Friday 26 January 2018 in the glorious Peak District

Just before ten o’clock saw me leave the local Hope Valley train at Chinley, once an important station on the Midland Railway’s main line from London to Manchester, in order to walk to Edale. One of the great advantages of using the train along the Hope Valley is the ability to do linear walks and the routes available from Chinley to Edale are some of the best.

With the sky overcast at this time, my first objective was Cracken Edge running along the flanks of the 451m high Chinley Churn. The edge, which is littered with the remains of old quarries, offers fantastic views across to the west side of Kinder Scout and the route that I was to be taking later. I wanted to get to the trig point of Chinley Churn but couldn’t reach it in an adjacent field without climbing a drystone wall, something I was reluctant to do. As I headed further along Cracken Edge, the skies cleared and the sun came out. I dropped down to the quaintly named Peep O’Day Farm and the A624 Glossop Road.

Looking back along Cracken Edge, Chinley Churn

Crossing the road, I joined the Pennine Bridleway for a short distance and detoured to climb two prominent hills in these parts; Mount Famine, 473m, and South Head, 494m. I had never been up either hill before and both offered great views of Kinder Scout, the Sett Valley and west to Manchester, which was clearly visible. Mount Famine has quite a nice gritstone edge facing Kinder Scout. Descending from South Head, I walked on the easy path, much of it paved, towards Brown Knoll and then Edale Cross, 533m. Edale Cross marks the summit of the old bridleway from Hayfield to Edale. With the light winds, it was feeling quite pleasant and this marked a good place to have lunch.

Mount Famine from South Head with Manchester visible in the background

After lunch, it was time to head up to the highest point of the walk at Kinder Low, 633m and one of three trig points on the plateau, although none are located at quite the highest point of the plateau. I detoured along the way to visit Swine’s back and Edale Rocks, both prominent features on this side of Kinder Scout. I continued along Kinder’s southern edge towards Grindslow Knoll, exploring the many weird and wonderful rock formations along the way; Noe Stool, Pym Chair, the Woolpacks and Crowden Tower.  By this time, there were quite a few others out walking and enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

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Edale Rocks
The trig point at Kinder Low
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Noe Stool, Kinder’s southern edges
The Moat Stone, the Woolpacks, Kinder Scout

Grindslow Knoll, 601m, was my last peak of the day and I was surprised to come across a walker in a tee shirt, was unsure of his route and who claimed he’d forgotten his map! I chose to walk south past Grindslow Meres, two small lakes that are an unusual feature in these parts and down the very steep slope to pick up the Pennine Way route near Upper Booth, not a route I had taken before. It was then but a short walk to Edale and time for a welcome pint in the Rambler Inn before catching the train home.

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Grindslow Knoll and one of the Grindslow Meres

Distance: 18 km

Start Point: Chinley, end point: Edale




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