The moorland plateau of Kinder Scout is situated at almost at the height of 2,088 ft and it is the highest point of the Peak District National Park. It is smooth, bleak, featureless, and faintly dreadful and its threatening solitudes are quite unforgettable.
It is shaped like a starfish, with the legs plunging out between steep stony valleys; the plateau is a wasteland of peat intersected by hundreds of groughs, or natural drainage conduits. These can be quite deep, for the peat is dense, having been 8000 years in forming and in winter when the groughs are filled with snow, they develop into traps that can be fatal to unwary. Also, in hot summers, the peat dries out to yield a dust that creates thirsts of huge proportions.
However, if this site still attracts you and if you are a true lover of wild places it will- it might be better to evade interior of plateau and take instead the well-defined gritty paths that trace its outside boundary. Here the wind is always fresh that carries with it the tang of heather and bilberry and sweet voices of birds. In summer, especially in May and June it sets the myriad white heads of cotton – grass a-dancing, making it easy to see why so many upland Pennine areas have been named ‘Featherless Moss’. You can reach the summit of Kinder by many ways; from the A57, where path about half a mile south east of the snake Inn crosses Woodlands Valley and climbs up Fairbrook Naze to the northern edges; or from Edale along the early stretches of the Pennine way that begins at The Nag’s Head. Both are outstanding routs among the number of others equally good, but whichever ways you approach Kinder all paths seem in the end to lead to Kinder Downfall on the Western Edge. Here the Kinder River makes a spectacular 100 ft. plunge- except when a gale blows, and throws back the falling waters in a great cloud of rainbow tinted spray.
Kinder Scout is a wild and fascinated place but treat it with respect especially in winter. The perimeter walk is 17 miles around, and most of it is really tough going requiring proper equipment and reasonable standard of physical fitness. If you have doubts about either, view the place instead from, say Mam Tor; better than that find yourself exhausted and stranded nightfall miles away from shelter.
Kinder Scout can be accessed from the A57 or from the Hayfield, Edale and many other points. There is also National Park Information Centre in Edale where details about routs and weather conditions can be obtained.
How to get there By car
From Manchester take the A57 east; then stay on it till it turns into the M67 and then back into A57. When you reach at the edges of the Peak District then turn on to the A6016 and then head south on A624. You will find the Grouse Inn along here, between Glossop and Hayfield.
By public transport
The nearest railway station is New Mills and from there you can take 61 bus that goes past the Grouse Inn.