Peak District Walk
Fair Brook & Kinder Northern Edges from Birchen Clough
|Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1||Sheet Map||1:25k||BUY|
|Anquet OS Explorer OL1||Digital Map||1:25k||BUY|
|Ordnance Survey Landranger 110||Sheet Map||1:50k||BUY|
|Anquet OS Landranger 110||Digital Map||1:50k||BUY|
It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.
Walk Route Description
This Peak District walk tackles the interesting route up Fair Brook to gain the Kinder Plateau then follows the northern edge to reach Ashop Head. The return is via the Snake Path with open views of the outward route. Despite venturing onto the Kinder Plateau it avoids many of the problems of the peat hags and is suitable for most times of the year. It also avoids complicated compass work as for most of the route you have clear landmarks although around Ashop Head a good sense of direction is required in periods of poor visibility.
The start is the small car park at Birchen Clough on the A57 Snake Road (Grid ref. SK109914). To avoid some walking on this busy road cross over and go through the gate descending through the woods to a stream. Follow this down staying on the east bank to reach the River Ashop. Do not cross the footbridge on your right and instead turn left on the clear path, which climbs to reach the main road. Turn right towards Sheffield past the Snake Inn and take the first signed footpath on the right. This leads down to a footbridge over the River Ashop (Grid ref. SK114902).
Cross the bridge and follow the river downstream before turning right at the first brook. This is Fair Brook. Follow this upstream staying on the west side for the climb onto the Plateau. Near the top your clamber through rocks to reach the edge path. Turn right to reach Fairbrook Naze, which looks like a ship's prow from the valley.
Stay on the edge path with good views to your right. Away to your left are the peat hags that make Kinder so infamous! Generally the path is fairly dry although there are some unavoidable sections that can be wet and boggy after rain. As you continue along the edge, heading almost due west, you will pass some interesting weathered millstone grit rock features including the "Boxing Gloves".
After about two miles (which in fact seems much longer) you reach the Pennine Way at the top of Ashop Head. Turn right and descend steeply over a flagged path to Ashop Head. At the cross path (Grid ref. 063902) turn right. This is the Snake Path, which leads you back to the start. In places it can again be boggy although most of the worst sections have now been paved. Entering the woods (grid ref. 102907) keep on the lower path that runs parallel to the River Ashop. Cross the footbridge and turn left. You have now rejoined the outward route and all you need do is retrace your steps back to the parking area.
Other walks nearby
Walk 1116 Grains in the Water & Alport Castles - mod/hard - 12.0 miles/19.5 km
Walk 2514 Fair Brook & Kinder Downfall from Birchen Clough - moderate - 8.0 miles/13 km
Walk 2982 Bleaklow & Higher Shelf Stones from the Snake Pass - mod/hard - 9.5 miles/15.4 km
Walk 3238 Fairbrook Naze & Ashop Head from Birchen Clough - moderate - 9.3 miles/15.1 km
Walk 3298 Oyster Clough & Blackden Edge from Birchen Clough - moderate - 11.4 miles/18.5 km
Walk 1489 Blackden Brook, Kinder & Upper Ashop - moderate - 6.8 miles/11 km
Walk 3049 Bleaklow Stones from King's Tree, Derwent Valley - mod/hard - 12.0 miles/19.5 km
Walk 1159 Grindsbrook & Edale Head from Edale - moderate - 7.5 miles/12.2 km
Walk 1264 Rushup Edge & Crowden Tower from Edale - moderate - 10.0 miles/16.3 km
Walk 1295 Ringing Roger & Edale Cross from Edale - moderate - 10.0 miles/16.3 km
Recommended Books & eBooks
Walking in the Peak District - White Peak East
Guidebook describing 42 half-day and day walks in the limestone landscapes of Derbyshire's White Peak, part of the Peak District National Park. One of two volumes, this book covers the east of the region, with potential bases including Bakewell, Eyam, Castleton, Birchover, Matlock and Wirksworth.
Walking in Derbyshire
Walking guidebook to 60 circular day walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District. Includes the Derwent, Wye and Trent river valleys, near Derby, Matlock, Glossop, Bakewell and Ripley. Routes range from easy to moderate and are between 4 and 14km (2 to 10 miles). Walks focus on places of interest, from Stone Age forts to castles to grand estates.
This pocket handbook to navigation will help you master the necessary map and compass skills for mountain walking. Chapters include map scales, symbols and contours, grid references, map reading, bearings, route planning and night and bad-weather navigation, as well as navigating with a GPS.