Friday morning again found me getting off the train in the Hope Valley, this time at Edale, probably my favorite place in the Peak District and one of my favorite anywhere. Having been walking round here for well over 50 years now, it’s not a place I could ever tire off, and there’s always something new to discover. I had no clear objective in mind as it depended on how much snow was still lying. In the event, most of the snow had thawed so I decided to follow the valley paths towards Hope, then cut up past Jagger’s Clough and Crookstone Barn up onto Crookstone Knoll to Madwoman’s Stones, a location that intrigued me as I didn’t believe I had been there before. Then to follow Kinder’s southern edges to Grindslow Knoll and back to Edale, a walk of just 11 miles.
The day was fine and sunny as I set off, but already there was some white cloud streaming in and in fact by lunch time, it had completely clouded over. I made good progress past the youth hostel at Rowland Cote, then across fields to pick up a track that dropped steeply into Jagger’s Clough with a steepish climb out again to Crookstone Barn.
I then followed the path across Crookstone Moor and up Crookstone Knoll, the eastern most extremity of the Kinder Scout plateau. From there, it was about a kilometre of rough walking over the plateau to Madwoman’s Stones. By now, the terrain had become quite icy and wintry, with a reasonable amount of snow remaining.
Madwoman’s Stones are apparently named after a local woman who when jilted by her lover bashed her head on the stones. It made a reasonable place to stop for lunch and with light winds, it didn’t feel too unpleasant.
I then cut across the plateau, passing one of the three trig points on the plateau at 590m, having to negotiate several deep peat groughs to pick up the path along Kinder’s southern edges. This needed care as it was quite icy as I worked my way round over Nether Tor and Upper Tor and across to Grindslow Knoll (601m). I then took the path south past the icy Grindslow Meres and down the steep drop to pick up the Pennine Way path back to Edale. I was just in time for a convenient train to get me back to Derby.