I spent last weekend in Witney in Oxfordshire at Lesley’s sister’s wedding, and on the journey back to Scotland we stopped off to go for an excellent curry in Manchester’s famous ‘Curry Mile‘. We also went to the Peak District and went for a walk on Kinder Scout. This hill was the site of the ‘Mass Trespass‘ of 1932, an event for which all hillwalkers in Britain should be thankful for. We walked on a 12km circular route from Hayfield along the western edge of the summit plateau that took us about 3.5 hours. Lesley has written a blog entry about the weekend here.
Kinder Scout itself is an odd hill, being closely surrounded by the major conurbations of northern England and right under the flight path to Manchester Airport. It’s also got a large and almost totally flat summit plateau, which makes for excellent walking along good paths and amongst a wild environment of crags, peat hags and rocky tors – not unlike a walk along the top of one of the Cairngorm plateaux (although a lot lower in elevation at 600m). This small wild upland environment is unique for this part of Britain which is mostly urbanised, and this makes it very popular with walkers, although it wasn’t too crowded when we were there.
To be honest, walking on Kinder Scout is not really a huge mountain adventure (despite being given a starring role in the recent BBC series Mountain), it’s more of a pleasant stroll with some good views of the Pennine hills and also (slightly incongruously) towards the tower blocks of central Manchester. What does make it worth a visit perhaps, is its historical importance and its isolation as a small remaining spot of wild country in the industrial north of England.
Photos from the walk can be seen here.