A Guide to Climbing Kinder Scout via Jacob’s Ladder


Distance: 8.5 miles (14 km)
Difficulty: Hard
Estimated Time: 4-5 hours
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1 The Peak District
Route: View in Google Maps
GPX File: Download GPX file (desktop only) – What is a GPX file?

Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District. It was also the centre of the The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass in 1932. Five people were arrested  during the civil disobedience in a fight for the “right to roam”. Over 400 people trespassed though the Peak District in rebellion. The general public haven’t always had access to the countryside, access was restricted by wealthy landowners, and the protest changed history for ramblers. It paved the way for National Parks and long distance walking routes, such as The Pennine Way.

The circular walk of Jacob’s Ladder and Kinder Scout has a lot of variety. There are challenging inclines, areas of scrambling, the option of climbing boulders, stream crossings and amazing views along the way.

Is Kinder Scout Low the same as Kinder Scout?

No. The official summit of Kinder Scout doesn’t have a trig or a designated path. The plateau of Kinder Scout is often waterlogged and boggy. A seasoned hiker may wish to navigate to the official, but uneventful, summit of Kinder Scout, but Kinder Scout Low is much easier to locate and identifies the highest point with a trig.

Kinder Scout and Kinder Scout Low Difference

This guide leads to Kinder Scout Low, but will refer to it as Kinder Scout. 

Kind Scout Low (633 metres) is only 3 metres lower than the highest point of Kinder Scout (636 metres).

Kinder Scout Low trig close up

Kinder Scout Low trig

Starting the Kinder Scout Walk

From Edale Train Station take a left onto the main road. There isn’t a designated path for hikers but the road is often quiet. Keep following the road, passing The Rambler Inn and the Edale Church.

The Rambler Inn Path leading to Edale Edale Church

The official start of The Pennine Way is left of the The Old Nags Head pub. The Pennine Way spans 268 miles and ends in Kirk Yetholm. The Kinder Scout route follows a small section of The Pennine Way.

The Old Nags Head pub The Official start of The Pennine Way Start of The Pennine Way

The start of the Pennine Way is well signposted and easy to follow. The first section leads through an overgrown area eventually leading to the first of many gates.

Overgrown path at the start of The Pennine Way Gate on Pennine Way Path and gate near Pennine Way Start The Pennine Way

Keep following the path until you reach a split. Follow the clear path leading off to the left, heading towards Upper Booth.

Rocky path with signpost

You are greeted with another gate upon your arrival at Upper Booth. Go through the gate and take a left. Follow the road through Upper Booth until you reach a signpost for Jacob’s Ladder.

Gate at Upper Booth Upper Booth

Upper Booth to Jacobs Ladder Upper Booth to Jacobs Ladder routeCross over Crowden Brook using the small footbridge and follow the concreted path to Lee Farm. Jacob’s Ladder is a short walk from Lee Farm.

Footbridge over Crowden Brook Lee Farm sign

Path from Lees Farm You are greeted with a small bridge crossing over the River Noe. It is a good area for a checkpoint. There are places to sit and relax near the river before starting Jacob’s Ladder.

Bridge near Jacobs Ladder River Noe small waterfall near jacobs ladder Sign for Jacobs LAdder

Jacob’s Ladder consists of numerous steps. It is over quickly but the steps can be tiring. The steps are wide enough to accommodate resting walkers if you require any stops.

Start of Jacobs Ladder Steps up Jacobs Ladder Steep steps at Jacobs Ladder

A large pile of stone signals the end of Jacob’s Ladder. Follow the path leading to the right.

Cairns at top of Jacobs Ladder

Follow the path untill you reach a paving stone section leading off to the right. This path leads towards Edale Rocks. Depending on the weather, you may be able to see Edale Rocks in the background from here.

Right turn towards Edale Rocks

The next turning point is clear thanks to the pile of rocks. Take the left trail towards Edale Rocks. The other path leads to Noe Stool, which you can see on a clear day.

Edale Rocks and Noe Stool Path

Edale Rocks provides shelter from the elements and is a good spot for a rest or a scramble.

Keep heading North and Kinder Scout trig will appear shortly.

Kinder Scout Low Trig

Depending on recent weather, you can walk down the river bed to the right of Kinder Scout trig. The river track is a shortcut to the path leading to Noe Stool. If the river track is too boggy, head back to Edale Rocks and to the pile of stones and take the path leading to Noe Stool.

Kinder Scout Low trig to Noe Stool shortcut

The riverbed and path from Edale Rocks join for the final stretch towards Noe Stool. On a clear day you will see Noe Stool and navigation will be simple. It isn’t a concreted pathway, but the ground is worn from other walkers. Noe Stool is hard to miss. It is a large lone rock.

Crossing of riverbed to Noe Stool

Riverbed joining path

Worn path leading to Noe Stool

Worn path leading to Noe Stool

Noe Stool close up

Noe Stool

The path for the next mile or so leads through a number of rocks and boulders. The path comes and goes but it easy to navigate amongst the rocks – keep heading in the same direction. This area is highlighted on the OS Map as Wool Packs.

Path from Noe Stool to Wool Pack Stoney path through Wool Pack Rocks at Wool Pack

The path leads to an area with a couple of paths to choose from. Keep following the path East.

Path to Grindsbrook Clough Path leading to Grindsbrook Clough 2

Keep left at the next two splits in the path.

Keep left on main path Left turn to Grindsbrook Clough

This is the start of the Grindsbrook Clough descent. The area can be wet and slippery so take your time coming down the rocks and be careful when scrambling down. This area is a fun scramble with its own little water features.

Descent down Grindsbrook Clough Path leading down Grindbrooks Clough Stream down Grinds Brook

As you reach the bottom you need to cross Grinds Brook. The stream will be on your right-hand side for the remainder of the walk back to Edale.

Near the bottom of Grindbrook Clough Path and Grinds Brook Grinds Brook

It’s a friendly route from here: flat and clear paths lead the way.

Path next to Grinds Brook

Cross over the little wooden bridge and head through the gate.

Wooden footbridge

The trail through the woods leads to a paved route for the remainder of the walk. There are some steps to walk down and another little wooden bridge to cross over.

Path leading through woods back to Edale Stairs leading to wooden footbridge Little wooden footbridge

Keep following the path to The Old Nags Head pub.

Path back to Old Nags Head

Congratulations. That’s the end of Jacob’s Ladder and Kinder Scout.