I was lying in bed after a particularly exhausting week of work when I received a text, a bit out of the blue from Dean Read. I’d messaged him a few days earlier, commenting on his videos, and suggesting that we meet up and go for a trek somewhere. We’d talked about going walking together before, but for one reason or another, we hadn’t managed it.
I was naturally pleased to be going walking with someone who clearly has a detailed knowledge of our local area and also a keen passion for it, as well as a passion for sharing that passion with other people, who might want to know more or who perhaps aren’t able to get out to the higher, more challenging parts of the Peak District.
We settled on a route around Kinder and Dean came up with the final route, being as he knows the area and is the more experienced of the two of us. Even though I have lived in the Peak District for most of my life, in recent years I’m discovering that there’s still a huge amount of it that I still haven’t discovered fully.
After a bit of a kerfuffle to begin with I finally met Dean at Barber Booth car park, we climbed over the Stile at the bottom of the road near the railway bridge and headed on up towards Kinder Scout over the fields.
As we climbed we talked, covering a multitude of topics from walking, vlogging, family, diet and exercise and other topics. Dean is an easy bloke to spend time with, and easy to chat to with for sure, and I felt like I’d known him for ages.
We were instantly immersed in nature after a little lamb came up to us for a snuggle, and then further up the track, we spotted a small Common Lizzard on the flagstones, that was awesome for me as I’d never seen a Lizard in the UK before.
Brown Knoll & Edale Head
We headed onto the hard flags toward Brown Knoll. The flagstones are a topic that divides opinion, some people like them and some loathe them. As a fell runner I’m really not at all keen, however, I do see the need for them due to increasing amounts of people who are walking and cycling in the area. Without such measures, the erosion would be devastating to the moors. So a necessary evil in my opinion. From there, we continued on towards Edale Head.
As you get up toward the top we passed the top of Jacob’s ladder, I hear a lot about this being a challenging path to walk, I’ll look forward to trying it one day. We pushed on a little further to the Kinder Low Trig. Dean did a bit to the camera and then that’s where we took a break and had some lunch.
From there, we pressed on, heading up to Kinder Downfall, although the day was hot, the views were a bit hazy over toward Manchester. We did get a great view of Kinder reservoir though.
Then, further on, we had a nice view of the Mermaid’s Pool too. Then further on we were treated to the great escarpments of the downfall, there were some seriously big rocks all stacked up rather precariously.
Kinder Downfall & The River Kinder
After doing a little scrambling and exploring at the downfall we moved on, up the River Kinder, and marvelled at its unusual river bed. It had literally worn its path through the gritstone. Leaving a course, gritty sand as its bed. I was amazed at how little water was actually flowing so early in the year.
from there we moved through the Groughs, looking at the great work being done by moors for the future All along the Groughs, there were signs of the repopulation work they had done putting back heather and Sphagnum Moss. There were mini dykes holding pools of water helping to form new peat bogs.
Then we reached the official summit, which was actually little more than a lonely tussock of heather on a raised but of peat, no more than about 3 ft across. You could easily miss it if you didn’t have a map or GPS bearing. We meandered on coming eventually to Pym chair. There is another Pym chair in the Peak District, the other being at Goyt valley. Names tend to get re-used around here, just as there are 2 or three “Back Tors”, and several “upper towns”.
Next, we came to the Woolpacks. The woolpacks are a huge collection of extremely weathered rocks, they look as though they are made from a different type of rock to the Gritstone we see all over the moor. Perhaps someone will set me straight on that but I thoughts they seemed a different type of rock. Anyway, they are so intensely weathered that they had some fantastic shapes.
It seemed to me that there just couldn’t be any more treats and surprises. I was wrong.
Crowden Tower & Clough
We came next to Crowden tower with its spectacular views overlooking Edale and the deeply carved gully that is Crowden Clough. We decided to climb down the clough, just for the hell of it.
I hope that you enjoyed these photos and my account of the walk. If it was a bit too long for you, please feel free to watch the video. There’s a transcription below for those who need it, and the video has closed captions. (subtitles).
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PG: Hello there, Tideswellman is back out on the moors. It’s been a long time I know, but finally we’ve got some kit that’ll do the job and we are out on Brown Knoll. I’m very pleased to introduce to you, a chap who I’ve been trying to get out walking with, for a long time, Dean Read of Peak Routes. Hi Dean,
DR: Nice to finally meet you mate,
Pg: Yes, Really good, do you want to tell the viewers, where we are going to go today?
DR: the plan is, quite a rough plan, we parked down at Barber Booth, we walked up to Brown Knoll, and head on up to Kinder, Downfall, maybe across to the summit and then, see what happens from there. It’s gonna be a good day!
