|Length|| 20.6 km (12.8 mi), of which 3.2 km (2.0 mi) on tarmac or concrete.
For a shorter or longer walk, see below Walk Options.
|Toughness||10 out of 10. Cumulative ascent/descent: 843m.|
A walk of many contrasts in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, associated with rugged moorlands and dramatically sculpted gritstone outcrops (or ‘edges’), which also routes through the lush Vale of Edale, while in the afternoon affording grand views into the Hope Valley (including the notable dry gorge of Winnats Pass) from the Great Ridge, which separates the Dark Peak (sandstones) from the White Peak (limestones).
Follow the Pennine Way from its start at The Old Nag’s Head pub up along the fertile Vale of Edale, surrounded by towering hills, and up the Jacob’s Ladder path to Edale Head and to the edge of the Kinder Scout moorland plateau, a rugged, desolate peat bog. You then follow the edge past some magnificent rock formations and through an area of scattered wind-and-rain-sculpted gritstone boulders to choose one of three descent routes back to Edale village for lunch.
After lunch rise steeply onto the Great Ridge overlooking the Hope Valley and up to Mam Tor, whose summit is a great vantage point and a former late Bronze Age and early Iron Age hill fort. Its other name of “Shivering Mountain” is due to frequent – and still active – landslips.
An extension to Kinder Downfall, the highest waterfall in the Peak District, either as an out-and-back or combined with a crossing of the Kinder Plateau upland peat bog (only for confident navigators), as well as some shortcuts before and after lunch, are described.
An out-and-back Extension to Kinder Downfall, the highest waterfall in the Peak District: add 5.4 km/3.4 mi and 165m ascent/descent.
An Extension to Kinder Downfall, combined with a crossing of the Kinder Plateau upland peat bog: add 3.2 km/2.0 mi (but see the warning on page 9).
A Shortcut via Grindslow Knoll cuts 2.8 km/1.7 mi and about 200m ascent/descent.
A Shortcut down Grindsbrook Clough (this involves light but prolonged scrambling): cut 2.5 km/1.6 mi and about 200m ascent/descent.
Cut out the southerly loop up to Mam Tor: cut 5.4 km/3.1 mi and 220m ascent, rated 7/10.
Start with the southerly loop up to Mam Tor, recommended if starting late and depending on a pub for lunch (follow the route to the end of the first paragraph and turn right there as mentioned in the text).
Edale Station is on the Hope Valley Line from Manchester to Sheffield, with a journey time from 33 mins from Sheffield. Sheffield Station is the terminus of the Midland Main Line from London St. Pancras, with up to two trains per hour (journey time from 121 mins Mon-Sat, longer on Sundays).
Saturday Walkers’ Club: Take a train no later than 9.00 hours.
The Old Nag’s Head Grindsbrook Booth, Edale, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 7ZD (01433 670 291). Open 12.00-23.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-22.30 Sun. Food served 12.00-21.00 Mon-Sat, 12.00-20.00 Sun. The Old Nag’s Head is located 14.4 km (9.0 mi) into the walk. Situated at the start of the Pennine Way, it dates back to 1577. Overlooked to the North by Kinder Scout, made famous by the Mass Trespass of 1932, and residing in one of the World’s most visited national parks – the Peak District – The Old Nag’s Head is listed as one of the 100 greatest pubs of England.
The Rambler Inn Grindsbrook Booth, Edale, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 7ZA (01433 670 268). Open all day. Food served 12.00-21.00 Mon-Sat and 12.00-20.00 Sun. The Rambler is located 350m off route, 15.1 km (9.4 mi) into the walk.
[Note: both pubs are owned by the same company and in quieter periods they may co-ordinate in closing one of them at a time.]
The Old Nag’s Head & The Rambler Inn As above.
Cooper’s Café/Cooper’s Chippy Grindsbrook Booth, Edale, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 7ZD (01433 670 401). Café open 09.00-16.00 Mon-Fri & 08.30-17.00 Sat-Sun (summer). Chippy open 16.00-20.00 Thu-Sat.
The Penny Pot Café Station Approach, Edale, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 7ZA (01433 670 293). Open Nov-Dec 10.00-16.00 Sat-Sun, 15 March-31 Oct 10.00-16.30 Wed-Sun (but 7 days and from 08.30 in Jul/Aug). Food served to 15.00.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk