Grindsbrook and Edale Head from Edale

Grindsbrook and Edale Head are two of the highlights of this Peak District walk from Edale. Superb walking high above Edale on the Kinder Scout Plateau provides excellent views over this part of Derbyshire. Choose a good day for this route as poor weather makes navigation tricky.

Technical sheet
No. 292944
A Edale walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 01/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h55[?]
Distance Distance : 12.58km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 458m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 459m
Highest point Highest point : 618m
Lowest point Lowest point : 240m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Edale
Starting point Starting point : N 53.36421° / W 1.81567°
Download : -


(D/A) Parking in Edale can be a problem especially at weekends and in fine weather so an early start is probably a good idea. From the car park (or station) head north into the village passing an excellent Tourist Information Centre on the right hand side of the lane. Continuing on the road you reach the Nag's Head pub, the official start or end of the Pennine Way. Shortly after the pub the way-marked footpath turns right and descends to cross Grinds Brook. The path soon divides and you should stay on the paved valley path as it heads into the narrowing Grindsbrook Cough. On your right the gritstone edges provide a clear idea of how high you need to climb.

(1) As you continue further up Grindsbrook the valley narrows, the paved path finishes and the route becomes more interesting. The higher you climb, the rougher the path although nowhere can it be classed as difficult. As you near the top of the Clough it swings right to enter a mini-gorge. Instead of following the stream, keep straight on and climb up on to the plateau. It is a little rough and some handwork may be necessary. The climbing now over, you will find plenty of rocks on which to rest - perhaps watching fellow walkers struggle up the last few feet onto Kinder's wild moorland plateau.

(2) In poor visibility, Kinder can be a confusing place to be and accurate compass work is essential. However if you are blessed with fine weather the high level walking is a pleasure with good views to your left. Occasional boggy sections can be an annoyance but with care dry feet should be maintained with off-path diversions. Leaving the original route of the Pennine Way you head west. The start of the path is a little uncertain leaving Grindsbrook Clough but once located is easy to follow. In contrast to the close confines of Grindsbrook Clough you now have the benefit of open upland with interest added to the walk by the numerous exposed eroded rocks that litter the landscape. Many have interesting names although it is sometimes hard to establish how they came about.

(3) Keeping in a westerly direction you reach Crowden Tower, shortly followed by the Wool Packs. Crossing Edale Head, you will see Edale Rocks, below which the path contours to reach the broad col just to the east of Edale Cross. The latter antiquity is worth a diversion if you have time and indicated how long the next section of the walk has been used as a trade route. From here back to Edale you follow the current route of the Pennine Way and as expected it is well maintained and easy walking. Turning east there is a steep descent down Jacob's Ladder, which once saw regular pack horse traffic, to reach a pretty stone bridge across the infant River Noe.

(4) The final section of the route is easy walking. The next objective is Upper Booth farm where the path enters the farmyard with clear signs indicating the onward route to Edale. To your left there are excellent views of Crowden Clough while on the right Rushup Edge, Mam Tor and the Castleton Ridge provide a wonderful panorama. Crossing fields you soon reach the Nag's Head with a stroll down the lane to your car completing the walk(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 241m - Edale
1 : km 1.4 - alt. 292m - Continue further up
2 : km 3.4 - alt. 573m - Kinder
3 : km 5.01 - alt. 602m - Crowden Tower
4 : km 8.15 - alt. 356m - Stone bridge
D/A : km 12.58 - alt. 240m

