Walking in the Peak District: Day one

The High Peak, Peak District

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
The route is framed by thickets of rowan © Ray Surridge

The route is framed by thickets of rowan

2,087ft above sea level, Kinder Scout is the Peak District's highest point © Joe Cornish

2,087ft above sea level, Kinder Scout is the Peak District's highest point

Castleton Valley fields have gentle ridges, a legacy of medieval ploughing © Joe Cornish

Castleton Valley fields have gentle ridges, a legacy of medieval ploughing

Route overview

Part one of this two-day walk explores the National Trust land around the edges of the moorland of Kinder Scout and the dramatic geological fault line that lies just to the south. The High Peak is the classic introduction to the northern uplands of England. This is where the Pennine Way begins and where a mountain chain that forms the backbone of England makes its way north, gasping its last as it falls over the border into Scotland. We’re assuming you’re comfortable with map reading and grid references, and can use a compass.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Route of the first day of Mark's Peak District two-day walk
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Edale train station, grid ref: SK123853

  1. From Edale Station head north towards Grinsbrook Clough and turn left, signposted for the Pennine Way and Upper Booth.

    Show/HideUpper Booth and Lee Farm

    The path is often laid with flagstones, sheep graze quietly, and you may spot a kestrel, a curlew, or crows mobbing a buzzard. The route is framed by thickets of birch, rowan, and - down by the streams - alder.

    The route is framed by thickets of rowan © Ray Surridge
  2. Follow signposts for Jacobs Ladder. At Swines Back head north for 435yd (400m) to trig point at Kinder Low. Retrace steps to Swines Back and take clear path east along ridge.

    Show/HideClimbing to Kinder

    Jacob Marshall, who farmed Edale Head in the 18th century, carved steps into the steepest part of the route up to Kinder. This has always been an important packhorse route from the west of England to the east over the high Pennine moors. Commodities such as salt from Cheshire and cotton from the mills were moved east, and coal and lead were taken west.

    2,087ft above sea level, Kinder Scout is the Peak District's highest point © Joe Cornish
  3. After Crowden Tower path drops to ford and continues east. Then take left-hand path round back of Grindslow Knoll (SK104872) to crossroads of paths. Take steep path downhill into Grindsbrook Clough and Edale.

  4. Take footpath behind cemetery (SK124857), cross bridge and turn immediately right to follow path under train bridge, across road to Peter Farm and Hollins Cross.

  5. Take the path south-east down to Castleton via Hollowford Road.

    Show/HideThe Hope Valley

    After the bleak, menacing world at the top of Kinder, the grasslands around Castleton seem impossibly picturesque and benign. The fields often have gentle ridges - a legacy of medieval ploughing known as 'breedy butts'. Above everything stands the lofty fourteenth-century Peveril Castle, squeezed into a narrow gulch behind the village.

    Castleton Valley fields have gentle ridges, a legacy of medieval ploughing © Joe Cornish

End: Castleton, grid ref: SK149829

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 11 miles (17km)
  • Time: 6 hours
  • OS Map: Peak District Dark Peak, OL 1
  • Terrain:

    The ground ranges from easy strolling to steep ascents and descents, with some uneven paths. You'll be required to scramble between boulders at Grindsbrook Clough. Dogs welcome under close control. PLEASE NOTE: the map provided is intended as a rough guide, please take a map with you and wear sensible walking gear.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: service 260, Edale to Castleton. Regular buses serve Castleton from Sheffield, taking 55 minutes. See Traveline: 0871 200 2233

    By train: Edale is on the train line between Sheffield and Manchester

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