Thursday, 13 August 2009

It's a Kinder magic........

As we hadn't been out for the last three weeks, we really were champing at the bit, and Sue decided we should 'go high' and so we chose Kinder Scout, the highest point in Derbyshire, as our target for the day.
The forecast was good, but that's not what we saw as we drove to Barber Booth, near Edale, to park the car. All the way there, drizzle and thick mist. This was the view that greeted us when we booted up.
Not good! Ever the optimists though, we set off all the same.
Into this - well, you NEEDED to be optimistic.
Now, call me optimistic (hahahaha), but it LOOKS like it might be clearing a bit over the Mam Tor ridge???
No, wait - that IS looking a bit better.
Just in case we got lost, we employed some 'guide ducks' to show us the way.
As we started the climb up Jacobs ladder, again we were sure things were improving.

This small packhorse bridge marks the start of the real climbing.
You can see by the path that there's been some rain, but is it me, or is the sun trying to poke through?
Looking back to the packhorse bridge.
Look ahead - that's BLUE SKY, that is, YIPPPEEEE!

Swines back rocks, and breaking cloud.
On the hillside, evidence of National Trust work to recover the eroded path up to Swines back, a very popular route for walkers.
NOW we're talking - this is more like it.
Looking up to Kinder Scout from Jacobs Ladder.

Sue starts to smile as she tackles the climb in the improving weather.
The Pennine Way has been diverted to come up Jacobs Ladder. (It used to go straight up Grindsbrook from the Nags Head at Edale). The path up to Swines Back (that ridge in front) is VERY popular, and this has lead to bad erosion. The National trust are tackling this by laying a stone path, as they have on many other eroded paths.
These stones come from the floors of old mills. The Trust use the stones, which weigh around 1/2 a ton EACH, and lay them upside down, so the rougher surface is upwards to provide more grip, and also to be more pleasing to the eye, and look more 'natural'. The cost of this stone is £100 a ton, then it has to be airlifted by helicopter, then laid.

It's hard, backbreaking work but will save the path for centuries, and descendants, to come.
We'd soon got the climb behind us, and were rewarded with views like this.
It was turning into the perfect day - JUST what we needed to recharge the batteries.
Looking across to Brown Knoll and Rushup edge at the Southern end of the Edale valley.

This is the kind of path erosion the National trust are tackling.

Looking back to Jacobs Ladder.
You can see the path going left to right halfway up that hillside on the right.

Looking west along Kinder's Southern edge. Not only was it the perfect day, weather wise, but we had a lovely cool breeze wafting us all day. On days like this, we wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world!

This is another example of how the NT are trying to regenerate the landscape on the high moors. Replanting is taking place to try and re-establish indigenous species.

Looking on to the 'Woolpacks' rocks.

Sue stands on the rocks to get a better view.......

.....I do it just to show off!

We passed by the top of Crowden clough and followed the path along the edge.

We had a wonderful time walking the edge of Kinder, here's Sue on some more renovated path.
I thought they would have run out of stone from mill floors by now, as so much has already been laid, but one of the NT workers told me they had NO trouble at all still getting it.
After a very relaxing and pleasant lunch sitting in the sun, taking in this wonderful day, we reached the top of Grindsbrook and started the descent to Edale. We were both sad to be leaving Kinder on a day like today. I would cheerfully have stayed there and watched the sun set, but as you'll see, the way down is NOT recommended in bad light!

Here's Sue, at the top of the brook, just beginning the descent

Looking back up the rocky path down Grindsbrook.
The path & Kinders southern edge.

The heather was just starting to turn purple here. In a couple of weeks, these hillsides would be a RIOT of colour from this plant. We always try to get up onto the edges above Hathersage then, as there's a really good show of it there. The best I've ever seen it though is across the Yorkshire moors, at Fylingdales. There, it's just a purple sea!

As we were fast approaching autumn, there was a good show of berries around too.
We saw (and tasted) our first blackberries of the season at the side of the path.
They are very plump and juicy this year.

After a swift half in the Nags Head, official start of the Pennine way, we set off back towards Barber Booth.

This sunken track is now the start of the Pennine way
It leads out to spectacular views along the Edale valley, but Sue and I both agree that the original route was better. They changed it because of erosion on the top of the plateau.
This is 'Ringing Roger' above Edale.

As you can see, the views were still perfect, with a perfect sky (sigh).
WHAT a fantastic day!

This is the iconic view of the Mam tor to Lose hill ridge, with the hunch of Back tor in the middle.

Almost back at the car now, but STILL drawn to these incredible views all around us.
The sky looks a bit cloudy in this shot, but the sun was still warm, and the breeze comfortable.
We got back to the car, pleasantly tired from out efforts, and made our way back home to a hot bath!
A final look back, using this old barn as dramatic forground.


  1. Hello Les,
    Now I hope I'm writing to the person I think I'm writing to :) But I got this blog-address last week so I guess I'm right!

    We had dinner last week on Monday at your place in Bakewell - we're the Dutch couple eating pizza and getting some hints on where to walk in the Peaks. Unfortunatly, we didn't manage to get back to Bakewell to tell about our experiences on Bamford Moor, so here's the report!
    We went up on Bamford Moor on Tuesday, had some trouble finding the right way to get up on the hill from the Anglers Rest, found an alternative route and later discovered the steep path ending up near the parking spot for the Moor. But it was a really lovely walk up on the Moor, fantastic views and lovely purple heather everywhere. We also went to the edge next to Stanage Edge, nice as well. So thanks a lot for the hints to go there!!
    Best regards from the Netherlands,

    ps: we must have crossed paths on the 13th, as we were also up on Grindsbrook that day :)

  2. Hello Mariska, yes - it's the right person here! Sorry to hear about the confusion, if you'd just walked along the road with the Anglers on your left, then turned left when you reached the next road, THAT would have been the start of the steep track. Not to worry, you got there in the end, so all's well. Did you get some good pictures of the reservoir? I hope so. Sue & I went up to the Yorkshire dales on Tuesday, I'll be putting the pictures up on here soon. All the best, and it was lovely to meet you both in the cafe.