A Kinder Scout Adventure in the Peak District

Kinder Scout Plateau is the highest point in the Derbyshire Peak District National Park, rising to 636 metres (2,087ft) above sea level at its highest point. In 1932 Kinder Scout Plateau was historically involved in a change of land accessibility law when the mass trespass occurred on the Edale side of the plateau. 

After the mass trespass event on the 24th April 1932, the “right to roam” law came about, granting free access on uncultivated land.

kinder scout view

A Kinder Scout Hike from Snake Pass to the North Edge

Our adventure began at one of my regular haunts in Derbyshire, Snake Pass and Ashop Valley which I’ve previously described in an earlier blog, Wanders around Snake Pass which gives a wider view of the area. 

Layby Parking Location on Snake Pass Road

Directions to the start of our hike; Follow the A57 Glossop to Sheffield Road “Snake Pass Road”and parking is in a lay by near the building previous known as Snake Inn, which is now a private residence.

The post code to use with a satnav or google map is S33 0BJ to get you into the area to find a parking layby. Arriving early is the best option to get a parking space in a lay by. 

road A57 derbyshire, snake pass

This is a stunning area of natural beauty that just exudes tranquillity by the bucket load, with azure blue skies, billowing clouds and just a light breeze, the temptation to head up for a hike to Kinder Scout Plateau could not be resisted. 

My family and I arrived early enough to have a full day out hiking, our drive along the Snake Pass road was as always a pleasure, scenic views, hills and sheep, the road snaking through the pine trees….just idyllic! 

stream on kinder scout

Once we had parked up, booted up and packed up plenty of water we were off for a leisurely hike through the Ashop valley.

Pooh Sticks

We headed out through the cool fresh pine plantation then in true tradition stopped for a family game of Pooh sticks at a small concrete bridge over the river, in our case it was more like Pooh cones since there are pine cones galore around here.

Pooh sticks is a little game invented by Winnie The Pooh, a character created by the author A.A.Milne. The game was first mentioned in the book, “The House at Pooh Corner “where each player takes a stick and throws it into the river on one side of a bridge and the winner is the player who’s stick flows under the bridge fastest. (I didn’t win, if you were wondering!)

After our game of ‘Pooh cones’ we decided to step up the pace a notch and hike through the lush wonderland that is Ashop valley, after all we still had plenty of distance to cover before the end of the day. 

Ashop valley walking

We were following the river Ashop which Max the dog always enjoys paddling in and lapping from to keep himself cool, but always closely under control so as not to scare the sheep.

Our journey snakes through the valley up and down as the track follows the gorgeous natural curves of this 7000 year old land.

Heather is abundant here along with moorland grasses and bracken in a rugged open landscape that attracts wildlife like a magnet, and there have even been sightings of wallabies here, especially near to Fair Brook Naze. 

caterpillar on a rock

Hidden out of view is an oasis like feature on the moorland track, a dark tea coloured pond is the best way I can describe it, the typical colour of the water up here in the dark peak area. 

The colour comes from the dark peat that the streams filter through before reaching the rivers and ponds.

I personally think this would be a wonderfully relaxing spot to break out the picnic, get out a flask of coffee and dip the toes in the refreshing cool water here. But alas we needed to move on after a short stop. 

We arrived at the wooden bridge that leads across the river by the side of a ruined stone shooting hut, it all looks so dramatic and almost romantic here, there’s another place to rest and ponder. I get the feeling I could spend an eternity just daydreaming here. But it was Just a pause…..and we were away again! 

Up and onwards the trail took us toward a much more rough and dramatic landscape. Peat bogs and gullies are what you need to be kept aware of around here, so I wouldn’t stray from the path if I were you, some are more obvious than others.

The tufts of heather are more pronounced up here and as for the path, well let’s say it changes with the weather, it’s best to pick your way along.

As for the sights up here, well they’re phenomenal, on a good clear day you can see the un-spoilt moors stretching out for miles around and the rocky dark edge of Kinder Scout Plateau was beckoning, taunting us to hike up further. 

shooting hut ruins

The access stile was ahead and with it the next uphill climb, there’s no easy way of doing this, just dig in and upwards till you reach the top of the gritstone edge. It’s too easy to stop and just admire the fantastic views of the weather beaten gritstone tors and the mass expanse of peat and heather moorland here. 

views from near the top

Kinder Scout North Edge

Kinder Scout Plateau, we had arrived at our destination, the North edge, all I could muster was, “wow!” The photos I’ve shared here hopefully capture the majestic views, the calmness and the feeling of wonder at this natural creation.  

North Edge Kinder Scout

The hike was satisfying, a real pleasure even though the last stretch is indeed a leg stretcher and a lung opener and those views are worth every step without a second of a doubt.  

view from north edge

Unfortunately the weather began to turn, dark and menacing clouds were forming overhead and bringing with them a chill in the wind, a complete turnaround from the earlier blue skied sunny pleasure. We had to make the decision to ascend back down into the valley.  

The kids did us proud, they completed the challenge of this adventure and made it up to the top of the North edge of Kinder Scout. We took a steady stroll back while keeping one eye on the weather.  

Kinder Scout Mermaids Pool

There is a legend associated with a small pool on top of Kinder Scout of a mermaid who will grant you immortality if you see her at midnight on Easter Eve. 

mermaids pool on kinder scout

Conclusion and Map Advice

moorland and gritstone

A magical day filled with fun memories, adventure and a couple of challenges along the way just to keep us on our toes. Kinder Scout Plateau is like some kind of rugged fantasy land that rolls out for miles and can be accessed from Edale, Hayfield or indeed from the North side as we had done. 

I advise using an Ordnance Survey map. ‘OS Explorer Map OL 01’ which is widely available to buy in shops or as an online purchase and is relatively cheap. This covers the Dark Peak area of the Peak District.  

The ground is rough in places and the weather unpredictable but Kinder Scout has the ability to draw hikers back like no other! It certainly has that effect on me!

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4 Comments

  1. Janine Moore says:

    Hi Lucy,
    I’m glad my article was inspirational for you, I always enjoy this part of Kinder, the Northern edge. My other favourite route up Kinder Scout is up through Grindsbrook Clough, I start by parking at Upper Booth and arrive at the Woolpacks on Kinder Scout plateau after a lovely walk and scramble. Then make a circuit by means of Jacobs ladder. I hope you enjoy your adventure up to Kinder whichever route you choose.
    Thanks,
    Janine 🙂

  2. When I was wandering around kinder the other day I noticed looking down the clough from snake path what seemed a good route down. Or up another day. I was to tired to explore it, but that northern edge is just another world. Thank you for your article as now it has inspired me to go again very soon to take the route you have taken! Cant wait

  3. Beautiful pictures ☺ Your article has increased my desire to return to the Peak District ASAP. Haven’t been there for too long.

    1. Janine Moore says:

      Thank you very much indeed, Helen. I do adore the Peak District and feel it’s almost addictive. I hope you enjoy a return visit yourself some day in the not too distant future.

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