Kinder Scout Walk from Hayfield

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Traverse the Kinder Scout horseshoe and pay homage to the site of the famous 1932 mass trespass on this popular Peak District walk starting from the High Peak village of Hayfield.

Walking Route Details

Walk highlights include Snake Path, Kinder Reservoir, William Clough, Kinder Scout plateau, Kinder Downfall and Hayfield village.

Distance: 14.2km (8.8mi) / Elev Gain: 518m
Approx Time: 4-5 hours
Starting point: Snake Path public footpath along Kinder road, on the edge of the village of Hayfield.
Parking: Limited on-road parking along Kinder road (SK22 2LJ) or paid parking at Bowden Bridge Car Park, just off Kinder road.

Starting along Kinder Road on the edge of the village you’ll join the Snake Path public footpath which is marked by a distinctive green signpost. Your heart will soon start pumping as you begin the ascent onto the heather moors. A distinctive small coppice (woodland) known as ‘Twenty Trees’ provides reassurance you are heading in the right direction, and also makes a nice photo opportunity. The well defined track allows you time to focus on the views and enjoy the solitude of the Dark Peak.

A white shooting cabin will come into view, this is used during the grouse hunting season when the paths should in theory be closed to the public! Kinder reservoir will appear on the right, along with sweeping views of the Kinder plateau itself. The path drops down to the far end of the reservoir where it meets with a mountain stream.

Walking along Snake Path close to Kinder Reservoir.
Walking along Snake Path above Kinder Reservoir, with the Kinder Plateau in the distance.

You’ll now head up a path called William Clough. This part of the walk traces the route of the famous 1932 organised mass trespass, where ramblers wilfully trespassed onto Kinder Scout to fight (some literally!) for access to areas of open country in England and Wales. A good spot to dig out the hip flask and give a virtual ‘cheers’ to those good folk who perhaps are to thank for the relative freedom we enjoy in the countryside today?

At the top of William Clough you’ll leave Snake Path and head east for the final steep push up to the plateau of Kinder Scout. This path is part of the Pennine Way, and traverses the plateau for approx 4.5 km.

One of the main landmarks on the plateau is Kinder downfall, the waterfall is a popular lunch stop offering great views. In the right conditions jets of water from the waterfall can blow back up and onto the plateau drenching unwitting walkers in the process – be aware!

Further on and just prior to dropping off the plateau you’ll come across the Kinder Low trig pillar. This marks the unofficial high point of Kinder Scout and thus is a worthy photo stop, as is the rocky outcrop known as Edale Rocks close by.

Snow conditions on the Kinder Plateau.
Snow is not uncommon on Kinder Scout so in the winter months always plan for the worst!

The descent off Kinder Scout is via some pretty steep grassy terrain and farmland, with some easy scrambling required on one rocky section shortly after the descent begins. Care should be taken here in wet and icy/snowy conditions – the latter is not uncommon on Kinder Scout.

Towards the bottom of the descent you’ll pass a rather inviting looking farmhouse before joining a narrow access road which leads back onto Kinder Road via a stone bridge. Turn left, passing Hayfield campsite and the Sportsman Inn – a great establishment for a post walk beverage! Continue along Kinder Road and you’ll eventually arrive back to the head of Snake Path, the finishing point of this wild walk in the Dark Peak.

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