This historic and emblematic moorland plateau is the highest ground in the wonderful Peak District. Beloved by generations, hikes to Kinder Scout take you to a vast upland that boasts some of the most incredible views in the national park. En route, there are many gems to uncover, from exciting scrambles, tranquil streams, beautiful waterfalls and gritstone edges.
The historic upland that played a crucial role in your right to roam
The Mass Trespass of 1932 was a pivotal moment in the history of land access. At this time, much of Britain’s moorland and mountain regions were out of bounds to all but private landowners. A peaceful protest launched by local ramblers, demanding access to such areas of natural beauty took place on Kinder Scout on 24th April. It sparked the beginnings of open access and eventually led to the creation of Britain’s national parks, of which the Peak District became the first, in 1951.
There are numerous walking routes to Kinder Scout, catering for every kind of walker. Great paths offer various ways to explore the diverse landscapes on offer. Hayfield is an ideal base for routes that go via Kinder Downfall, where a superb scramble can be found. For approaches from the south, picturesque Edale has a number of campsites and accommodation options, as well as a train station.
From the summit plateau, you can see as far as the distant mountains of Snowdonia, on a clear day that is. Closer at hand is the Great Ridge, with shapely Mam Tor standing proud above verdant Edale. Vast Pennine moorland sprawls to the north, a wild and enchanting sight.
When the clag is in, the featureless nature of Kinder Scout’s plateau makes it a navigational challenge that you’ll either revel in or bemoan, depending on your experience.
If England has a true wilderness, the vast exposed summit plateau of Kinder Scout – almost featureless except for its shifting peat maze of groughs and hags – is as close to it as anywhere. By contrast, its edges are defined by striking gritstone formations and steep cloughs cut by foaming cascades, including the eponymous Kinder Downfall waterfall.
December 13, 2019
Kinder Scout is a wild and unforgiving yet utterly poetic place. Magically melancholy and beautifully bleak – the views are spectacular in clear conditions. Hiking here can be tough but it’s always rewarding due to the intoxicating combination of wild moors and breathtaking gritstone escarpments. The boggy peat gorges (known as groughs) on Kinder Scout are like shifting sands in the desert. In the best of conditions, navigation can be tough. In the worst of conditions, it can be extremely difficult and perilous. Offline maps and good navigation skills are a must. Allow plenty of time, especially in winter, as average pace can really suffer when you’re deep into the moorland and darkness sets in quickly.
June 29, 2022
The moorland plateau belongs to the Derbyshire Peak District. The highest point in Derbyshire and the East Midlands, it offers excellent views onto the surrounding area. The path can be tricky, but as, in good weather conditions, you can even spot the city of Manchester and the mountains of Snowdonia, it is definitely worth it.
January 29, 2015
This is difficult to find as there is no marker or anything distinguishable to guide you. I walked past it the first time and had to loop back. Really it is just the centre of the Kinder plateau.
May 31, 2020
In the know? Log-in to add a tip for other adventurers!