This Kinder Scout Walk from Edale is one of the Peak District’s most iconic walking routes. In this guide, I share an exciting circular walking route to Kinder Scout, as well as all the essential info you’ll need before visiting.
At 636 metres tall, Kinder Scout is the highest and arguably the most famous peak in all of the Peak District. Boasting adventurous hiking opportunities and astonishing views, a Kinder Scout walk should be on everybody’s bucket list.
Various walking routes lead to the Kinder Plateau; however, this guide details how to walk to Kinder Scout from Edale. It involves an exciting climb beside a waterfall and descends via the infamous Jacobs Ladder. It’s not an easy route by any means, but it’s worth it for the adventure!
Below I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about this awesome Peak District walk. I’ll include how to get there, where to park, and the best time to visit so you’ll be well prepared to walk Kinder Scout. Let’s get to it.
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Kinder Scout Walk from Edale at a Glance
Time: 4-5 hours
Kinder Scout Walk FAQs
Before I share my experience on this Kinder Scout walk from Edale, let’s cover some key information to help you plan accordingly.
Getting There and Parking
You will start your Kinder Scout walk from Edale, located in the Hope Valley area of the Peak District. It’s 5 miles south of Castleton, 12 miles north of Buxton, and 20 miles East of Macclesfield.
The best place to park in Edale is Edale Car Park – You can click here for the exact Google Map location. From there, you’ll take a short walk through the village before joining the trail marked ‘Grindsbrook’ that will be on your right shortly after walking past The Old Nags Head pub.
Getting here by public transport is also doable. There is a train station directly in Edale, with trains running between Manchester and Sheffield and various stops throughout the Peak District.
Best Time to Visit
If you go walking in the Peak District, aim for a clear and dry day. Especially in this instance, since this walk is all about the views! Of course, this is the UK, so predicting the weather is hard. But generally, between May & September is the best time.
Another thing to remember when planning your visit is that Kinder Scout is a popular walk. During weekends and school holidays, you may wish to arrive before 9 am to avoid any issues with parking.
Finally, I would avoid this walking route during any extreme weather conditions. The Kinder Scout plateau is incredibly exposed and can be disorientating in poor visibility. Keep a close eye on the weather and have an online map to ensure you stay on the right track.
Kinder Scout Walk from Edale Difficulty
I wondered whether to classify this walk as moderate or hard because it all relates to hiking experience and fitness levels. Ultimately, I decided on moderate since there is little technical ability required. That said, it’s still not a hike to be taken lightly.
First of all, there’s the distance to consider. You need to be in reasonably good shape to tackle 13 km in one day. Add that to the 500-metre ascent, and you’ve got yourself a strenuous hike that will challenge even the fittest of individuals.
In terms of terrain, the trickiest part is the ascent up Grindsbrook Clough, which involves a steep 2km climb/scramble beside a cascading waterfall. It was tough, but I figured it would be much easier to ascend this way rather than come down.
Kinder Scout Circular Walk from Edale Map
Other Things Worth Knowing
Dogs: The entirety of Kinder Scout trail is dog-friendly. We had our 11-year-old Jack Russell/Chihuahua with us, and he handled the route without problems.
Kids: I would only class Kinder Scout walk as kid-friendly if they have some experience with hiking.
Pushchair/Wheelchair Access: Unfortunately, this route is not accessible with a pushchair or wheelchair.
Footwear: Supportive footwear with a good grip is a hiking essential for this Kinder Scout walk.
Weather: Be mindful that the weather can change quickly in the hills. Be prepared for all the seasons.
Facilities: There are pubs, toilets, picnic benches, cafes etc. in Edale. Otherwise, there are no facilities along the route. Bring enough water and food for your hike, and take all your rubbish home.
Map: It’s always good to have a map handy should you get lost or lose the trail. We use All Trails for this purpose.
Hiking Essential Items
Check out our Hiking Must Haves Blog for a list of hiking essentials for each and every adventure. Alternatively, here are some essential items I recommend you have in preparation for your walk:
- Sturdy worn-in hiking boots
- Twin Skin Socks
- A waterproof hiking backpack
- A refillable water bottle
- A waterproof jacket
- Life straw
- Hiking snacks
- Blister plasters
- First aid kit
- Power bank
Here are some other essentials for your adventure:
Our Experience Walking to Kinder Scout from Edale
It was our last day in the Peak District, and I knew I couldn’t leave before completing a walk to Kinder Scout. I’d looked over to it from the peak of Mam Tor and admired it from Robin Hood’s Cave on Stanage Edge. Today was the day that we’d finally make it to the summit.
From Edale Car Park, we made our way North through the village. The Peak District is full of quaint little towns and villages, and Edale is no different. I paid particular attention to The Old Nags Head Pub. I vowed to stop in for an obligatory post-walk pint.
Not long after the pub, I noticed the trail on our right heading to Grindsbrook. The path led us over a bridge and onto a vast grassy plateau where a paved trail traversed across it. You’ll want to follow this path to the left, ignoring the trail branching off to the right.
You’ll know you’re on the right track when you walk through a wooden gate and into a woodland area. The trail had been relatively flat until now, so I guessed the most challenging part of the walk must be imminent.
The woodland section of the walk was over in minutes leading to a pretty stream which we crossed by a bridge. As predicted, the Grindsbrook Clough ascent begins here, starting as a manageable trail for the first 1500 metres. Nonetheless, the views are incredible. I stopped often to look back at our progress.
Grindsbrook Clough to Kinder Scout Walk
I’d been looking forward to this next section after reading reviews from other hikers. Scrambling up a waterfall sounded right up our street. It turns out that it’s less of a waterfall and more of a trickling stream, but it may be more fierce during wetter months of the year.
Either way, it was my favourite part of the walk. We traversed back and forth across the stream, looking out for the most well-trodden trail. There’s no clear path; you must suss it out for yourself. Some sections require both hands and feet, but the scrambling is minimal.
After what seemed like a never-ending incline, we made it to the top, where we took a quick breather and admired the views. From there, we followed the apparent footpath to the left, which leads you across the Kinder Plateau.
We lucked out with the weather this day. The clear skies allowed for incredible views as far as the eye could see. Plenty of interesting rock formations and viewpoints make for cool photo ops. I regret not taking more, but time wasn’t on our side.
Kinder Scout to Edale Walk
We heard that the walk to the highest point of Kinder Scout was underwhelming, so we followed the advice to head to Kinder Low instead. There’s a trig point here, and the views are better, plus there’s only around a 3-metre difference in height.
From the trig point, the trail heads south past Edale rocks and follows the Pennine Way towards Jacob Ladder – a set of 699 stone steps cut into the hillside. Here is another area of outstanding natural beauty, making the long-anticipated descent all the more enjoyable.
A 17th Century stone packhorse bridge marks the end of Jacobs Ladder, where you’ll find yourself in Upper Booth village. Disappointingly, there are no facilities here, so there’s no other choice than to make the final push into Edale.
You’re not far off from this point – a little over 2km. We felt a slight incline in sections in our tired legs, but the promise of an imminent beer was all the motivation we needed. What a day! What an adventure! I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did.
Enjoy this Kinder Scout Hike!
I hope you enjoy this challenging and beautiful walk as much as we did. It’s one of the best Peak District walks, in my opinion, and boasts some unforgettable views. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.