Kinder Scout is a high windswept upland gritstone plateau, most of which stands at around 600 metres above sea level. The highest point is known as "The Peak", which at 636 metres is also the highest point in the Peak District. The plateau is the greatest and most spectacular of the upland areas of the "Dark Peak" area of the Peak National Park, which includes Bleaklow Hill
, Mam Tor and Lose Hill.
The geographical position of the national park, between the cities of Sheffield and Manchester, and the fact that it is easily accessible, means that the whole area can get very busy, in fact, it is the second most visited national park in the world after Mt. Fuji. If you go up Kinder or any other hill in the park, especially in summer, you will be surrounded by tourists!
The Kinder plateau rises steeply from the surrounding ground and the edges are studded with rocky outcrops and crags. On the Western edge, the Kinder River flows straight off the plateau at the impressive Kinder Downfall waterfall. Here it is not unusual for the waterfall to be blown back up into the air and never reach the ground!
The northern edge of the plateau is a long series of rocks and there are several crags on the southern edge too. To the east the level of the plateau gradually lowers and tapers to a narrow neck of high land at Hope Cross which connects Kinder to Win Hill.
It is also very eroded with the industrial revolution, sheep and walkers all doing their bit to erode away the thin layer of turf that holds it all together. The resulting landscape is excellent for navigation practice, especially when it is foggy.
From the south, you can park in the pay and display car park in Edale and take the Pennine Way either north up Grindsbrook, or along the base of the plateau towards Jacobs ladder, which is the easier route.
The route from the north west is the easiest but probably the longest. You can head south along the Pennine Way from the A57 (Snake Pass) across the peat bogs. The path is well laid out and easy to follow. You can also get onto this path from Hayfield village and Kinder Reservoir to the west of the plateau.
The eastern and northern edges are the least accessible and therefore the least busy.
From Hayfield, train stations at Glossop, New Mills (Manchester to Sheffield line or Manchester to Buxton line) and Chinley (Manchester to Sheffield line) Seasonal and regular bus services from Stockport via Marple and New Mills, Glossop and Chapel-en-le-Frith.
From Edale train station Manchester to Sheffield line.Seasonal bus services with rail link.
Car parks in Glossop, Hayfield and Edale.
Kinder Scout is famous for the 'Mass tresspass' in 1932 of walkers seeking public access to the hills of England. The whole plateau is now open to ramblers and hikers all year round. You will need to pay for parking in Edale at the start of the Pennine Way. Parking on the A57 on the north edge is free but there are limited spaces available.
The whole area is under serious threat from erosion so it is recommended that you stay on the paths. The original route of the main path was changed to save the ancient peat bogs.
When To Climb
Kinder Scout can get very busy in summer when the tourists descend into the national park (2nd most visited NP in the world). Winter can yield magnificent scenery but be wary, the weather can change pretty quickly and it is not unknown for trekkers to have died. Also some people have been known to get stuck in the peat bogs.
External Links Peak National Park
Some information on the UK's first national park