August Family Adventure – Kinder Scout – Cloughs, rocks, and ‘death train engaged’

August - Kinder Scout
Illustrated Map of our journey.

In August we decided to walk up Kinder Scout, after our trip to Edale earlier in the year we were keen to go back to the Peak District. So Bank Holiday Monday we were all up early (no mean feat) and out of the house by 9am. We parked at Upper Booth, and began heading towards Kinder Scout.

Kinder Scout route
Our route from Upper Booth, to Kinder Low trig, Kinder Plateau and down via Crowden Clough. 7.5 miles

I’d read how unpredictable the weather could be on Kinder Scout, and how easy it was to get lost (there are a lack of landmarks). So for our first walk we decided to go up via Jacob’s Ladder, get to the trig point, and then decide on our route down, depending on the time and weather.

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Lots of low cloud as we set off. Kinder plateau in the distance.

It was a good steep climb up Jacob’s Ladder, not too bad as it is very well surfaced and maintained for most of it.

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Jacob’s Ladder
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Middle kid powering up Jacob’s Ladder

Youngest two pushed up pretty quickly, no complaining, and lots of chatter.  We decided to have our lunch before we reached the top, as from experience, it’s usually windy once you get past a certain point climbing a hill.  The weather in the end was beautiful, there was a fair bit of cloud as we set off from the bottom, but it totally cleared.  We passed Edale rocks and the landscape totally changed, peat marshes, unidentifiable paths, random rocks.  It’s easy to see how you could become completely lost if low cloud descended.  It felt a bit other worldly.  The Kinder Low trig point is on top of a well weathered rock, the base totally worn away by the wind and rain.

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Kinder Low trig point.

As it was a nice day, and the route looked interesting we decided to head to the rocky outcrops on the edge of the Kinder Plateau,  Noe Stool, Pym Chair and The Woolpacks weathered rock formations. Then head down through Crowden Clough.  It’s very similar to Brimham rocks along the plateau, but more remote.  Lots of rocks shaped liked animals or faces. The girls enjoyed climbing on them.

 

 

We made our way through the rocks to Crowden Tower, a rocky outcrop above Crowden Clough, a gorge/valley cut out of the hillside with a stream running down through it. It looked very impressive, and beautiful from the top.

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Scrambling down Crowden Clough

It was a scramble down the first section, very rocky and steep. Whenever my youngest two reach a tricky section on our walks they shout ‘death train engaged!’, I’ve mentioned this to friends and family before, and they always look very concerned!!  I understand that at face value it sounds like we make our kids walk in dangerous places, ha! But what it actually means is that they are both gauging the risks of where they are, and alerting each other to the fact that it ‘could be dangerous’.  At this point they usually slow down, walk in single file, help each other, talk to each other about how to get down, where to put their feet, if it’s slippy.  It’s really lovely to see, and over the years of us walking they have become more and more confident and they usually enjoy these sections the most. It’s true that what challenges you, makes you grow.

The path leads down to the riverbed, and runs along and over the stream.  We crossed quite a few stepping stones, zig zagging over the stream, the girls loved it, very sweet watching them holding each other’s hands to help them down the rocky steps.  The clough is beautiful, the hillside covered in heather.  I’d love to go back and scramble up the waterfall, it looks like lots of fun.

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Crowded Clough, with Crowden Tower up at the top.

It was a great walk, and we look forward to exploring this area more.

We ate a camp stove, car park tea, at the bottom of Mam Tor.  Tomato soup cooked and eaten outdoors is always the best.

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Camp stove, car park tea.

Then drove into Castleton to walk up Cave dale and catch the sunset, and the beautiful light of golden hour. A wonderful end to the day, and another hill ticked off our list.

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Golden Hour in Cave Dale.

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