Kinder Downfall round

A classic Dark Peak circuit featuring Derbyshire’s highest waterfall and a section of the Pennine Way.

Technical sheet
No. 19974099
A Hayfield walk posted on 07/03/22 by Walks from the Door. Update : 08/03/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h45[?]
Distance Distance : 14.84km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 516m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 509m
Highest point Highest point : 634m
Lowest point Lowest point : 193m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Hayfield
Starting point Starting point : N 53.379514° / W 1.945118°
Download : -


(D/A) Leave The Royal Hotel car park and turn left to cross the river. Keep left up Church St past the George pub.

(1) Turn left into Highgate Rd then immediately left again into Valley Rd. Continue along Valley Rd, ignoring any turnings to left or right, keeping the river on your left. When the road ends, keep on along the footpath beyond. At a fork in the path, keep left through a stone gateway. Walk past the campsite to its entrance.

(2) Turn left and cross the river to Kinder Rd; turn right past Bowden Bridge car park. After a short distance, before the road starts to climb, turn right along a footpath between Bowden Bridge Cottage and the river.

Cross the packhorse bridge and then leave the river through a gate to follow a short climb between walls to Hill Houses. Pass between a barn conversion on your right and a farmhouse on your left, then turn right and descend along the farm entrance track.

(3) When you regain the road, turn left through gateposts and follow the track uphill. Follow it round to the right as it crosses the stream to reach Tunstead Clough Farm, which the path skirts along a driveway to the right.

(4) Beyond the buildings, follow a short walled section to reach open fields. Keep along the left-hand wall of the first field, then cross the middle of the next three fields, heading relentlessly uphill from gate to gate. In the fifth field, as the slope eases off, keep parallel to the right-hand wall to a gateway and then a further gate into open country by the scant remains of a ruined building.

(5) Turn left briefly across rushy ground, then beyond a gate in the fence turn right, steeply up the spine of Kinderlow End ridge. The central section is pitched with stones. Beyond the steepest rocky section the gradient eases but the path continues uphill along the centre of the ridge to a further rocky outcrop.

(6) Pick up the paved path that skirts to the right of Kinderlow Bowl Barrow. Keep left when another paved path joins from the right, following the slabs to the trig point on Kinderlow End.

(7) At the trig point, turn almost 90° left (North) to reach the plateau edge at a cairn. Turn right and walk along the edge path for a little over a mile to Kinder Downfall, fording Red Brook above its rocky valley about halfway along.

At times, particularly in the rockier sections, there is a choice of paths, and the way forward is indistinct, but route-finding is generally simple: keep between the peat on your right and the steeper ground dropping to your left.

(8) Ford the shallow River Kinder above the Downfall and continue along the plateau edge in similar fashion to before, except now heading West. Follow the path as it makes an obvious right turn at the top of the slight eminence of Sandy Hey (where a possible escape route heads off to the left).

(9) The path beyond drops gradually towards Ashop Head, where the plateau edge swings Eastward above an obvious saddle dividing the valley of William Clough (coming up from the reservoir on your left) from the headwaters of the River Ashop (heading off to the right).

(10) The point at which our route drops off the Kinder plateau is marked by a cairn; the path, stone-pitched, leads down a short steep section to a triangle of paths. Take the left-hand (slabbed) side of the triangle, then turn left (South - West) down the valley of William Clough.

The path follows the growing stream downhill for three-quarters of a mile, switching banks every so often and sometimes following the stream bed.

(11) As you approach the reservoir and the clough opens out slightly, the path crosses the stream from left to right and leaves it for the final time, climbing the right-hand bank, gradually at first, until it reaches the wall around the reservoir compound. (If you miss this path and reach a footbridge over the stream, head diagonally right up the slope to meet the intended path at the wall corner.)

Follow the path above the wall until, as you approach the line of the dam with mature trees appearing below the wall, to avoid losing height, our route forks right onto a narrow path that climbs gradually through the heather to the white-painted shooting cabin (just before the cabin, the original path rejoins from the left).

(12) At the crossroads of paths below the shooting cabin, take the left-hand track (South-West), signposted "Hayfield 11⁄2 miles". At the end of a level, sandy path, leave the open moorland through the wall via a kissing gate by a National Trust sign; keep left when the farm tracks split, shortly meeting the wall on your right.

Beyond a second kissing gate head out across the field, aiming for the clump of trees whose tops are visible above the curve of the slope ahead of you.

(13) A third kissing gate on your right leads past the trees (known locally as Twenty Trees, although there are actually only nineteen). The path leads downhill through a series of gates to meet Kinder Road.

(14) Turn right and walk downhill, passing Spring Vale Road on your left and Vicarage Close on your right. At the junction with Bank Street by the greengrocers, take the cobbled ginnel on your left to return to The Royal Hotel. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 194m - The Royal Hotel
1 : km 0.19 - alt. 202m - Campsite
2 : km 1.44 - alt. 221m - Hill Houses
3 : km 2.11 - alt. 232m - Tunstead Clough Farm
4 : km 2.61 - alt. 269m - Fields
5 : km 3.72 - alt. 439m - Kinderlow End ridge
6 : km 4.49 - alt. 596m - Kinderlow Bowl Barrow
7 : km 5.26 - alt. 634m - Kinderlow End - Kinder Downfall
8 : km 7.41 - alt. 607m - River Kinder
9 : km 8.5 - alt. 608m - Ashop Head
10 : km 9.94 - alt. 499m - Valley of William Clough
11 : km 11.57 - alt. 335m - Reservoir
12 : km 12.48 - alt. 360m - Shooting cabin
13 : km 13.95 - alt. 289m - Twenty Trees
14 : km 14.43 - alt. 216m - Vicarage Close
D/A : km 14.84 - alt. 194m - The Royal Hotel

Useful Information

Not for the inexperienced or ill-equipped: this walk includes long, steep climbs and descents over rough and rocky moorland terrain. Do not attempt in bad weather.

Pdf link :

The Royal Hotel
Tel : 01663 742721
Email :
Website :

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

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