Kinder Scout is the highest peak in the Peak District. It is also a nature reserve and moorland plateau. If you are planning to do the Derbyshire Three Peaks within the Peak District National Park, Kinder Scout will be on your list, along with Shelf Stones, and Bleaklow Head. Located in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, Kinder Scout stands at 636 metres. Be careful you don’t mistake the trig point on Kinder Low as the summit, as this is a false summit, and the highest point is actually further up the plateau.
When the weather is clear, once you reach the summit of Kinder Scout, you’ll be able to see all the way to Manchester, and also Snowdonia in Wales. It is a popular location for hikers and on busy weekends and bank holidays, the trail up to the summit of Kinder Scout can get quite busy. For this reason, if you are planning to hike up to the top of the plateau, it’s best to go early or mid-week, when there are fewer people around.
The Kinder Scout Walk
Tackling Kinder Scout can be done as part of a longer trail. There are several circular routes in the area that take in Kinder Scout, but it’s quite a challenging climb and not suitable for everyone. The terrain includes rocks, dramatic drops, and there are very few signs to mark the path to the summit. Even in good weather, it is a challenging walk.
Another popular route is to walk from Jacob’s Ladder to Kinder Scout, which is around 8.5 miles.
Parking is available at Bowden Bridge. There are also public toilets and refreshments here. If you decide to start your walk at Bowden Bridge, the route is just under three miles to the summit. Dogs can manage the trek, but they will need bags of energy.
Kinder Downfall is a waterfall that flows off the edge of the plateau. In the summer when rainfall is low, the waterfall is barely a trickle, but in winter, it’s far more impressive. On a cold day, the waterfall freezes, which is an opportunity for climbers to traverse the ice wall. The gritstone wall on the edge of the plateau is also popular with rock climbers.
Mermaid’s Pool lies just beneath the waterfall. Legend has it that if you visit on the night before Easter Day and you spot the resident mermaid, she will grant you immortality.
Edale Cross lies to the south of Kinder Scout. The original monument was erected in medieval times, possibly in the 1100s, but it was rebuilt in 1810 and bears the initials of the farmers who rebuilt it.
Things to Do Around Kinder Scout
Once you have ticked off Kinder Scout, there are plenty of other things to do in the local area. Pop over to Castleton for a cup of tea and a slice of cake while browsing the information exhibits at the visitor centre. Hathersage is also very scenic, especially on a sunny day.