Saturday 7 November 2015

Across Kinder Scout from Edale to Glossop

Sunday 4th October 2015

A walk across the centre of the Kinder plateau, before picking up the Pennine Way and Doctor's Gate

Distance: 23km; Ascent: 550m; Cloudy morning, turning warm and sunny later; Solo

I'd been thinking about crossing the Kinder plateau again for some time, as most of my more recent walks in the area had been around the edges.  I was also intrigued by the words "Kinder Gates" marked on my map, and I wondered what was there.  As I had a opportunity to get out for a walk today, and it had been mainly dry for the last couple of weeks, I decided to head to Edale and wander up Grindsbrook Clough.

In Grindsbrook Clough
I set off walking from Edale station at around ten past ten this morning, and was soon following the path up along the Grinds Brook.  It was grey, overcast but dry this morning, although occasional bits of blue sky looked promising for the rest of the day.  There were a few other walkers around, but it definitely didn't feel particularly busy, and I spent much of the time higher up in the clough without seeing or hearing anyone else.

In Grindsbrook Clough
Around an hour after setting off from the station I reached the plateau at the top of Grindsbrook Clough, with hazy views back down into the valley.  Heading west for a kilometre or so, I soon reached the top of Crowden Clough and headed north alongside the headwaters of Crowden Brook.

Looking back down Grindsbrook Clough
A surprisingly grassy section of the Kinder plateau
As I wandered across the plateau, I was pleasantly surprised as to how grassy it was now in lots of places.  Although the long grass did make it tricky at times to follow the faint boot-worn path towards the River Kinder!  Soon I stumbled across the inevitable peat hags, which I have to admit I am quite fond of!  They add features to what would otherwise be a completely flat plateau.  Although that's easy to say when the ground is so dry underfoot!

In amongst the peat hags
By now the morning cloud had pretty much burnt off and it was warm and sunny :-).  I followed what looked to be the biggest looking grough as it twisted and turned through the peat hags to eventually reach the River Kinder at a prominent cairn.

The River Kinder above Kinder Gates
I followed a reasonable small path downstream alongside the River Kinder, bumping into the first other walkers since leaving the southern edge of the plateau.  Soon I reached Kinder Gates, which consists of some impressive gritstone crags that appear to guard the onward route - presumably that's how they got their name!

The River Kinder at Kinder Gates
After another half a kilometre or so, I reached the western edge of the plateau above Kinder Downfall.  There were hazy views westwards towards Kinder Reservoir from here, and I wandered along the edge for a bit to get a look at the downfall, which had hardly any water flowing over it today.

A hazy view down to Kinder Reservoir from Kinder Downfall
This edge of the plateau was teeming with other walkers out enjoying the lovely October weather today!  Therefore I headed slightly off path to find a pleasant gritstone outcrop on which to sit and enjoy a spot of lunch.  It was now about half-past midday and I decided that I probably wouldn't have enough time to head over Bleaklow and down to Hadfield to catch the train home as originally planned.  Instead I hatched a new plan to head along the Pennine Way and then down Doctor's Gate into Glossop to catch the train from there instead.

Mill Hill from Kinder
Junction with the Snake Path
Therefore I headed NW along the busy Pennine Way path to reach the summit of Mill Hill (Dewey), which is probably the hill I've climbed the most after Mam Tor!  Continuing along the Pennine Way I had another hill in my sights, but this time it was one I hadn't actually climbed before: Featherbed Top.

Slabbed path NE of Mill Hill
After much walking along the slabbed path I reached the featureless summit of Featherbed Top (Dewey) at around 2pm.  I wandered around for a while in an attempt to ensure that I'd visited the highest point of this somewhat flat-topped hill, before descending northwards towards the A57 Snake Pass road.

Summit of Featherbed Top
The A57 was very busy today, and I had to wait a while to be able to cross the road safely!  Continuing northwards along the Pennine Way, I soon turned off onto the Doctor's Gate path.  There were good views down into the Shelf Brook valley and at one point I came across a sign saying that the path for closed for a few metres at one point, with no diversion.  However given that the surrounding land was open access land, this seemed a little bit bizarre!

Looking down Doctor's Gate
A passing group of walkers soon informed me that the closure was due to a missing bridge over the Shelf Brook, but that the river was easy to cross today.  Therefore I continued down along Doctor's Gate towards the river crossing.  After a little over a kilometre I reached the site of the missing bridge and easily crossed the river, although it has been dry for the last couple of weeks.

The missing bridge on the Doctor's Gate path
I continued on a good path on the northern bank of the Shelf Brook, before picking up a vehicle track near to Mossey Lea Farm and following it through fields to the edge of Glossop.  A kilometre or so of road walking then brought me to the station, where I arrived in plenty of time to catch the 16:08 train back into Manchester and then home again.  All in all it had been an excellent walk in the Dark Peak :-)

Looking back up Doctor's Gate
Old Glossop Church

1 comment:

  1. Nice one alaister.
    Enjoyed reading this guide.
    Did edale to glossop few years back after camping and slightly hungover. Soon cleared my head. Went top of chunal way then dont thill to b.e.autiful glossop.