Viewpoint from Grindsbrook by photographer Mat Robinson
Kinder Scout often gets a lot of attention, what with being the highest point in the Peaks, and very few areas get as crowded as Grindsbrook Clough in the summer due to its ease of access and obvious beauty – but that doesn’t stop some nearby views being, in my opinion, the best in the National Park.
Starting from Edale, this round walk can be completed in a few hours, being just 5.5 miles long, but does include some lung busting ascents if you’re rushing up for a sunrise or sunset (which, unfortunately, are the best times to visit). As you head out of the top of the village, the road soon becomes a private access road and the path curves down to the stream on the right – follow this path into the open fields opposite and then keep to the flagstones. You soon find the sides of the valley steepening and your route up becomes clear – just follow the water. The main path generally stays clear of the stream but don’t be afraid to venture off to take some photos of the numerous cascades.
As you head out of the top of the village, the road soon becomes a private access road and the path curves down to the stream on the right – follow this path into the open fields opposite and then keep to the flagstones. You soon find the sides of the valley steepening and your route up becomes clear – just follow the water. The main path generally stays clear of the stream but don’t be afraid to venture off to take some photos of the numerous cascades.
Eventually, the route steepens and the paths get a little less well defined, as a general rule, if you keep left you’ll find your way up the correct stream, avoiding the many tributaries. The last few hundred yards are a steep walk (you may need hands in places) up the riverbed itself, so expect to get a little bit wet after recent rain… although in summer it can be completely dry. This tops out on the plateau and the views down Grindsbrook Clough are stunning.
There are numerous interesting rocks on both sides up here, but to the east, you’ll find some especially lovely, eroded ones along with amazing views back down Grindsbrook Clough – to Lose and Win Hills beyond.
Continuing along this easterly route, about half way around the rim of the valley, you’ll come across my favourite location, Upper Tor. These impressively weathered outcrops stand proudly above the valley, with the Great Ridge acting as a perfect backdrop. The angle of the rocks here means that timing is everything- they’re perfect for a sunset photo year round, as shown below, but the light is lost relatively early here as the higher reaches of the plateau block the sun well before the sun sets on the surrounding landscape. If you want to visit on a morning, winter is the best option as you’ll catch the sun rising right in the middle of this view too.
As you continue the walk, you’ll find numerous tributaries that you’ll have to cross, some easier than others, and a few more waterfalls which can be beautiful in any weather.
Finally, as you come towards the final descent, the views before doing so are well worth your efforts thus far. You’ll end up on a thin rocky outcrop called Ringing Roger from which the views to the south are as breathtaking as all those around the earlier walk, but you’ll also be able to look northwest to see the route you’ve just taken below Grindslow Knoll.
From here, there’s initially a bit of a scramble down, but if you retrace your steps by a few hundred yards you can then walk down a larger path into the valley. If you’re in a rush for the last train home, as I have been many times, you can usually get down to the station in under half an hour… just be careful! If on the other hand, you have plenty of time after making your way down then it’s well worth stopping by the Rambler Inn in Edale and sitting in a comfy leather chair by the fire with a pint of Farmer’s Blonde. A good way to dry out after the usual Kinder weather!
Alternative route up:
I mentioned near the start that the ascent includes a steep final section up the bed of the stream, which can get tricky in the winter. Alternatively, you can start by following the Pennine Way out of Edale (west, just as you reach the Old Nags Head) which takes you up a wooded path with a stream in a ditch beside it. Follow this for a few hundred yards before it opens out into fields. Don’t follow the path through the gate, instead just head up to the right following a worn track through the grass. A short while later you come to a gate and the path becomes obvious again – taking this route up you’ll top out on Grindslow Knoll, just keep to the right-hand path and you’ll soon find yourself joining the earlier route at the top of Grindsbrook.
If you’d like a tour of these dramatic locations, take a look at http://www.matrobinsonphoto.co.uk/the-dark-peak-outcrops-and where you’ll find further information and the option to contact Mat to discuss a potential trip out
Mat Robinson is not a professional or accredited walking guide, this blog has been written as an outline to a walk so please always be careful when walking in the Peak District and make sure to always carry a map and compass… just in case!