjacent Grid Reference:- SK048869. The nearest you will get by bus is Hayfield Village, about 1.5 kms from Bowden Bridge Car Park, Hayfield.

Map:- Ordnance Survey: The Peak District, Dark Peak Area. Explorer OL 1
Refreshments: Pubs, hotels and B&B accommodation can be found in Hayfield Village

Turn left out of the car park onto Kinder Road.  On reaching a bungalow on your left, directly opposite is the Booth Sheepwash. This is no longer used and replaced a sheepwash which was drowned when the Kinder Reservoir was constructed in 1910, however this had been in decline for many years, and was restored in 2004, by Hayfield Civic Trust, Peak District National Park, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, United Utilities and the Countryside Agency.

Bear right over Booth Bridge and after a short distance take the signposted path on your left, keeping the River Kinder on your left.

Kinder Reservoir
At the end of the path turn left and cross a footbridge, at the Kinder Reservoir Filter Plant gates follow the bridleway uphill indicated by the National Trust sign.  Follow the path along the Kinder Reservoir edge to William Clough, do not cross the small bridge, but continue keeping the stream on your right, continue crossing the stream several times as you climb up William Clough.  

After about 1km the clough forks. Take the right fork following the obvious path. When nearly at the top you will see stone pitching and steps. Just before the highest point on this path our route takes a stone flagged path leading to the right.  If you miss this path turn right when you reach the guidepost indicating the route of the Pennine Way.

Follow the Pennine Way, a pitched path up the steep slope of Ashop Head, carry on along the moorland edge, keeping the steep slope on your right, past a large cairn.

Follow the path along the moorland edge to Sandy Heys, which is marked by stone sculptures hewn by the wind and rain over time.

Continue along the edge path, cross over a stile in a fence line and continue to Kinder Downfall - a very impressive waterfall, with wonderful views to the west across the Cheshire Plain to the Welsh mountains, on a clear day.  Take care as you cross the River Kinder and continue following the edge path via Red Brook to Kinder Low Triangulation Pillar (trig point).

Continue walking south and downhill - the path is a little indistinct at this point as it crosses bare peat - past Edale Rocks and pick up another section of pitched path.

At the next path junction, marked by a large stone cairn, turn right and follow a derelict wall - and look at for good views of Jacobs Ladder on your left.  Ignore the good path going downhill and follow the derelict wall, keeping it on your left and the rocky hillside of Swine's Back on your right.

Continue until you meet a good wall - turn left downhill and through a gate onto a wide track, turn right and Edale Cross is immediately on your right.  This medieval cross marks the boundary between Edale and Hayfield Parishes, of equal importance is its role as a boundary cross marking the edge of a royal forest.

Follow the track downhill and after about 400 metres at Stoney Ford, take the stile on your right, note the Peak and Northern Footpath sign indicating 'Public Footpath to Hayfield via Tunstead Clough', continue downhill to a ladder stile over a wall, cross over the stile and continue downhill following the footpath, crossing a further three stiles.

At the fourth stile turn left and continue down the hillside which is becoming steeper towards Tunstead Clough Farm, pass over another stile and through a kissing gate onto a walled track just above the farm.  Follow the path downhill keeping the farm buildings on your right, on reaching the metalled road, bear right and follow back to Bowden Bridge Car Park.
A word of Warning
Kinder Scout is beautiful, but it can also be a lonely and dangerous place if not treated with due respect. It can change within minutes from being a sunny, fresh landscape to a dismal, foggy, desolate plateau which can challenge even the most experienced walkers.

Only set out on this walk if you are fit and able-bodied. Also, please take note of safety tips and be sure to tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return.

Don't rely on mobile phone to get you out of trouble. There are no mobile phone masts on Kinder Scout!

Kinder Scout Walk Address:
The start point for the walk is the village of Hayfield
Peak District
England, UK
Kinder Scout Walk Opening Times:
This walk is best attempted during good weather in late spring, summer or early autumn.
Kinder Scout Walk Admission:
Free - a car parking charge may apply.

W  Peak District National Park Authority

T  +44 (0)1629 816200 (Peak District National Park Authority)

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Location of Hayfield - start point for Kinder Scout Walk

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