Edale to Kinder Downfall Circular Walk (+ Kinder Reservoir) | 15-Mile Route

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Fancy a longer walk from Edale, then this is the perfect route, ticking off Kinder Scout, Kinder Downfall, Kinder Reservoir and Jacob’s Ladder all on one walk!

To begin the hike you take a lovely route up Grindsbrook Clough including a short scramble to the top. Once you reach Kinder plateau you navigate along the edge, past the numerous rock formations until you reach Noe Stool.

Next, you head over the moorland to Kinder Low trig point then pick up the Pennine Way round to Kinder Downfall before continuing and veering off just before Mill Hill taking a lovely route down William Clough.

Then you cross of the hills to reach a track which brings you back out on the Pennine Way, then it’s down Jacob’s Ladder and back to Edale to end your walk.

Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk at Edale, where to park, route information, map, GPX file, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve done this hike from Edale.


Important - The work on the bridge at Grindsbrook Booth (which was due to be closed until 27th March) has been completed early and has now re-opened. Thanks.


Kinder Scout long walk from Edale

Waterfall on William Clough
Waterfall on the way down William Clough

Walk information

Walk type: Long circular walk

Distance: 15 miles/24 km

Walk time: 7-8 hours

Total ascent: 1,183 m/3,881 ft

Highest point: 633 m/2,076 ft

Walk highlights: Edale village, scrambling up Grindsbrook Clough, Kinder Scout, Crowden Rocks, Kinder Downfall, William Clough, Kinder Reservoir and Jacob’s Ladder.

Trigs: 1 – Kinder Low

Ethels: 0 – (option to add Kinder Scout)


gpx file

Kinder Scout + Kinder Downfall walk map

Kinder Scout walk map in Peak District
Walk map from Edale
Online map here

Walk start point

Start grid reference: SK 12366 85309

Car parking address: Edale car park, Edale, Hope Valley, S33 7ZQ

Edale can be a popular place to visit in the summer months and weekends. If the Edale village car park is full there is an overflow car park a short distance away is available.

Parking cost (cash only)*

  • 1 hour – £1.20
  • 2 hours – £2.00
  • 4 hours – £3.40
  • 10 hours – £5.20
  • 24 hours – £6.20

*Prices correct at time of writing

Public transport

Nearest train station: Edale train station (opposite the start location at the car park)

Facilities on the walk

Ramblers Inn pub Edale
Ramblers Inn pub in Edale

There are public toilets in the car park at Edale but no others on the route. For after your hike you can stop at one of the two pubs in the village – The Ramblers Inn or Nags Head (both great pubs).

Other useful information

Views from the top of Grindsbrook Clough
Views from the top of Grindsbrook Clough

This route takes you up a short scramble towards the end of Grindsbrook path, but nothing technical. Also, once you reach the top of Grindsbrook it can be a lot cooler. It’s worth taking some extra layers for this section as the tough ascent is done for a while.

The route includes a mix of well-marked paths but there are also sections on the Kinder plateau where it can be easy to go the wrong way, especially in bad weather. Make sure you take a map and compass with you (details below). Oh, and in wet weather, it can be boggy in places!

Peak District weather

Check the weather for your walk location and hills.

The weather can change quickly on Kinder Scout making visibility difficult so be sure to check the conditions and plan for your hike.

Kinder Scout patch

An iconic view of the packhorse bridge at Jacob's Ladder on the way up to Kinder Scout summit.

Celebrate reaching the highest point in the Peak District with our second charity patch.

Or if you are planning on doing the walk soon, order the patch now so you can take it to the top for a photo.

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Charity Patches

Kinder Scout Patch



Ordnance Survey Walk Map

The map for this Kinder Scout walk is OL1 – Peak District (Dark Peak Area). Check prices here with Ordnance Survey or Amazon

And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass

For online maps, you can get via OS Online App or Viewranger App.

Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App. 


Want to read later? Save the walk to Pinterest

Kinder Scout walk (via Kinder Downfall + Kinder Reservoir) from Edale

Stage 1 – Edale to (via Grindsbrook Clough) Kinder Scout

Distance: 2.2 miles/3.5 km

Grid reference SK 12366 85309

From Edale car park, walk down the steps next to the toilets and turn right walking under the railway bridge. Continue on the road past the campsite until the second village pub, the Nags Head.

Walk past the pub, bearing left down the road, go past a cottage on your left, then turn right at the signpost, down the steps and across the wooden bridge and up the other side.

Path next to Grindsbrook Clough
Follow the path next to Grindsbrook Clough

Walk along the flagstone path until you reach a small wooded area, go through here and across another wooden bridge. The track follows the clough all the way as it gradually takes you uphill (photo above).

After about 1 km, the path turns into a rockier section, you’ll need to cross over the water and navigate up Grindsbrook Clough.

Rocky section up Grindsbrook Clough
Rocky section up Grindsbrook Clough

Towards the end, the route becomes more of a scramble as you find the best way up to the top, keep as close to the centre of the gully and eventually, it will bring you at the top where there’s a large stone cairn.

