Kinder Scout, Derbyshire

Take a classic gritstone hike to Derbyshire’s highest hill and tallest waterfall, plus pretty Hayfield village.

Technical sheet
No. 19545591
A New Mills walk posted on 22/02/22 by Walks from the Door. Update : 14/03/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h40[?]
Distance Distance : 18.07km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 526m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 526m
Highest point Highest point : 635m
Lowest point Lowest point : 174m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : New Mills
Starting point Starting point : N 53.379297° / W 1.974404°
Download : -


(D/A) From the front door of The Sycamore Inn, turn right along the road (Sycamore Road), heading downhill past the car park entrance. Pass a phonebox and postbox on your right opposite the Old Post Office and continue downhill.

(1) Towards the bottom of the hill, just before a children’s play area on the right, turn left into a cobbled driveway with a Pennine Bridleway fingerpost. Beyond the cottages on the left, the bridleway continues as a rocky track between dry-stone walls.

At the top of the wood, go through a gate into a farm drive at a hairpin bend, and follow the drive ahead (uphill). On meeting a road (Sitch Lane), turn right. Follow Sitch Lane for half-mile as it descends towards Hayfield.

(2) Beyond the Primary School on the right, pass the entrances to Bank Vale Road and Swallow House Crescent (left), The Glade and Wood Gardens (right, opposite Lea Road). Turn right into the May Queen Field recreation ground. Walk down to the river and follow the path left (upstream).

(3) Pass a footbridge and the remains of Walk Mill and go under the bypass bridge. When you reach Market Street opposite the Pack Horse, turn right and proceed to the bridge in the middle of Hayfield.

Cross the river and bear left past the church and walk up past the Village Store (left) and George Hotel (right) to the antique shop at the top of Church Street opposite Fishers Bridge.

(4) Turn left and left again into Valley Road. Keep left and descend to the River Sett. After a row of terraced houses on the right, keep left along the no-through road. Keep left again at a fork below a high stone retaining wall on your right.

Descend again to the river and follow the riverside path, ignoring a footbridge. At a fork, keep left between the gateposts, staying close to the river.

(5) Walk between the river and the campsite. Beyond the campsite entrance go straight on, along the metalled road to the right of the stream; bear right at the confluence of the Sett and Kinder rivers (with views ahead to Bowden packhorse bridge).

(6) The road crosses the river on a bridge below a small weir. At a crossroads, go straight on through the gateposts and follow the track uphill. Follow the road round to the right as it crosses the stream to reach Tunstead House, which the path skirts via a track on the right.

(7) 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.

(8) For a walk to Edale, turn right here. Turn left briefly across rushy ground to the higher of two gates, then turn immediately right, steeply up the spine of Kinderlow End ridge. The steepest central section is pitched with stones.

Beyond the rocky section the gradient eases, but the path continues uphill along the centre of the ridge to a further rocky outcrop.

(9) 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 Kinder Low.

(10) At the trig point, turn left to reach the plateau edge at a cairn. Follow the edge path for a little over a mile to Kinder Downfall, fording Red Brook 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 away to your left.

(11) Ford the shallow River Kinder above the Downfall and continue along the plateau edge in similar fashion to before, except now heading northwest.

After a little under a mile, having climbed to a minor rocky summit followed by a level stretch with sandy sections, the path reaches a projecting spur of land where the edge path turns sharp right.

(12) Turn left here and leave the Kinder Scout plateau, descending fairly steeply down the grassy shoulder. Towards the bottom you ford a small stream, then descend further to cross the footbridge over William Clough, just above the head of the reservoir.

(13) Turn left and follow the path above and along the reservoir wall. At a fork, take the right-hand (upper) path that climbs slightly through the heather, leading away from the reservoir. Rejoin the reservoir wall at a hand-gate and continue along the wall, below open woodland.

(14) After an information board level with the dam, descend above the waterworks, still following the reservoir wall. The last part of the path is pitched and may be slippery under-foot. Go through a gate into the reservoir access road and turn right.

After 400 yards, join the public road at Booth Sheepwash, continuing for a further half-mile to Bowden Bridge car park.

(15) Beyond the car park, follow Kinder Road for a further three-quarters of a mile back to Hayfield. 40 Turn left down Bank Street to return to the bridge in the centre of the village.

(16) Cross the river and then turn right along the narrow street to the left of the church and out to the bypass. Cross at the crossing and walk through the car park beyond to join the Sett Valley Trail.

(17) Follow the Trail for almost a mile, passing first a house by a former level crossing, then proceeding above Birch Vale Reservoir.

(18) When you meet Station Road in Birch Vale, near the Sett Valley Café, turn right over the river and follow the road back to The Sycamore Inn. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 181m - The Sycamore Inn
1 : km 0.2 - alt. 174m - Children’s play area - Sitch Lane
2 : km 1.81 - alt. 188m - Primary School - May Queen Field recreation
3 : km 2.26 - alt. 191m - Bypass bridge - Hayfield
4 : km 2.62 - alt. 202m - River Sett
5 : km 3.86 - alt. 220m - Campsite
6 : km 4.25 - alt. 231m - Bridge - Tunstead House
7 : km 4.85 - alt. 270m - Open fields
8 : km 5.97 - alt. 440m - Kinderlow End ridge
9 : km 6.74 - alt. 596m - Kinderlow Bowl Barrow
10 : km 7.5 - alt. 635m - Trig point on Kinder Low - Kinder Downfall
11 : km 9.61 - alt. 607m - River Kinder - Minor rocky summit
12 : km 11 - alt. 578m - William Clough
13 : km 12.33 - alt. 299m - Reservoir wall
14 : km 13.11 - alt. 298m - Information board
15 : km 14.66 - alt. 224m - Bowden Bridge car park
16 : km 15.94 - alt. 194m - Church - Bypass
17 : km 16.14 - alt. 194m - Sett Valley Trail
18 : km 17.65 - alt. 183m - Birch Vale - Sett Valley Café
D/A : km 18.07 - alt. 180m - The Sycamore Inn

Useful Information

Not for the inexperienced or ill-equipped: includes long, steep climbs and descents over rough and rocky moorland terrain. Walking boots and Ordnance Survey map OL1 recommended; pack food and water- proofs and do not attempt in bad weather. Likely to be boggy or muddy in places; several streams to ford.

Car park : You can start your walk leaving your car at Bowden Bridge car park at waypoint (15) or to the main car park at Hayfield and start from waypoint (16)

Pdf link :

The Sycamore Inn
Birch Vale, Derbyshire
Tel 01663 743561

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

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

Admin hiker
on Mon 14 Mar 2022 10:30:24 CET

Hi Barbara,
Thank you for this feedback ! I am going to add the information you provided on the walking sheet.
Enjoy your walks

Delphine - Community Developer

on Sun 13 Mar 2022 20:49:01 CET

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 13/03/22
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

I enjoyed this walk, tough but fabulous views from the top. The only issue for me was the start at Sycamore Inn as there is absolutely nowhere to park. I opted to park in the main car park at Hayfield and did the loop from (16) at the beginning. I also retraced my steps from Bowden Bridge Car Park back to Hayfield rather than following Kinder Road.

Next time I might eliminate the loop up the Sett Valley Trail and extend along the plateau edge to descend via William Clough as it is not quite a steep so easier on the knees but the whole route will amount to approx the same mileage.

Great walk.

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