Kinder Scout is arguably the most impressive place to walk in the Peak District and many people have this on their bucket list. The views from the plateau on a clear day are incredible and the landscape feels wild and untouched.
There are two main options to climb Kinder Scout. You can either walk up to Kinder Scout from Edale (continue reading for this route) or from Hayfield (click here for our Kinder Scout from Hayfield walk). For either route, be prepared for a bit of a climb; your efforts will be rewarded with incredible views on a clear day!
This Kinder Scout from Edale walk takes a circular route starting with the climb up Grindsbrook Clough, then along the Kinder Plateau passing Pym Chair and Noe Stool. The route then meets up with the Pennine Way and follows this all the way back down into Edale via Jacob’s Ladder to The Old Nags Head (where we wholeheartedly recommend popping in for a burger and pint / Fruit Shoot to reward your efforts).
Please only attempt this Kinder Scout walk with young kids if they are used to hiking. This is a challenging walk with some scrambling required in places, and once you’re up on the Kinder Plateau, it’s very exposed.
If you are planning a visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds. Please also take all litter home with you, don’t bring BBQs and park your car in designated parking areas. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.
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Do check out our top tips for hiking with young kids, as well as our essential items to take on a family hike in the Peak District.
Top tips for hiking Kinder Scout with kids
- Pack lots of snacks to keep the kids going.
- Have lots of little breaks along the way, rather than aiming for big long breaks.
- The weather can change very quickly up there, pack an extra layer than what you’re hiking in.
- Only do this walk in good hiking boots. This walk is technical in places (by this I mean you need to get on your bum at times).
- Consider taking water purification tablets so you can fill up your water bottles from streams safely enroute.
- Take a compass and OS Map in case visibility is low.
- Start your walk early in the day, so as to maximise daylight hours and allow yourselves lots of time.
- Consider camping the night before and after at Newfold Farm Campsite. This means you don’t have to drive the same day, and you’re sorted for parking.
- Hiking poles are a good idea for the parents.
Kinder Scout from Edale walk map
On all Peak District family walks it’s a good idea to have an Ordnance Survey paper map with you, even if you are using a mapping app on your phone. For this walk you need the OS Explorer Map OL1 (Dark Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.
This Kinder Scout from Edale route follows an anti-clockwise direction starting from Edale car park. This way round makes for a steeper ascent up Grindsbrook Clough, but it’s easier to go up this section than down.
This route passes the entrance to Newfold Farm Campsite (opposite The Old Nags Head), which is a good place to camp if you want to make a weekend of it. If you start this walk from The Old Nags Head (opposite the entrance to the campsite) it’s a 11.2km loop walk.
Need to know
DISTANCE OF WALK: 12.7 km
TYPE OF WALK: circular walk with steep sections
PARKING: There is a public carpark in Edale Car Park. Click here for location on Google Map, postcode S33 7ZQ. The pay machine here is cash only; parking for 4-10 hours is £6, click here for current parking fees. Arrive early at weekends and school holidays as this car park gets exceptionally busy, although there is an overflow car park further along the main road (£5 all day).
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The Hope Valley Train Line between Sheffield and Manchester stops at Edale.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Scrambling up Grindsbrook Clough, epic views, weird shaped boulders to climb on, Jacob’s Ladder, a burger and pint / Fruit Shoot at The Old Nag’s Head at the end of the walk.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Allow a good 6+ hours to do this walk with kids.
TOTAL ASCENT: 634 metres
ACCESSIBILTY: Not pram or wheelchair friendly at all. Steep rocky sections. You need to be sturdy on your feet. Walking poles are a good idea to assist the hike down. Only attempt this hike with young kids if they are used to hiking.
FACILITIES: There are public toilets at Edale car park. There are also two pubs in Edale (The Old Nag’s Head and The Ramblers), and a café (Newfold Farm Cafe). On the walk itself there are no facilities.
START: Edale car park
The below directions follow the above OS Map route in an anti-clockwise direction.
1. Follow the road into the village of Edale, walking underneath the railway line, past The Rambler Inn and up to The Old Nag’s Head. From Edale car park to The Old Nag’s Head is 750 metres.
2. Continue along the road for another 100 metres past The Old Nag’s Head to the Grindsbrook signpost on your right. Cross over the brook using the wooden bridge and walk up to meet the flagstone path to the left.
3. Walk along the flagstone path (don’t take the path that veers off to the right) to a gate that leads into woodland. Cross over the brook again, and continue the footpath straight ahead. The path then continues steadily uphill.
4. After 1.5km the path up Grindsbrook Clough steepens and some scrambling is required. Try and keep the brook on your right (although the kids will probably enjoy going back and forth). The footpath bears left as you reach the very top. There’s a cool ‘bottle cork’ rock to take in the views from.
5. Don’t follow the path that continues round to the left, instead take the obvious flagstone path that leads away from the edge. Continue along here for 1.3km to Crowden Brook, passing the weathered rock that looks like rabbit ears.
If you need to cut the walk short here for any reason, you can descend left here along the footpath leading down Crowden Brook. After 1.3km along this path, if you then take the footpath to the left (rather than to Upper Booth) this cuts out a little climb and then meets the Pennine Way, which then leads you back to Edale. The top of Crowden Brook to Edale (The Old Nags Head) is 4km.
6. Cross over Crowden Brook and take the footpath straight ahead that climbs up to the left. From here to Noe Stool (1.4km) the footpath isn’t always clear and it gets rather boggy. Take care along here.
7. Once you reach Noe Stool (photo immediately above), it’s a clear footpath down to the cairn that marks the intersection with the Pennine Way. Continue straight ahead and then left at the little flagstone junction to cut off the corner.
8. After 100m, turn left again and continue down to Upper Booth (2.7km) via Jacob’s Ladder. Please note that there are no facilities at Upper Booth (no pub or café).
9. From Upper Booth, follow the signs back to Edale (2.3km). There is an annoying short uphill section, but then it’s a steady decline back to The Nag’s Head.
Once you’re back in Edale
The Old Nag’s Head at the start/end of the Pennine Way is family friendly; there’s a family room towards the back of the pub and a separate kids menu. Alternatively, you could go to the café at Newfold Farm (open to everyone) or head to The Rambler Inn (which also has a children’s menu). None of these eateries take table bookings.
Peak District Kids is a free online resource. If you enjoyed one of our walks, you can show your support by buying me a coffee. Thanks so much! You may also want to share your own photos from our walks in our Peak District Kids Facebook Group.
Or visit the Peak District Kids shop. £1 from every sale of the iron-on patches goes towards the Peak District National Park Foundation, a registered charity established to raise funds to care for The Peak District National Park.
Also, feel free to share your walk photos with us on Instagram. Please follow us and use the #peakdistrictkids hashtag so we can share with our wider community.
Want more ideas for family walks?
Check out our Best Family Walks in the Peak District and our Pram Friendly Peak District walks. Or you may be looking for shorter Toddler walks in the Peak District.
Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.