Stage 2 – Kinder Scout to Kinder Downfall

Distance: 3.3 mile/5.3 km

Grid reference SK 10537 87212

At the top of Grindsbrook Clough, turn left along the flagstones path (be sure not to take the path heading to Grindslow Knoll (the hill on your left). The path bends round to the right as it follows the edge and eventually, you’ll reach Crowden Clough and Crowden Rocks above.

Walking across Kinder Scout plateau
Navigating through the Wool Packs on Kinder Scout plateau

Cross over and take the path heading left uphill on the other side to Crowden Tower. The next section is the trickiest part of the hike, from here you navigate through the ‘Wool Packs’, a large section of boulders where the path disappears and reappears at various points.

Keep walking and you’ll come out on another flagstoned path, this will then take you up to a large rock called Noe Stool. There’s a more obvious path heading left downhill, but you want to head in a westerly direction and pick up the Pennine Way path and Kinder Low trig point.

*This is off-path but it’s a short section so easy to navigate with a compass and on a clear day.

Note – (If you’re unsure then you can head down to the cairn and back up via Edale Rocks (added descent and ascent but worth not getting lost)

From Kinder Low you walk in a northerly direction, look to your left for views of Kinder Reservoir and walk all the way until Kinder Downfall.

Views from Kinder Plateau from Edale
Views from the other side of River Kinder

Stage 3 – Kinder Downfall to Edale Cross

Distance: 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Grid reference SK 08305 88936

Cross over the River Kinder, depending on the weather you might find a trickle of water or on windy days a backwards waterfall which is pretty impressive! Continue on the path down heading in a westerly direction. Walk past a large cairn then head down.

Cairn on Pennine Way
Cairn as you descend towards Mill Hill

The path splits here, take the one bearing left, which takes you to the top of William Clough. It’s a rocky path that heads downhill all the way to Kinder Reservoir.

Take the lower path alongside the reservoir, from here you can see up to Kinder Downfall and Kinder Scout where you’ve just walked.

Kinder Reservoir
Path towards Kinder Reservoir

As you near the end of the reservoir, take the path heading up and around the top of the reservoir, keep on the path as it bears round to the left and will eventually, bring you out on the road. Cross here and go through the gate across the grass heading towards the trees in front of you.

Once you reach the trees after a few hundred metres you’ll see a public bridleway on your right heading gradually uphill, signposted Stony Ford, follow this path to the top of the hill then continue until it brings you out on a track. Turn right here and the green signpost for Oaken Clough and walk down the path.

Track with hills and person walking
Following the track along to pick up the Pennine Way path

At the end of the track, you want to keep heading south, ignoring the paths on your right and left, this path skirts around the bottom of the hill to a track. Walk along here and look out for Edale Cross just before you go through a gate on your left.

Stage 4 – Edale Cross (via Jacob’s Ladder) to Edale

Distance: 3.8 miles/6.1 km

Grid reference SK 07709 86076

Go through the gate and continue walking downhill on the track, this will bring you to a large cairn, which is the start of Jacob’s Ladder. Turn left and follow the steep winding steps to the bottom where you’ll see the beautiful packhorse bridge.

Bridge with stream and trees
Bridge at bottom of Jacob’s Ladder path

Note – there is a slightly longer route down if you go through the gate in front of you – it’s more of a gradual slope than steps so easier on the knees!

At the bridge, go through the gate and continue on the track, through a gate and then down to a small row of houses. Keep walking and as the road bends round to the left you’ll go over a bridge and then reach a red phone box.

Turn left here through Upper Booth Farm and out the other side, turn left out of the farm, then take the footpath on the right about 10 metres afterwards and walk along the track.

Flagstone path
Looking back up the flagstone path

Go through another small gate, up between some small hills and then continue following the flagstoned path down to the stream. Go through the gate, turn right and follow the stream to Edale, it will bring you out at the Old Nag’s Head.

And from here, turn right and follow the road back to the car park or train station…or pub!

Do you have any questions about this Kinder Scout hike? Ask me in the comments below.

More walks in the Peak District

More routes from Edale right here

Or how about try this different Kinder Scout walk which explores the north side of the plateau and is a much quieter route.

Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here

View walks directory here

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Peak District charity patches

Peak District Walks have their own charity patches raising funds for the 'Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation' (charity no. 506681) - supporting the seven Mountain Rescue Teams in the Peak District.

Order our very own 'Peak District Walks' design or select from one of our location patches - Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, Thorpe Cloud, The Roaches or Win Hill patch. Please visit our shop below. If you'd like to know when new designs are created, join our mailing list here to be notified.

Read about the charity here.

Charity Patches

Mam Tor Patch


Charity Patches

Kinder Scout Patch


Charity Patches

Thorpe Cloud Patch


Charity Patches

The Roaches Patch


Charity Patches

Win Hill Patch


Charity Patches

Peak District Walks Patch

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Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability through any injuries or accidents that may result from walking our routes. We always recommend you wear appropriate footwear to avoid injuries and to take a paper map and compass on your walks. Read more here.

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