The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Kinder Scout

Saturday 7 March


I don’t know how many times I’ve been on the plateau of Kinder Scout, but it came to my attention a while ago that I’d never visited the highest point. The weekend just gone gave me the perfect opportunity to put right that omission, as we were staying at the Snake Pass Inn for the TGO Challenge Spring Gathering.

It was a bit of an anti-social thing to do, as the Saturday was the day of the organised walk, which we would ordinarily join. On this occasion, we only tagged along for the first ten minutes, whereupon the other 18 participants headed off steeply uphill, whereas we headed more gently (initially!) up Fairbrook.

From the top all we had to do was continue on the same bearing for a mile or so, which I pictured as a slow slog through peat hags and black gloop, as that’s what the plateau had been like last time I wandered off the path which runs around the edge. What an incredible difference the re-greening programme has had! Just like my contrasting visits to Black Hill in 2008 and 2010, Kinder is now a blanket of green, with just the occasional small patch of bare peat.

Hitting the River Kinder, our navigation became even simpler – all we had to do was follow it as it got narrower and narrower, then carry on a couple of hundred metres beyond its source.


Before it narrowed

That took us to here:


which is where the 10-digit grid reference I’d noted told me was the top, although just to be sure I did go and visit another nearby tussock as well.

We weren’t the only mad people, searching for the lump of grass which is slightly higher than the rest, and after a chat with a chap who was having trouble locating the right place (a bit of operator-error with his GPS), off we headed to pick up the path on the south edge, stopping on our way to hide behind a rocky outcrop for lunch. The wind was not nearly as strong as I had expected it to be (based on the way Colin had been buffeted through the night) but it was still keen enough that shelter was desirable.

Joining the hoards on the south edge, it was then just a matter of walking to the west end (via Kinder Downfall, where the upfalling water gave us a shower), then along the north side, until we got back to Fairbrook, from where we trundled back down to the Snake Inn for much socialising and for the eating of more food than is reasonable, even after the energy expended by walking 11.8 miles with 2500’ of up (the Snake Inn certainly doesn’t skimp on its serving sizes!).

We returned home on Sunday in weather so miserable, grey and wet that Mick declined to join me on a walk. He did, however, agree to park up at Alsop Moor and sit and wait whilst I took a wander (in the hissing rain) along the Tissington Trail. 


  1. I've not been up on Kinder for a couple of years. At the time there were considerable efforts being made to re-grass the area and I must admit to feeling rather sceptical as to whether it would be successful or not. Glad to see (and hear!) that the work is bearing fruit. Or grass in this case.

  2. I remember it well JJ. In fact i don’t think the peat stains have yet gone.
    Wow Gayle i can’t believe you have never been to the highest bit.