A last minute night on Kinder Scout

by backpackingbongos

The plan had been to head to the Yorkshire Dales with Martin, however a bug laid him low.  I decided that it would be good to save the route for another time.  Maps were dug out and Kinder Scout caught my eye, its been a while since I have walked there.  After an email to Chrissie and a Twitter exchange with Yuri I got mine and Reuben’s bags packed.

I have needed a new pair of waterproof trousers for a while now, so took the opportunity to pop into Outside in Hathersage on the way up.  It was Reuben’s first time in an outdoor shop and he was more exited than I was.  It is difficult having a browse when you have a dog straining at the leash.  The best bit came when I needed to go into the changing rooms to try something on.  I handed Reuben over to one of the shop assistants, coming out to find him on his back with his belly in the air and getting a big fuss from other customers.

Yuri was picked up from Chinley station and we headed to Chrissie’s house in Hayfield just in time for lunch and coffee.  I don’t think that Chrissie really appreciates just how lucky she is being able to walk up Kinder Scout from her back door.  The approach through the village and then along Kinder Road is a bit of a slog but we were soon at the reservoir.  A warm and sunny day but plagued by a haze that really limited the views.

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We headed directly up the quiet Sandy Heys path, which is a bit of a lung buster and thigh wobbler.  It leads unerringly direct to the summit plateau.  With time on our side we were able to take it easy however.

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The plan had been to camp near the Kinder Downfall but despite the sunshine there was a very strong wind blowing from the east. Shelter was needed and we found a nice shelf below the western edge.  There was one problem with our chosen pitch though, there was not so much as a muddy puddle to filter water from.  Yuri assured me that it was a short walk to and from the spring near the downfall.  His definition of short does not relate to mine and it was a forty-five minute round trip to fill our water bottles.

It was a cracking place to spend the night, the lights of Manchester eventually revealing themselves through the haze.  Even in a sheltered spot the wind blew strongly and we all retired to our tents early.

Spot the three tents below.

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The morning brought bluer skies, although it was still very hazy.  The wind still had a chill but it was warm in my tent.  Being a short trip with Reuben I had lugged my original Voyager tent with me.  A proper old school bomb proof shelter which makes camping a joy.  Sadly it is a bit of a heavy beast.

We had a lazy morning, enjoying the sunshine on the first day of British Summertime.

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We finally packed late morning and headed back up to the plateau.  Yuri decided that he would head north to Bleaklow and descend to Glossop to catch a bus home.  Chrissie, Dixie, Reuben and myself took the path towards Kinder Downfall.

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I have to say that it is one of those spots that always surprises me with just how impressive it is.  With Kinder Scout being so close to large urban centres it is easy to dismiss.  Usually the downfall is teeming with folk but for some reason it was nearly deserted. Perhaps people were out doing things for Mothers day.  With the temperatures rising we sat and soaked up the surroundings for a while.

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We took the less frequented Three Knolls path down to the reservoir, although not before another sit in the sun, Reuben ever hopeful for a biscuit.

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An enjoyable night in the hills does not need to be big or epic.

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13 Responses to “A last minute night on Kinder Scout”

  1. Looks incredible, another place to add to the bucket list. Thanks!

    • Thanks. It’s an excellent spot yet so close to large cities. Well worth a visit if you get the chance.

  2. A great place especially when the weather is kind.Done many walks in the area.but no camping up there yet.
    Yes it can get busy near the Downfall at weekends

    • I think that it is the nearest bit of rugged country for a lot of folk, not surprising that it gets busy. It deserves to be popular. It’s worth a sneaky camp Andy.

  3. We were really lucky with the weather, weren’t we?

    I do try not to take it for granted living where we do, honestly!

    Love that photo near the Downfall where Dixie is leaning against my back 🙂

    • If you ever fancy a house swap Chrissie just give me a shout. You do have some dodgy neighbours across the road though! The weather was much better than I thought it would be.

  4. Lights of Manchester in the distance – best place for them. Yes it is a good place, as you say surprisingly interesting given the proximity to cities. Poignant too – where folk said enough, you bloody aristocrats can’t stop us walking here (on Sunday after wage slavery all week) if we go there in sufficient numbers.

    • Yep it is a very important place in terms of gaining our right to access the hills. It is strange being somewhere at night that feels wild yet spread out below you is a huge urban conurbation. Could see the planes taking off from Manchester airport.

  5. A little tip…don’t hang around Bleaklow unless you really like helicopters, lots of activity up there till end of the month…That said, if you got a fetish about Vietnam war helicopters, two Hueys are being used…

    Otherwise, if peace and quiet are sought on KInder, the northern rim is your place and you have a lot less urban light if that kind of stuff is not of your liking.

    • Cheers Yuri, I’ll avoid Bleaklow till then I reckon. Last time I was up there a helicopter flew over every few minutes.

  6. Kinder was the second major upland walk I did when I was about 14 and I loved it. It was like nothing else I’d ever seen with the gritstone edges and weird peat hags and bogs of the plateau. Sometimes the spur of the moment trips can be the best

    • Yep, sometimes it is good to just pack your bags and head to the hills at the last minute. It is good having something like Kinder about 1.5 hrs drive away. A great place to escape to.

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