2807 Kinder Scout

Kinder Scout Overview

Kinder Scout is a hill located in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, and the county of Derbyshire. To be more precise, it’s a moorland plateau of around four square miles of bleak windswept peat bog, and covered in groughs. It takes a good walker with excellent navigation skills to make a crossing of the plateau without becoming unstuck (or more accurately, stuck). Most casual walkers will stick to the edges and enjoy the fantastic views on offer, or marvel at the many examples of other-worldly gritstone formations, shaped by the elements over many years.  The hill is the highest in Derbyshire and in the Peak District National Park at 636m high, and is classed as a Marilyn, a Hewitt, and a Nuttall. In perfect conditions, it’s possible to see hills as far away as Pendle Hill, Ingleborough, and even the mountains of Snowdonia.

Kinder Scout Route Summary

There are many routes to ascend (or descend) Kinder Scout and I have listed the most common below:

South Edge of Kinder

Via Crookstone Out Moor: A quieter way to Kinder Scouts southern edge and easily accessible from the Roman Road above Woodlands Valley. This route is utilised in the Edale Skyline walk to link Kinder Scout with Win Hill.

The Nab to Golden Clough Head: A popular route that steeply ascends the slope of The Nab from Edale, and reaches Kinder Scouts south edge at the head of Golden Clough.

The Nab to Ringing Roger: Same as the above but a different finish for those that enjoy a bit of scrambling. Instead of continuing the traverse to Golden Clough, take a fork off the path and scramble directly up the ridge of Ringing Roger.

Golden Clough: Follow the normal Grindsbrook route from Edale, and Golden Clough is accessible to the right just before the clough begins to steeply narrow.

Grindsbrook Clough: A classic and hugely popular route from Edale. The clough forks in the top section, and the right-hand fork is the more adventurous of the two.

Grindslow Knoll: Head west along the Pennine Way from Edale. After a short distance, take a footpath to the right and steeply ascend Grindslow Knoll. A large cairn sits at the top and the views are fantastic.

Crowden Clough: Best accessed from Upper Booth. This contains slightly harder scrambling than Grindsbrook, especially in its final moves at the top. For those that want to avoid this, an escape path heads up the left-hand slope before any real difficulties are reached. My personal favourite amongst the south edge options.

Jacobs Ladder: The most well known of all Kinder’s ascent routes. Jacobs Ladder lies on the Pennine Way and so is easily accessible from both Upper Booth and Edale. It’s a steep climb, but paths are well defined and the route emerges at Edale Rocks just south of the Kinder Low trig point. The latter section of this ascent is utilised in both the Derwent Watershed and the Edale Skyline in order to link Kinder Scout to Brown Knoll.

West Edge of Kinder

Kinderlow End Direct: Best accessed from Coldwell Clough or Tunstead Clough Farm in Hayfield. A direct path leads very steeply up Kinderlow End until a cairn is reached at the top. It’s only a short walk from here to the Kinder Low trig pillar.

Via The Three Knolls: Similar to the above route except that instead of directly ascending Kinderlow End, another track is followed that skirts around it and traverses Kinder Scouts western slopes, passing the Three Knolls below and eventually reaching Kinder Scouts edge at the head of Red Brook.

Red Brook: Red Brook makes for a more adventurous ascent to the top of Kinder Scout. Grade 1 scrambling is involved in places, and some of the rock can be treacherously slimy in anything other than dry conditions.

Sandy Heys: The track up to Sandy Heys starts at the very foot of William Clough, near the footbridge. It’s a relentless slog of an ascent as it takes a very direct route up to Kinder Scouts edge. Good lungs needed for this one!

William Clough: This is a popular route and was the chosen route for the mass trespass of 1932. William Clough technically doesn’t get you up on to Kinder Scouts edge. Once at the top, the Pennine Way is followed steeply for the remainder of the way until the edge is reached.

North Edge of Kinder

The north edge of Kinder Scout tends to be much quieter than it’s south edge, which is a shame as there are some fantastic routes to experience on this side.

Pennine Way from Snake Pass: A simple route to Kinder Scout, and perhaps not the most exciting. The Pennine Way is followed, mostly along a route paved with stone slabs, from the summit of Snake Pass to Mill Hill. From here, it’s a steep ascent up to the north-west corner of Kinder Scout

Nether Red Brook: A quiet yet adventurous route up to Kinder Scouts north edge that finishes strongly with some interesting grade 1 scrambling. Best done is dry weather.

Fairbrook Clough: Accessible from the A57, this is a very scenic walk up a beautiful clough. An alternative path forks to the right near the bottom of the clough, and heads up to Fairbrook Naze rather than the head of the clough.

Gate Side Clough: Normally accessed from the A57 by initially following the Fairbrook path and then forking to the left and crossing the brook. The track is located between Fairbrook Clough and Blackden Brook and is another steep one that heads up Kinder’s slope in the most direct line possible.

Blackden Brook: A very nice and usually quiet route that can get quite tricky in very wet weather due to the brook needing to be crossed in a couple of places. The head of Blackden Brook is close to Kinder Scouts narrowest point and so a relatively quick crossing can be made to the south edge

Hill Stats:
  • Hill: Kinder Scout
  • Region: 36: Lancashire, Cheshire and S Pennines
  • Area: The Peak District
  • County: Derbyshire
  • Height (m): 636.3
  • Drop (m): 496.6
  • Classification: Ma,Sim,Hew,N,CoH,CoU,CoA
  • Feature: grassy prominence on peat mound
  • Observations: cairn 35m SW (SK 08462 87538) 69cm lower; cairn 200m E (SK 08678 87549) 47cm lower; cairn 475m ENE (SK 08953 87619) about 75cm lower; ground 340m WSW (SK 08180 87395) 30cm lower
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Routes that include this hill:

Grindsbrook and Crowden Clough

A day of easy scrambling in the Dark Peak, utilising two of Kinder Scouts popular ascent routes. The first ascent is by the way of Grindsbrook and, after descending via Grindslow Knoll, the second ascent takes in the exciting Crowden…

Four Brooks to Kinder Scout

A strenuous walk around Kinder Scout in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, taking in 6 different ascent routes including the four brooks of Blackden Brook, Grindsbrook Clough, Crowden Clough, and Fair Brook. This walk doesn’t…