Kinder Scout Walks (via Jacob’s Ladder) From Edale | 8, 9 + 10-Mile Routes

Bridge with stream and trees

Share with your hiking friends

Kinder Scout walk in the Peak District is a must-do hike being the highest point in the national park.

There are many different ways to reach the top but one of the best ways to hike to Kinder Scout is via a path called Jacob’s Ladder, a short but steep route beginning at a beautiful packhorse bridge.

Here you can find a great route up to Kinder Scout including hiking up Jacob’s Ladder and, not one, but five different options for getting back to Edale.

The walks vary in length between 8 to 10 miles, from easier options to walks with small scramble sections so you can pick the one that suits you best.

Here are the five different walk options. Ask me any questions in the comments

Kinder Scout walk

The official summit of Kinder Scout at 636 metres is a small pile of stones off the main path, however, the Kinder Low trig point on the Kinder Plateau at 633 metres is the spot that most people aim for (and it’s much nicer!)

I’ve also included details for how to find Kinder Scout summit (if you want to go roaming across the plateau).

Path descending Jacob's Ladder
The path on Jacob’s Ladder

To reach the top you begin from Edale and go via the Pennine Way trail, up Jacob’s Ladder, then continue on the footpath up to Edale Rocks and a short distance afterwards you’ll reach Kinder Low trig point. Then you can choose which way to return.

The first option is to do a linear walk, returning the same route via the Pennine Way and Jacob’s Ladder, which is the shortest and easiest option.

Options 2-5 are all circular walks, from Kinder Scout you head back past Edale Rocks then turn left (instead of right) along the path to descend at different points back into Edale.

Route options

  1. Returning the same way via Jacob’s Ladder and Pennine Way
  2. Descending via Crowden Clough and Pennine Way
  3. Walk along to Grindslow Knoll then down into Edale
  4. Descending via Grindsbrook Clough into Edale
  5. Walk along Kinder Plateau and descend via Ringing Roger into Edale

Option 2 + 4 descend via rockier paths, with a small amount of scrambling near the start of the descent section. Option 3 includes another Peak District hill on the route – Grindslow Knoll and option 4 is a longer more gradual descent back to Edale.

Each route is a similar distance, ranging from 8 to 10 miles. Here I will include details about the start of the walk, plus each option with map and GPX file for the route.

If you have any questions then please ask in the comments below.

Walk information

Walk start point in Edale

Start grid reference: SK 12381 85327

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

During peak times there is an overflow car park a short distance away is available, directions will point you where to go.

Parking cost (cash only)*

  • 1 hour – £1.60
  • 2 hours – £2.50
  • 4 hours – £5.00
  • 10 hours – £6.00
  • 24 hours – £7.00

*Prices correct at time of writing.

You can also use the PaybyPhone option either call or use the App to pay for parking, there are numerous other Peak District car parks that use this so its worth downloading the App. (The one with 9 green squares logo).

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

The only public toilets on this walk are at the start of the walk in Edale car park.

But at the end of your walk, Edale has two pubs that serve food (Ramblers Inn and Old Nags Head), plus a cafe (The Penny Pot cafe) next to the train station and a village shop.

Other useful information

Edale in the UK is a busy place to start a hike from with Jacob’s Ladder also being a popular route up to Kinder Scout. The path is signposted in places and relatively easy to follow but the section on the Kinder plateau is easy to get lost, especially in bad weather.

Also, being the highest place in the Peak District is can get cold on the top so make you pack an extra warm layer to put on.

Jacob’s Ladder isn’t a ladder but a steep path – just in case you were wondering!

Check the weather for your walk location and hills

The weather on Kinder Scout can change very quickly, from a sunny day in Edale up on the Kinder plateau it can get very cold and rainy. It’s also worth packing your waterproof jacket even on a rainy day – Check out women’s and men’s jackets from Cotswold Outdoor here. (I have the Berghaus Paclite which is on sale at the moment!)

For winter hikes, I’d recommend taking a lovely warm drink in a flask for the top and some chocolate too 🙂 – The Sigg flasks are really good and keep drinks warm for 10+ hours.

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.

visit shop


Ordnance Survey Walk Map

The map for the Kinder Scout walk is OL1 – Peak District (Dark Peak Area)

Check prices here with Ordnance Survey, (standard map or a waterproof one). You can sometimes find cheaper deals on Amazon, but the Ordnance Survey website sometimes has discounts for buying more than one map!

And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass or if you’re looking for a cheaper one to get started – there’s the Silva Starter compass. Perfect if you want your kids to learn map reading.

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

Rocks in Peak District Kinder plateau

5 Kinder Scout Walks

Below you will find the five routes, including a brief overview of the walk, a map and GPX file. The detailed route instructions are at the bottom of the post.

Kinder Scout via Jacob’s Ladder (return same route)

Top of Jacob's Ladder Peak District walk
Top of Jacob’s Ladder Peak District walk

Distance: 8.4 miles/13.5 km

Walk time: 3.5-4.5 hours

Total ascent: 670 m/2,198 ft

gpx file
Peak District walk map from Edale
Edale via Jacob’s Ladder (Option 1)
View walk map

Kinder Scout via Jacob’s Ladder + Crowden Clough

Person stand on rock
Views from Crowden Rocks

Distance: 9.2 miles/14.7 km

Walk time: 4-5 hours

Total ascent: 762 m/2,500 ft

gpx file
Edale walk Map in Peak District
Walk map via Crowden Clough (Option 2)
View walk map

Kinder Scout via Jacob’s Ladder + Grindslow Knoll

Rocks in Peak District
Rocks at the turning for Grindslow Knoll

Distance: 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk time: 3.5-4.5 hours

Total ascent: 718 m/2,355 ft

gpx file
Grindslow Knoll Descent map
Kinder Scout walk via Grindslow Knoll map (Option 3)
View walk map

Kinder Scout via Jacob’s Ladder + Grindsbrook Clough

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

Distance: 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk time: 3.5-4.5 hours

Total ascent: 694 m/2,277 ft

gpx file
GrindsbKinder Scout walk via Grindsbrook Clough map
Kinder Scout walk via Grindsbrook Clough map (Option 4)
View walk map

This route is on the website (in reverse) so if you want instructions hiking up Grindsbrook Clough and coming down via Jacob’s Ladder read the post here:

Kinder Scout Walk From Edale (via Grindsbrook Clough) | 8-Mile Route

Kinder Scout via Jacob’s Ladder + Ringing Roger

Kinder Plateau
Rocks along Kinder Plateau towards Ringing Roger

Distance: 9.8 miles/15.8 km

Walk time: 4-5 hours

Total ascent: 782 m/2,565 ft

gpx file
Kinder Scout walk via Ringing Roger map
Kinder Scout walk via Ringing Roger map (Option 5)
View walk map


Kinder Scout walk route via Jacob’s Ladder

(All routes instructions)

Here are the walk instructions for each walk. Stages 1 + 2 apply to all walks.

Stage 1 – Edale to Jacob’s Ladder (All routes)

Distance: 3 miles/4.8 km

Grid reference SK 12358 85321

Begin the walk Edale Village Hall car park, head down the steps to the road and turn right under the railway bridge and along the road. Walk down the narrow road, past the visitor centre next to Fieldhead Campsite until you reach the Old Nags Inn.

Pennine Way sign
Pennine Way sign

Turn left here, at the sign for the Pennine Way, it’s a narrow path that leads you next to a stream, go through a gate then at the next gate on your left go through and walk across the fields via the flagstone path.

You’ll go through a few sets of gates and then along a rockier track until you reach Upper Booth Farm, walk through the farm and out the gate on the other side. Then turn right onto the road, across a bridge and follow the path round to the right.

Walk down the wide track, past a few houses and continue walking through a few more gates. Then you’ll reach a gate next to the packhorse bridge at the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder, here’s where the climb starts!

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

Stage 2 – Jacob’s Ladder to Kinder Low (All routes)

Distance: 1.3 mile/2 km

Grid reference SK 08822 86153

Take the path up Jacob’s Ladder, it’s steep large stone steps so quite a climb. Follow the winding path all the way until you reach a stone cairn. Then from here, continue heading uphill via the rockier track, which can be more of a stream in wet weather.

Walk until you see a sign for a footpath on the right for Pennine Way, follow this path all the way up to another large stone cairn, from this point you should be able to see Edale Rocks in the distance.

Edale Rocks on Pennine Way
Edale Rocks on Pennine Way

Walk up the path past Edale Rocks and continue on the path which takes you to the trig point on Kinder Scout, known as Kinder Low (SK 07910 87049). In poor weather, this is the most challenging section and if it’s bad weather then it’s maybe best saving it for another time as you won’t see much!

Kinder Scout note – If you decide you want to reach the highest point on Kinder Scout (SK 08581 87528) you’ll need to walk for another 1 km across the moorland of the Kinder Plateau, which can be boggy in places. The summit is marked with a pile of stones so not very exciting but the choice is yours!

Stage 3 – Kinder Low to Edale (Walk 1 only)

Distance: 4.2 miles/6.8 km

Grid reference SK 07896 87059

From Kinder Low trig point, retrace your steps back via Edale Rocks to the large cairn at the bottom of the path (this is the point where the other options go a different way).

Cairn as the path join Pennine Way trail
Cairn near Edale Rocks

Then follow the path back via Jacob’s Ladder and along the trail. Be sure to look out for the turning through Upper Booth Farm, it’s easy to miss walking in this direction. The clue is to look for the red phone box and turn right here.

Once through the farm, you turn left, then right down the track and simply follow the path back to Edale.

Stage 3 – Kinder Low to Crowden Rocks (Walks 2, 3, 4 + 5)

Distance: 1.6 miles/2.6 km

Grid reference SK 07900 87053

From Kinder Low trig point, retrace your steps back via Edale Rocks to the large cairn at the bottom of the path (this is the point where can choose to return the same way or opt for a different way).

Turn left at the cairn, almost doubling back on the path but heading towards a rock known as Noe Stool. Once you reach this section take the path that keeps to the edge of the plateau heading east towards several more rock formations including a large one called Pym Chair.

Walking across Kinder Scout plateau
Section through the ‘Woolpacks’

This is the toughest section to navigate, you’re now entering an area called the Woolpacks, which is covered in gritstone rocks. The path appears and disappears throughout this section but as long as you follow an easterly bearing and don’t start descending then you should be ok. (It’s particularly challenging in bad weather so make sure you have navigation equipment.)

Continue all the way until you reach a rock formation called Crowden Rocks, from the top you have gorgeous views down the valley.

Stage 4 – Crowden Rocks to Edale via Crowden Clough (Walk 4)

Distance: 3.4 miles/5.5 km

Grid reference SK 09448 87189

Descend down from the rocks but don’t cross the stream. Turn right and follow the path which runs down Crowden Clough.

There’s a small scramble down to the path then you cross the stream backwards and forwards several times, as the path winds its way down. Eventually, you’ll reach a gate, go through, over a second gate and across a bridge.

Stream and rocks
Crowden Clough with Crowden Rocks in the distance

Continue descending alongside the brook until you come out on the path you started on (just before Upper Booth Farm).

Be sure to look out for the turning through Upper Booth Farm, it’s easy to miss walking in this direction. The clue is to look for the red phone box and turn right here.

Once through the farm, you turn left, then right down the track and simply follow the path back to Edale.

Stage 4 – Crowden Rocks to Edale via Grindslow Knoll (Walk 4)

Distance: 2.8 miles/4.5 km

Grid reference SK 09448 87189

At Crowden Rocks, cross over the stream to the path on the other side, bear right and head up and you’ll reach the path. This runs all the way along the edge until you reach an unusually shaped rock where the path bends round to the left.

At this point, continue straight and head towards Grindslow Knoll summit, it’s a flattish hill but you will be able to see on a clear day. Follow the path, then as you get towards the top look for a path that heads up to the summit.

Grindslow Knoll hill short walk Peak District
Summit of Grindslow Knoll

From here you then pick up the path on the other side of the cairn and turn right heading gradually downhill. Follow the path all the way downhill until you reach the sign for the Pennine Way.

You’re now back on the path near the very beginning of the walk. Follow the narrow path next to the stream until you come out at the Nags Head, then turn right and follow the road back to the car park or train station.

Stage 4 – Crowden Rocks to Edale via Grindsbrook (Walk 4)

Distance: 2.9 miles/4.7 km

Grid reference SK 09448 87189

Cross Crowden Brook, head up and meet the path along the edge of the Kinder plateau. Walk along the path for about 1 km, then bear round to the right for a few hundred metres until you reach a stone cairn.

The cairn marks the top of Grindsbrook Clough (SK 10541 87217), it’s not an obvious route at the start and requires a short scramble. Make your way down Grindsbrook Clough, crossing over the stream as the route takes you, for much of this section you’re finding the best way down yourself.

Rocky section up Grindsbrook Clough
Lower down on Grindsbrook Clough path

Once the terrain flattens out the path becomes more obvious and eventually leads into a track. Walk along here until you reach a small wooden bridge, cross over, go through the woods then follow the flagstoned path until you go down some stone steps and across another wooden bridge.

Go up the steps and turn left down the road, turn right and walk past the Nags Head and continue on the road back to the car park.