Useful Information

The Kinder Plateau provides a wonderful excuse for putting on your walking boots. This walk starts from the main car park in Edale (grid ref. SK124853) and for once there is a viable public transport option with Edale station served by trains on the Manchester and Stockport to Sheffield route. The walk itself provides two contrasting sections of scenery with the wild moorland of Kinder contrasting with the lush pastures of Edale. All of the route is over clear footpaths although after wet weather expect some boggy ground on the Kinder plateau. In addition, you sample part of the Pennine Way with the outward route covering the original start to this long distance footpath while you return to Edale over the current recommended path.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 4.83/5
Number of opinions : 6
Description quality : 4.67/5
Routemap quality : 4.83/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Wed 22 May 2019 11:28:11 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 20/03/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Had a super day, the final climb over the rocks is time consuming as you have to be careful were you put your feet, but the rocks are mostly sound and safe to stand on. The path up before the rocks is a joy, loving the wide stone steps out of Edale, lots of lambs in the fields. Less loving the stones as you are concentrating and not getting the views, but we did rest a lot and the view back is good until the route bends, there are lots of waterfalls. The top is slightly confusing but the map came in here and told us straight on over the slabs after that bit easy to follow along Kinder edge, with great views, The Wool Packs rock formations are fascinating, the peat is soft underfoot just here and on a wet day I expect muddy, we had a great day for walking some sun light cloud and a breeze with mostly blue skies. Liked the stone cairn "roundabout", agree with other comments the decent on the slope to the top of Jacobs Ladder is tricky, sandy or stones which you feel. We chose the alternate route instead of using the ladder, thought it might be easier, its not, very stony and I think may be harder. But the packhorse bridge is a delight to stop at. and its a great walk back into Edale across the fields. We also met some nice people along the way, an American couple and two ladies out with their dog, not forgetting the gentleman giving us advise on the rocky ascent. A fabulous day and recommend it, despite the rocks.

on Mon 11 Mar 2019 17:34:49 CET

not really- the path is quite a bit away from the edge of the plateau; do remember though there is quite a scramble to get through Grindslow Knoll and you will probably need both hands; the walk is great though so worth it; the descent at Jacobs Ladder is quite tough on the knees as I have found

on Wed 06 Mar 2019 14:43:45 CET

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 06/03/19
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Hi, I am scared of heights, especially paths where there is a visible drop one the side(s). Would this walk be unsuitable? Thanks

on Sat 13 Oct 2018 16:21:38 CEST

Global average : 4.67 / 5

Date of walk : 09/10/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

It was a long time since we had been up Grindsbrook and had forgotten how early the clambering does start; there is a path but need to concentrate. We actually took the right hand path the route tells you to avoid; again there is a path but some serious hands on clambering needed - don't go this way if its been raining as you do go through the brook.
Once on the tops the views made it all worth while as it was a glorious sunny day.
Coming down the steep path before Jacobs Ladder was hard on the knees as you are descending for a long time and it is mainly loose shale type soil until you actually get on to the Ladder.
The route back to Edale is a hard as it is uphill again (a relentless slog over the fields my wife says) which is tiring after 4 hours & 6-7 miles, but there is a clear paved path in to the pub - you will have earned it.
Total walk took about 4 and half hours with lots of photo stops

on Tue 21 Aug 2018 22:19:37 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 21/08/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

12 of us enjoyed this walk well posted and easy to follow. It took use a hour longer than listing. But we where all over 60.

on Mon 13 Aug 2018 22:28:28 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 13/08/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Loved this walk. The enclosed valley which begins the walk is a delight and the grunt up the rock slope to reach the tops is well worth it. Fantastic rock formations along the tops - better than Kinder in my opinion, and great views both down into Edale and across the Peak District. Jacobs Ladder on the return leg is an annoyance rather than enjoyable but it's the same for everyone. Be aware that if you forget to look at the profile the small rise just before the return to Edale is a bit of a surprise. AND Upper Booth Farm sell local Ice Cream just close enough to the finish to justify the purchase.

on Mon 23 Jul 2018 17:27:42 CEST

Global average : 4.33 / 5

Date of walk : 19/07/18
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Very good

An excellent walk, just a bit of a trek back to th car park after descending Jacobs Ladder. We were lucky enough to do the walk on a clear, sunny day. May be more difficult in less favourable conditions

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