Kinder Scout mass trespass walk
Hayfield, Peak District National Park, DerbyshireRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
In 1932 around 500 walkers, mostly from Manchester, trespassed en masse and walked from Hayfield to Kinder Scout to secure access right to open country for all to enjoy forever. So walk in the footsteps of the trespassers and enjoy what others fought so hard for.
- Bus stop
Start: Bowden Bridge car park, grid ref: SK048869
From Bowden Bridge car park head towards Kinder Bank on the Kinder Road. The walk starts at Bowden Bridge the rallying point for the trespassers. There's a commemorative plaque here on the quarry wall. In 1932 most of the trespassers arrived on the train but the main protagonists camped in Rowarth, north west of Hayfield, and cycled to avoid the Police who intended to intercept them.
Spot the remains of Kinder village in nearby fields. Carry on towards Booth Bridge.
Pass Booth Bridge and sheep wash. They were constructed after the valley was flooded to create Kinder Reservoir. The 1932 trespassers would have walked on the road, but we can now use paths either side of the river.
Follow a bridleway up hill at White Brow alongside the reservoir until you reach the Snake Path at the foot of William Clough. Alternatively, take the route skirting along the reservoir enclosure wall to the bridge where there's an information panel.
From here, follow the path up William Clough, named after a cutler who worked here. Look for signs of iron smelting underfoot. During the mass trespass the ramblers left the path which was originally higher up the slope and became embroiled in scuffles with gamekeepers and water bailiffs.
Continue upwards to Ashop Head where the Pennine Way joins the path and turn right. Carry on along the ridge to Sandy Heys. This area was badly damaged by fire in 2003; peat moorland is a high fire risk after long spells of dry weather. All the way along the plateau admire the views over Yorkshire, to the north, Cheshire to the west, Wales beyond. These views wouldn't necessarily have been clear in the 1930s due to industrial smokes from mill chimneys and coal fires. In July and August the landscape is colourful with flowering heather.
Marvel at the spectacular rock buttresses and cascading water of the Kinder Downfall. On a clear day, this natural amphitheatre can be visible for many miles.
Kinder Downfall is often shrouded in mists, as the wind blows the tumbling water into the air. On sunny days a series of colourful rainbows arch over the rocks.
Continue along the Pennine Way to Kinder Low trig point, rising to over 2,000ft (630m). We're working to prevent the erosion of peat here by planting cotton grass to hold it in place and limiting water run-off. Below and to your right are Cluther Rocks, where roadside millstones used to be quarried.
Curious gritstone outcrops can be found on the southern edge of the Kinder plateau. Erosion of the peat soils here has been accelerated by the impact of man through air pollution, accidental fires and overgrazing.
Continue to the flag path, following the route to the left, to Edale Road. Turn right through the gate. Edale Road is an old packhorse route. Edale Cross marks the summit of the road. Continue downhill towards Hayfield.
Look and listen for moorland birds like the red grouse (shown here), curlew, golden plover and ring ouzel (or mountain blackbird). They feed on new heather shoots high up on the moors.
Leave the moorland and walk on a path through fields to the tarmac road at Coldwell Clough. Carry on, keeping the stream on your left.
Rejoin the metalled road at Ashes Farm and continue to Bowden Bridge car park.
End: Bowden Bridge car park, grid ref: SK048869
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Hard
- Distance: 8 miles (13km)
- Time: 5 - 6 hours
- OS Map: Landranger 110; Explorer OL1
Circular route from Hayfield to Kinder and back. Paths are generally good, but can be rough in places, with some moderately challenging ascent and descent. Take care when walking near to steep sections and the gritstone edges. The route can become muddy after wet weather.
- How to get here:
By bike: Traffic-free route from New Mills to Hayfield
By bus: Regular buses to Hayfield from Stockport via Marple and New Mills, Glossop and Chapel-en-le-Frith
By train: nearest stations are Glossop and New Mill and Chinley
By car: Bowden Bridge, Peak District National Park car park, east of Hayfield
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