PG: so there you have it, we’ll be taking footage as we go along and I hope you enjoy this walk with us.
Here we are at Kinder Downfall, we only have a trickle today, but that does not detract from the awesome beauty of what we are looking at.
Earlier I saw somebody trying to climb up, there. Wow!Good effort! And some others over here, I think they are going to have a more tricky time, as they have taken a more difficult line, unlike us who are on the top.
SO we are here on the top of Kinder river. the downfall is behind us there. If I turn the camera round, you will see the river, and it’s quite extraordinary really as it’s just flowing over the top of stone. Slabs of stone, and the water level is super low already and it’s only May.
There is hardly any flow at all. I’m not used to seeing the rivers this low, there is still some life in there though, I’ve seen a few water nymphs and freshwater shrimp. There’s some kind of creature skimming around in there, I don’t know what it is or if you can even see it , it’s so small, but there is LIFE!
This is what we are having today, Life, a fantastic walk over Kinder Scout.
We have been walking fora bout half an hour now in these Groughs (Gruffs) . Which are little channels in the peat and they are everywhere, and go off in all directions and in bad weather people who are underprepared have been known to get very lost in them. Thankfully we’ve got GPS and Maps and a bit of experience about where we are going.
As you can see, this brown soil is the “Old Kinder”, Dean was telling me about how “Moors for the future” have been working really hard to repopulate this surface with heather and gorse so you see the green moor we see today. Apparently, it was previously all like the brown soil we saw in the bottom of the Groughs there.
There’s not much variation in the landscape, so you could easily end up walking a good kilometre in any direction with no discernible landmarks. So you have to know what you are doing.
So there it is,
the most impressive (sarcastic)summit of Derbyshire. this tussock of grass and Peat is the official summit of Kinder Scout.
Wind and footsteps noises –
Now for the first time we have a cool breeze, I don’t think we have had a cool breeze in all the time that we have been walking, it’s been pretty warm.
Those of you who aren’t from the Peak District, and who know me or follow on Facebook or Instagram, if you are ever planning a trip to the Peak district, Kinder Scout, Edale, Hope Valley, these are the areas that you really must make a bit of time to visit. Give me a shout if you are up here, I’ll happily come with you.
As you can see it really is a landscape to die for. *Laughing not sure that’s the best metaphor.
DR: Perhaps not die. To live for!
PG: Now we are coming into an area with all these weird rocks. these are the Wool Packs.
I guess you can see why. Once upon a time wool would have been gathered up and left on moors for collection in big bundles. I guess they do look a bit like…..Whoooargh (FALLS)
I’ll keep that bt in, walking and filming, lol, the pitfalls!
It’s almost like a Neolithic landscape, It looks like stone henge or something like that.
DR: it looks like they have been dropped here from a different universe!
Now we are on Crowden tower. Look at the view, if I can get the camera up high. I’ll go to the edge and you can look over my shoulder down into the valley. The camera never ever does the view true justice to what I can see with the eye.
We are on the final bit of our walk now, this is Crowden Clough, and we are going down there, where the water goes, or should be going there isn’t much today. If you come here at this time in November there is a healthy flow.
I just want to take a second to say, how completely blessed we are, I don’t like to say that often, it’s an overused phrase on the internet but I think we are blessed to live in a place like this, where you can come out a few miles from home and have all this on your doorstep, FANTASTIC!
Down and down and down we go.
This is quite a good climb, particularly for me, Dean’s been on this route before many times, he seems to have handled that with no problem so I’ll give it a whirl.
There you go, we have just come down there. I feel quite happy with that.
After quite a good climb down, we finally found the water. Look at that, crystal clear! And there you are…We are down.
The stream has split off into 2 forks, we followed that one, and we are back down. It was quite challenging!
Walking through the bluebell woods now at the side of the Crowden brook and we have just come down from the clough, we are in the shade at last, out of the exposed Sun as you can see the beautiful bluebell wood and are making our way down to the road. soon we we will be back where we started.
there you go have a look at that old telephone box, it still has a working phone, beautiful, you dont see that very often these days.
And here we are, back where we started. Barber Booth.
Just walking down now from Barber Booth, I have just left Dean Read, and we have had a fantastic walk. We started around this area, and we’ve been up onto Kinder, as you’ve seen through the video..we’ve done a good loop and down then clough.
I just want to say thanks very much to Dean for showing me that route, we’ve been in touch on social media for a long time and finally, we got to go out together for a walk today. He’s an incredibly knowledgeable chap and terribly humble and it’s been a real pleasure to go trekking with him.
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