Walk 1182 - printer friendly version
Kinder Downfall Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km
Ascent - 1400 feet / 424 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference SK047868
Lat 53.378034 + Long -1.9308136
Postcode SK22 2LH (approx. location only)
This walk to Kinder Downfall starts from the quarry on the road from Hayfield to the Kinder Reservoir (grid ref SK047868). This quarry was a very significant place in the annals of hill walking as it was here that the mass trespass onto Kinder Scout started on 24th April 1932. Details of this momentous event is remembered on a brass plaque affixed to the quarry face. Leaving the car park head northeast up the lane to reach the main gates of the Kinder Reservoir. Then take the footpath that climbs along the northern side of the reservoir with a good view of Kinder Downfall across the water.
Soon you reach William Clough, which starts at the end of the reservoir. Keep to the path that follows the stream in this narrowing valley. After a steady climb you reach the paved "Pennine Way" at Ashop Head. Turning right (southeast) climb the plateau edge. The climb is steep but on a pitched path and by the time you reach the plateau the uphill work for the day is complete.
Keep to the main path that follows the plateau edge - the walking is easy, and the rocky defile of Kinder Downfall is reached quickly. Don't be disappointed if there is little water cascading off the plateau as it is only on rare occasions when there is a dramatic amount of water present. On windy days much of the water is blown away and you might find yourself subject to an unscripted drenching. With plenty of shelter behind rocks, it is a good place to linger even on a cold and windy day.
Turn south to follow the edge keeping to the main path, which avoids most of the bad peat groughs. The trig point of Kinder Low is reached and from here it is better to continue past Edale Rocks to reach the col (spot height 533) where the Pennine Way comes up from Edale. Turn right (west) to pass the ancient Edale Cross and head down Oaken Clough.
There are many possible routes back to the quarry, but it is best to leave the rather stony track just beyond Stony Ford to take the path that contours across the hillside. Continue past the foot of Kinderlow End and then turn west to Tunstead Clough Farm. From here it is only a short stroll back to the quarry.