Kinder – A night with a mermaid

by backpackingbongos

Mild weather and rain during the week had washed away most of the snow in the Peak District. A disappointment considering the amount that had fallen the previous weekend.

I had received an invite from Geoff and Chrissie to join them on a short backpack from Hayfield to Kinder Scout. They had just received a labrador friendly tent and were keen to test it. By the time I had driven over, eaten their food and drank their coffee it was late in the afternoon when we finally set off. Just three short hours before it got dark.

With it being their local stomping ground I left my map in my pack and followed them to Kinder Reservoir via a circuitous route through Little Hayfield and along White Brow.



From Hayfield I have always gone up Kinder via William Clough or Sandy Heys, so it was new territory for me as we followed the path around the northern side of the reservoir. It was then pathless as we headed up the Kinder River.



Geoff set off at a cracking pace along the river to Peter Nook woods, Chrissie following behind. Reuben thought that it would be better for us to have a slow amble up the path along the upper edge of the woods. The tortoise got to the Mermaids pool ten minutes before the hare.


I arrived at the pool exactly at the same time as another chap with his Labrador, he having the same idea of a nice quiet wild camp. I however was intent on a grassy shelf a couple of hundred metres further on. The area surrounding Mermaids pool is a bit on the soggy side to be honest.

Chrissie and Geoff managed to get their brand new tent up without too much fuss, good going considering that there was a keen wind and they had only pitched it once in the garden. My Wickiup gave me a bit of trouble to start with. Being tall it is difficult to get the flysheet on when fighting against the wind. Reuben chose to shelter behind a tussock rather than offering any help.

Because of the windchill it was not an evening to sit outside socialising so we hung out in our individual tents. The most exciting moment being when Tilly came along to say hello and knocked over my coffee. Reuben is currently being trained to return the favour.




The wind had died down by morning and there was the beginnings of a blue sky. The mermaid had not come along and drowned me in the pool during the night, as per the legend. My only mermaid reference point is Daryl Hannah in Splash so I’m sure it would not have been an entirely unpleasant experience.

We did not pick the easiest way onto the plateau, taking a direct line up impossibly steep slopes. The remaining slushy snow was best avoided. My asthma inhaler just about managed to keep my airways open as my lungs worked overtime on the near vertical grass.




The going was much more pleasant on the path that winds its way along the edge of the plateau. Chrissie and Geoff put on their microspikes but I found picking a route from boulder to boulder much easier. Reuben and Tilly with their built-in spikes and Four Paw Drive had no problems at all.



Kinder Downfall had the appearance of a set of giant organ pipes, great icicles hanging from the rocks. It was undergoing a transition from being frozen to its more usual liquid state. We took the three Knolls path back down to the valley just as cloud and mist swept in from the west. The plateau was soon hidden and a Peter Kay rain fell. Luckily we were dressed in Paramo so we were all snug, warm and dry and in the Paramo comfort zone.

Cheese on toast back at chez Crowther set me up nicely for the drive back home.

17 Responses to “Kinder – A night with a mermaid”

  1. Excellent photos James. You ALMOST sound like you know your way round Kinder now; Peter Nook Wood, Three Knolls … next, you’ll be telling me you’ve seen the Dog Stone.

    • I can wander round Kinder blindfolded Geoff. I would get lost though…….

      Many happy bivi’s by the Dog Stone………

  2. By those photos show the verticality of the slopes above Mermaid’s Pool quite effectively! They look every bit as steep as they felt 😀

    And Tilly says she’s very, very sorry about the coffee, and if you’d told mum she’d have made you another one.

  3. Impressive James, the usual high quality photos really sums things up.

  4. I wish you’d posted this on Friday………we wanted to follow one of your routes yesterday as a Valentine’s treat but were greeted by fog so thick we ended up retreating into some insignificant woods 😦 massive disappointment considering we’d driven from North Wales especially but I’m sure there’ll be loadsa better days to get to know the Peak District with three Border Collies in tow 😉 Love your trip reports by the way, keep up the good work 🙂

    • Hi Babs, thanks for dropping by. Shame about the thick fog, would you have been able to get above it into clear blue skies? Loads of places to explore in the Peaks with three Border Collies.

  5. Anyway, where’s William Cloud?

  6. Steep grass and a heavy pack, good for the soul

  7. Nice walk and report. Look forward to more soon. This isn’t a part of the Peak District I really know. Coming from the south we hit the White Peak and then Edale.

    • Thanks. There is lots of variety in the Peaks. The south is actually nearer to me but I often find myself attracted to the more rugged north. I do love the limestone dales in summer though.

  8. Fantastic pictures! It’s images and stories like these that make me yearn to return.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: