7 Fun Peak District Scrambles + BEST Routes

Views from top of Peak District scramble

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Are you looking for some brilliant Peak District scrambles to add some extra adventure into your walk? 

I’m a huge fan of scrambling when I go out hiking and always on the lookout for routes where I can include a scramble section too. Many of the Peak District scrambling routes are in the Dark Peak area and these are the more challenging scrambles due to the nature of the terrain.

Here I’ve included 7 different scrambles in the Peak District and also included details on the best walks to do these routes.

If you’ve never tried scrambling before or not sure what it involves please read the section below which explain more about what a scramble route involves. If you’re still unsure feel free to get in touch with any questions.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve done any of these Peak District scrambles?

Peak District scrambling information

Rocky section
Final rocky section of the Blacken Brook scramble

What is a scramble route?

The best way to think of a scrambling route is that it’s going to involve some form of rocky terrain that you’ll need to navigate. It’s the in-between level of hiking and climbing, so generally you won’t need ropes or any form or equipment (some Grade 3 scrambles you might); however all of these routes in the list are Grade 1, with one Grade 2 section.  

The best technique for a scramble route is to make sure your hands are free and use both your hands and legs to reach the top.

How are scramble routes graded?

Scramble routes in the UK are graded on a scale between 1 to 3, based on the difficulty rating.

  • Grade 1 – easiest scramble route
  • Grade 2 – moderate scramble
  • Garde 3 – most difficult route

Should I scramble up or down?

If you’re new to scrambling or even been doing it a while, I would always recommend you scramble up instead of down. Since scrambling is the next level before climbing, a scramble routes would naturally follows the way someone would climb up.

This means that you will be closer to the terrain, as the higher ground is in front of you, therefore it’s easier to use your hands and find a safe route up. You can scramble down, but I would say it’s more challenging and requires careful foot placement.

If in doubt and it’s your first time on a route, scramble up not down!

What other Peak District scramble routes have you done? Let me know in the comments.

7 Peak District scramble routes

Views halfway up the scramble
Views halfway up the Red Brook scramble

The Peak District has several scramble routes, due to the rocky nature of the terrain many scrambles are in the Dark Peak area, which makes sense.

And you also have the bonus of the Dark Peak area being more gritstone rocks, which is a grippy rock so perfect for scrambling, providing you’re wearing the right footwear!

These are all Peak District scramble routes, you’ll notice the majority of ones on the list are Grade 1 scrambles in the Peak District, which is where my comfort zone is for scramble routes. I’m aware of other scrambles which are Grade 2 and 3 but I’ve only included the ones I have personal knowledge of so I can give an accurate description of their difficulty. 

You’ll also notice that only a small section of the each route include a scramble, so once you’ve done that the rest of the walk is on two feet!

Grindsbrook Clough scramble

Views from the top of Grindsbrook

Location: Kinder Scout

Grade scramble: 1

If you’re looking for a scramble route to start with the Grindsbrook Clough is a pretty good one to do. This was my first scramble in the Peak District and it’s still one of my favourite routes to Kinder Scout.

The path up Grindsbrook starts with a path, then begins to somewhat disappear as you pick the best route up. As you climb higher the last section of the route turns into a rocky steep section, which is where you can scramble to final part to the top of Grindsbrook.

Routes for this scramble

The best place to start this walk to complete the Grindsbrook scramble route is from Edale. This lovely 8-mile route takes you up the scramble then loops back down the popular Jacob’s Ladder path.

Blackden Brook scramble

Rocky scramble
Rocky scramble up Blackden Brook

Location: Kinder Scout

Grade scramble: 1

Again the scramble section is near the top of the Kinder Plateau on this route. This final rocky scramble to the top is one of my favourites, but if you feel it’s too challenging, there’s an Option B route so you can take your pick.

Routes for this scramble

For this Peak District scramble walk, you start on the Snake Pass side of Kinder Scout, this 6-mile walk takes you up Blackden Brook on a challenging route to the top.

Parkhouse Hill

Scramble route
Scramble route up Parkhouse Hill

Location: Parkhouse Hill near Chrome Hill

Grade scramble: 1

One of the only short scrambles in the White Peak area located on Parkhouse Hill in Staffordshire. This is more of a steep rocky path but if you’re not used to steep ascents/descents it will feel like a scramble as you’ll want to use your hands on the way up (or down).

We have two routes, from Hollinsclough the route takes you up the scramble section and on the Earl Sterndale walk the route heads down this path.

In both instances you have an Option B if you don’t feel comfortable, or if it’s wet! This walk is in the White Peaks which means Limestone rocks and they can get very slippy in the rain. (Details include below in both routes).

Routes for this scramble

A relatively easy walk for the majority of this route (until you reach the scramble) from Hollinsclough.

Crowden Clough scramble

Rocky scramble section of Crowden Clough
Crowden Clough scramble (Grade 2 section)

Location: Kinder Scout

Grade scramble: 1-2

Situated not far along from Grindsbrook route, this walk and scramble runs also parallel reaching the top of the Kinder Plateau about 1 km further along the path. 

This route is slightly quieter than the Grindsbrook scramble, but it does have a trickier section as you near the top. There is a path if you prefer to detour the scramble with this walk.

Routes for this scramble

 

Alport Castles – The Tower scramble

Alport Castles Tower in Peak District
Alport Castles Tower in the Peak District

Location: Alport Castles near Ladybower Reservoir

Grade scramble: 1

Alport Castles is, in fact, not a castle but a giant landslip which has created rock formations that at a glance look like a castle!

The scramble section of this route is an optional add-on to the walk, you can simply walk to the base of the rocks and enjoy the view or take an extra challenge and head up to the top.

There’s a mix of lose ground and some rocky sections as you scramble your way to the top (known as The Tower).

Route for this scramble walk

Red Brook Clough scramble

Red Brook scramble route
Red Brook scramble route

Location: Kinder Scout

Grade scramble: 1

This is a lovely route from Hayfield and one of the longest scramble routes in this list, which also makes it one of my favourites.

It’s another quieter route up to the summit and when you pop out on the top which intersects the Pennine Way trail between Kinder Low and Kinder Downfall you might be surprised when you see all the people!

The sections leading up to the scramble can be boggy/muddy in places, especially after lots of rain!

Routes for this scramble

Birchen Clough scramble + The Trinnacles

Rocks on Birchen Clough
Scramble up Birchen Clough

Location: Near Dovestone Reservoir

Grade scramble: 1

This route takes you up Birchen Clough, for most of the route it’s simply navigating the rocks but there’s a short scramble about halfway up (see photo above).

If you do the route below, there’s also another rocky section you can climb up, known as The Trinnacles  but this isn’t for the faint-hearted, there are steep drops on both sides. As a rule, if you don’t feel confident then don’t do it, it’s not worth a serious injury and a Mountain Rescue callout.

Also, consider the weather conditions, a wet and windy day is probably not the right time to be scrambling onto a completely exposed rock.

Route for this scramble

 

Do you have any more questions about scrambles in the Peak District? Ask me in the comments below.

 

Ordnance Survey Walk Maps

For these walks, there are two maps that cover them OL1 – Peak District (Dark Peak Area) and OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area)

You can buy a paper map at outdoor shops or shop online at Amazon or Ordnance Survey

And don’t forget your compass. I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, it’s more expensive but a valuable piece of kit!

For online maps, you can get via OS Online App or Viewranger App. I use OS Online, it’s a great App which you can use in Flight mode on your walks.

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

More walks in the Peak District

Love adventurous and challenging walks in the Peak District? You might like these Peak District walks.

Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here

View walks directory here

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2 thoughts on “7 Fun Peak District Scrambles + BEST Routes

    • Becky - Peak District Walker says:

      Ah fantastic, Simon, I’ll be heading out to do some more so there might be a few more added over the next few weeks 🙂

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