This circular walk takes you from the pretty village of Edale to the windswept moors of the Kinder plateau, the highest point in the Peak District. The route ascends via the rocky ravine of Grindsbrook Clough and then follows the edge of the plateau, passing Crowden Tower, the Wool Packs and the Noe Stool, before descending via Jacob's Ladder and returning to Edale on the final section of the Pennine Way. There are truly spectacular views along the way over the Edale Valley and the western edges of the Peak District.
Important Note! This route covers terrain that is steep and very rocky in parts, often without clear paths. The walk should only be attempted by more experienced hikers with the correct equipment, including sturdy walking boots, a map, compass, and clothing suitable for changeable weather conditions.
Start/Finish Point & Parking The route starts and ends at Edale Village Car Park (fees payable); S33 7ZQ; ///club.restores.quickly
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Park at the public car park in Edale village. Walk out of the car park to the left of the toilet block and then turn right on the road that leads into Edale. You’ll find two pubs in the village and a number of cafes is you need refreshments before your walk. After approx 200 metres turn right on a footpath signposted to Grindsbrook. Cross the bridge over the stream and turn left on the path at the top of the steps as you emerge from the trees. Follow the clear paved path through the fields and then through an area of woodland. Go through a small gate as you leave the wood and turn immediately left to cross the stream via a narrow bridge.
Follow the obvious path through the moorland and eventually into the steep ravine of Grindsbrook Clough. Be aware that the terrain is rocky here and the path is not always so clear, but you should follow the course of the stream up the gorge. Pick out the best route for the ground conditions on either side of the water.
After approx 2km, where the land levels out at the top of the ravine, you’ll find a large cairn. Walk to the left of the cairn and take the paved path that leads off to the left across the moor in a westerly direction. (Ignore the unpaved path on the far left which follows the very edge of the rocks.)
Continue on this path over the heather and peat moorland for approx 1.3km, with fabulous views over the Edale Valley to your left. When you reach a second stream at Crowden Clough, cross carefully over the water and continue roughly straight on, still heading west, taking the path that leads up a set of defined steps. (Again, ignore the unpaved path on the far left which follows the edge of the rocks.)
After approx 250 metres you will reach a collection of large boulders known as Crowden Tower. Climb up and over the rocks and continue heading roughly straight on, picking up the paved path that is visible across the moor again as soon as you have walked over the rocks.
After a further 250 metres you will arrive at the magnificent rock formations known as the Wool Packs. The path is quite indistinct here but continue walking roughly straight on, still heading in a westerly direction, through the rocks. The paved path continues across the moor as soon as you have walked through the Wool Packs.
After a further approx 900 metres, look out for a cairn and then a large rock on the left, known as the Noe Stool. Keep to the path that runs close beside the Noe Stool, staying on the route closest to the edge of the plateau with views over the valley to your left. Continue straight on when you reach a further cairn that marks the intersection with the Pennine Way, a long distance footpath between Edale and Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.
Approx 900 metres beyond the Noe Stool, stay on the paved path as it curves away to the left (now heading south) and starts descending. At an obvious fork in the path after approx 200 metres, stay on the paved path and take the left hand fork. Look out for the large cairn after approx 750 metres that marks the top of Jacob’s Ladder, at which you should turn left and follow the signposted footpath to Edale.
At the foot of Jacob’s Ladder, turn left and cross the footbridge over the stream. Turn right after the bridge and follow the path for approx 2km through a succession of gates along the foot of the valley, with steep hills to both sides. Continue on this well-made path, ignoring all other paths off, passing through the hamlet of Upper Booth
When you reach Upper Booth Farm and campsite, turn left and follow the track into the farmyard directly opposite the red telephone box. The clear path heads to the right beyond the barns, signposted to Edale. Ignore smaller footpaths off and continue on the broad path through a number of gates, always following the Pennine Way signs. This path heads up and over grassy hills for approx 2.1km with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. When you reach a T-junction of paths, turn right and follow the path signposted Pennine Way, walking through a short tunnel of trees to emerge at the side of The Old Nag’s Head pub. To return to the car park, turn right on the road and retrace your steps through the village of Edale. The car park is on your left after approx 800 metres.
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