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Peak District Walk
Grindsbrook & Edale Head from Edale

Nat Park - Peak District - Kinder Scout Edale

County/Area - Derbyshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km

Ascent - 1520 feet / 461 metres

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference SK124853
Lat 53.364428 // Long -1.815126
Postcode S33 7ZQ (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Grindsbrook & Edale Head from Edale Photo from the walk - Grindsbrook & Edale Head from Edale Photo from the walk - Grindsbrook & Edale Head from Edale Photo from the walk - Grindsbrook & Edale Head from Edale Photo from the walk - Grindsbrook & Edale Head from Edale
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Kinder Plateau provides a wonderful excuse for putting on your walking boots. This Peak District walk starts from the main car park in Edale (grid ref. SK124853) and for once there is a viable public transport option with Edale station served by trains on the Manchester and Stockport to Sheffield route. The walk itself provides two contrasting sections of scenery with the wild moorland of Kinder contrasting with the lush pastures of Edale. All of the route is over clear footpaths although after wet weather expect some boggy ground on the Kinder plateau. In addition, you sample part of the Pennine Way with the outward route covering the original start to this long distance footpath while you return to Edale over the current recommended path.

Parking in Edale can be a problem especially at weekends and in fine weather so an early start is probably a good idea. From the car park (or station) head north into the village passing an excellent Tourist Information Centre on the right hand side of the lane. Continuing on the road you reach the Nag's Head pub, the official start or end of the Pennine Way. Shortly after the pub the way-marked footpath turns right and descends to cross Grinds Brook. The path soon divides and you should stay on the paved valley path as it heads into the narrowing Grindsbrook Cough. On your right the gritstone edges provide a clear idea of how high you need to climb.

As you continue further up Grindsbrook the valley narrows, the paved path finishes and the route becomes more interesting. The higher you climb, the rougher the path although nowhere can it be classed as difficult. As you near the top of the Clough it swings right to enter a mini-gorge. Instead of following the stream, keep straight on and climb up on to the plateau. It is a little rough and some handwork may be necessary. The climbing now over, you will find plenty of rocks on which to rest - perhaps watching fellow walkers struggle up the last few feet onto Kinder's wild moorland plateau.

In poor visibility, Kinder can be a confusing place to be and accurate compass work is essential. However if you are blessed with fine weather the high level walking is a pleasure with good views to your left. Occasional boggy sections can be an annoyance but with care dry feet should be maintained with off-path diversions. Leaving the original route of the Pennine Way you head west. The start of the path is a little uncertain leaving Grindsbrook Clough but once located is easy to follow. In contrast to the close confines of Grindsbrook Clough you now have the benefit of open upland with interest added to the walk by the numerous exposed eroded rocks that litter the landscape. Many have interesting names although it is sometimes hard to establish how they came about.

Keeping in a westerly direction you reach Crowden Tower, shortly followed by the Wool Packs. Crossing Edale Head, you will see Edale Rocks, below which the path contours to reach the broad col just to the east of Edale Cross. The latter antiquity is worth a diversion if you have time and indicated how long the next section of the walk has been used as a trade route. From here back to Edale you follow the current route of the Pennine Way and as expected it is well maintained and easy walking. Turning east there is a steep descent down Jacob's Ladder, which once saw regular pack horse traffic, to reach a pretty stone bridge across the infant River Noe.

The final section of the route is easy walking. The next objective is Upper Booth farm where the path enters the farmyard with clear signs indicating the onward route to Edale. To your left there are excellent views of Crowden Clough while on the right Rushup Edge, Mam Tor and the Castleton Ridge provide a wonderful panorama. Crossing fields you soon reach the Nag's Head with a stroll down the lane to your car completing the walk.

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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL1Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 110Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 110Digital Map1:50kBUY

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Recommended Reading

Pennine Way Map Booklet

Pennine Way Map BookletMap of the 270 miles (435km) Pennine Way National Trail, between Edale in the Peak District and Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. This booklet is included with the Cicerone guidebook to the trail, and shows the full route on Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps. This popular long-distance route typically takes three weeks to complete.
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