Stage 4 – Crowden Rocks to Edale via Ringing Roger (Walk 5)

Distance: 4.2 miles/6.8 km

Grid reference SK 09448 87189

Cross Crowden Brook, head up and meet the path along the edge of the Kinder plateau. Walk along the path for about 1 km, then bear round to the right for a few hundred metres until you reach a stone cairn (this is where you descend via Grindsbrook Clough option).

Follow the path and it will take you along the edge, first heading north, then cross over a stream and begin doubling back towards the edge of the plateau. Continue until for about 2 km until you reach a footpath heading downhill on your left.

Head down past the stone cairn the follow a switchback path down near a small plantation, go through the gate then head down the grassy path.

Bridge from Edale in the Peak District
Bridge into Edale

Turn left at the bottom, then go down some steps, across a wooden bridge, up and turn left onto the road. Follow it round to the right and it will bring you out at the Nags Inn. Then it’s down the road back to the car park and train station.

Do you have any more questions about these routes? Printable options are available when you sign up to my walks.

Other options for this walk

Shorten the walk

Each walk can be made slightly shorter by opting to not do the out and back section to Edale Rocks + Kinder Low. This is roughly 600 metres so would reduce the overall walk by 0.7 miles/1.2 km.

Extend the walk

Peat river and rocks at Kinder Downfall
Peat coloured water at Kinder Downfall

Want to maybe add some extra onto the walk instead? From Kinder Low trig point on Kinder Scout, you can follow the Pennine Way path along the edge of the plateau all the way to Kinder Downfall.

There are lovely views of the reservoir below as you walk along this section (Kinder Reservoir) and at Kinder Downfall it’s a wonderful viewpoint. On windy days you might see the waterfall in reverse, sunny days it might totally disappear and rainy days it’s a torrent of water!

To add this out and back on to the route would add an extra 1.2 miles/2 km from Kinder Low so 2.4 miles/4 km in total

Hiking gear, clothes + footwear

Clothes + footwear

For hiking Kinder Scout it’s important to have the right hiking gear, clothes and footwear to increase your enjoyment and minimise injury. For a day hike, a small backpack is perfect to carry your extra layers and waterproofs, as well as snacks and water for your hike.


If you’ve not done hiking before then the most important item is your footwear. The terrain can be tricky up to Kinder Scout and this helps keep you on two feet whilst on your walk. 

For rainy day hikes, Gortex hiking boots will also keep your feet dry and therefore a more enjoyable walk. And in summer a lovely lightweight pair of hiking shoes will be great to explore the area and stop you slipping. I wear either Salomon hiking boots or hiking shoes (depending on the weather). These Salomon Outback 500 Mid are also a good lightweight hiking boot too.


As a beginner, the best tip I can give you is not to wear denim or cotton for hiking, these materials aren’t great if they get wet and you’ll be very uncomfortable.

Cotswold Outdoor has a wide range of hiking gear for men, women and children so it’s worth taking a look if you don’t have anything suitable and you can sometimes get a good deal in their clearance or special offers section!

Waterproofs – be sure to get yourself a waterproof jacket and if you’re planning on doing lots of rainy day hikes it’s worth investing in some waterproof trousers too! I’m a fan of the Berghaus Paclite Jacket and Berghaus Paclite Trousers – perfect as they are lightweight and small to pack in your day pack

Day pack essentials

Here’s a basic list of items for your day hike:

More walks in the Peak District

Looking for more walks from Edale, you might like these walks.

Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here

View walks directory here

Save me to your Hiking boards on Pinterest

Parkhouse Bridge bottom of Jacobs Ladder and stream

Flatstone footpath in Peak District

*Peak District Walks participates in the Amazon Services Associates Programme, as well as other affiliate programmes. If you purchase through these, Peak District Walks earn from the qualifying links. This is at no extra cost to you. Read more here.

Peak District Walks is a FREE online resource. Are you enjoying the walks? You can say thank you and buy me a coffee here. Thank you very much 🙂

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.

visit our shop

Need more help planning your Peak District trip?

Join our Peak District walks Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and Twitter for inspiration.

More information on the Peak District, including transport options, where to stay, best Peak District pubs + other useful resources.

Check out the 7 YHAs in the Peak District and find the best walks direct from your accommodation.

Find out what maps you will need for your trip here.

Top tips - Read our useful guides on hiking tips here.

Guided Walks with an introduction to map reading (see dates here).

Visit our hiking recommendations page, (footwear, clothes + kit).

Or get in touch and I will help as best I can :).

Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability for any injuries or accidents resulting 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.

Share with your hiking friends