Kinder Scout

Walking in the footsteps of legends, taking in an iconic plateau and walking part of the Pennine Way.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
17 km
Ascent
544 m
Descent
545 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
242 m
High Point
634 m
Gradient
12˚
VIEW ON MAP
Kinder Scout Map

Description

It’s hard to think nowadays that people would be sent to prison for simply going on a walk or that as recently as 2000, vast areas of England were barred from public access.

To walk on the hills before the mid 20th century, much of it classed as private land, meant trespass … and that, in turn, meant breaking the law. But sometimes people need to challenge the status quo to force change – and you can follow in the footsteps of the past on this fine and must do walk.

The Mass Trespass of 1932 on Kinder Scout was a landmark act of defiance and it has gone down in folklore. Ironically, the protesters didn’t want an ‘open all access’ arrangement - they simply required landowners to create a public path through Kinder Scout, giving them a route to use, free from trespass law, when the land wasn’t in use.

Their demands weren’t met and on Sunday 24 April 1932 around 400 walkers set off from Bowden Bridge and after reaching the plateau, scuffled with gamekeepers before continuing their walk. It was a triumphant moment, but worse was to follow. Six of the walkers were arrested and charged with ‘unlawful assembly and breach of the peace’ and jailed for between two and six months. Benny Rothman, seen as the leader of leader of the trespass, received a three-month sentence for ‘riot and inciting riot and assault’.

Sent to prison for going on a walk…

This route joins up with the one those protestors took, following the iconic Pennine Way and climbing the steep Jacobs Ladder until it crosses Kinder Downfall (which in winter can freeze totally, making it fair game for ice climbers) before returning back past the gothic looking Wool Packs (rock formations) and Crowden Tower and then descending the Grindsbrook Clough – an easy scramble but slippery and entertaining when wet.

It’s a lengthy walk and the path and plateau can be a quagmire in places, but it’s steeped with history and a bucket list necessity. Kinder Low tops out at 633 metres - three shy of the official highest point of the ‘Scout’ plateau which is at 2,087 feet.

On a clear day you can see for miles; the vastness of the landscape creating a 360-degree sensory experience which can seem a little lunar.

Edale, your starting point, is a cracking village with two pubs and public transport.

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Water features