Pennine Ways on Kinder Scout
Route type: Hike
Distance: 11.87km, 7.37 miles. Like (1)
Edale sits peacefully in a paradise of pasture, riverside meadow and hedgerow, surrounded by high peaks. Its church spire towers above the cottages and farmhouses of its five scattered booths, but is in turn dwarfed by the castellated crags of Kinder Scout, and the rounded hills of the Mam Tor ridge. Rambling Man. In depression torn 1930s England, Tom Stephenson, then secretary of the Ramblersâ Association, told the readers of the Daily Herald of his dream â to create a long, green trail across the roof of England. This dream would bring Edale to the worldâs attention. It took 30 years, a mass trespass and Acts of Parliament to achieve, but in 1965, the Pennine Way was opened. Spanning over 250 miles (405km) from Edale to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland it was Britainâs first official long distance trail. Go to Edale any Friday night and youâll see eager-eyed Pennine Wayfarers. Theyâll be in the campsite making their last minute preparations, or in the Old Nags Head poring over Ordnance Survey maps or looking though Wainwrightâs little green guidebook. Popular Trail: Unfortunately the popularity of the Way has led to the main route through Grindsbrook being diverted along the foul weather route up Jacobâs Ladder. But as you leave Edale, or to be more strictly correct Grindsbrook Booth (Edale is the name of the valley), you can look across to the old route, which delves deep into the rocky ravine. Your route climbs boldly to the top of Ringing Roger (the echoing rocks). From this great viewpoint you can look down on the length of Edale and across to the great Lose HillâMam Tor ridge. What follows is an edge walk round the great chasm of Grindsbrook, taking you past Nether Tor to the place where the old Pennine Way track comes to meet you. The Way didnât bother with the comforts of the edge, but got stuck into those peat hags to the right. It was a stiff navigational challenge to get to the Kinder Downfall on the other side of the expansive plateau. Past weathersmoothed gritstone sculptures and the rocky peak of Grindslow Knoll you come to another ravine, that of Crowden Brook. This route descends by the brook, passing several waterfalls and offering many chances for a paddle to cool those feet. Beneath the open slopes the path seeks the shade of recently planted pine, larch, birch and oak. Colourful wild flowers, including bluebells, daffodils and primroses, proliferate in this delightful spot, just above Upper Booth. Finally youâre reacquainted with the Pennine Way, following the new route back across the fields of Edale. Where to eat and drink: The Old Nags Head, or The Rambler at Edale both serve bar meals. Thereâs also a good cafÃ© by Edale post office and another gem by the railway station. What to look out for: Along the edge of Kinder Scoutâs summit are peat bogs. Peat is formed by mosses such as the bright green sphagnum moss, which is now restricted to small patches. It has been replaced by sedges, grasses, heather and bilberry in a vegetation cover riven by deep and numerous hags in which the naked peat comes to the surface. The base of the hag has often been eroded to the gravelly surface of the core rocks. There are many reasons for this. The chief factors have been grazing and pollution. Directions: Turn right out of the car park and head north along the lane into Edale village, under the railway and past The Old Nags Head. At the end, turn right and follow the path across the footbridge over Grinds Brook. 2 Leave the main Grindsbrook Clough path by the side of a barn, taking the right fork that climbs up the lower hillslope to a stile on the edge of open country. Beyond the stile the path zig-zags above Fred Heardmanâs Plantation then climbs up the nose of The Nab to the skyline rocks. Where the path divides, take the right fork to the summit of Ringing Roger. 3 Follow the edge path left, rounding the cavernous hollow of Grindsbrook past Nether Tor. The old Pennine Way route is met on the east side by a large cairn. 4 Ignoring the left fork heading for the outlier of Grindslow Knoll, follow the paved footpath westwards to the head of another deep hollow, the clough of Crowden Brook. 5 Cross over Crowden Brook, and then immediately leave the edge to follow a narrow level path traversing slopes on the left beneath the imposing outcrop of Crowden Tower. Below the tower, fork left for a steep and, at first, rough track down to the banks of the brook. The path now follows the brook, fording the path on several occasions. 6 Cross a stile at the edge of open country and then go across a footbridge shaded by tall rowans to change to the west bank. From here the path threads through woodland before descending in steps to the road at Upper Booth. You now need to follow the Pennine Way path back to Edale. 7 Turn left along the road and then left again into the farmyard of Upper Booth Farm before exiting at the top right corner. After following a track to a gateway, bear left uphill to a stile by an old barn. Here the Way traverses fields at the foot of Broadlee Bank before joining a tree-lined track into the village. Turn right along the road back to the car park. Extending the Walk. You can extend this walk from Point 5, continuing along the edge of the Kinder plateau, then descending to Upper Booth on the Pennine Way route by Jacobâs Ladder to then rejoin the main walk at Point 7.