When driving over the A57 Snake Pass, one of the Manchester to Sheffield trans-Pennine routes the mountain tops of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow are visible either side but to be fair look some distance off. Many cars stop at the Snake summit top where the Pennine Way long distance footpath crosses the road , but most people don’t venture very far.
The Ashop Head end of Kinder Scout to the south is a good 45 mins to an hour walk away and during that time its fair to say the view is no different or even slightly obscured as the Pennine way, paved route, undulates over the moors. Long walks are best from this point but to have a second car at a destination e.g. In Edale or Hayfield to the South, Torside or Woodhead to the North almost essential.
Bleaklow is closer than Kinder and more inviting or at least the Shelf Stones section is close [the Pennine way North to the top of Bleaklow Hill which is very flat and a little uninspiring at that point unless going further is probably just 40 minutes fairly easy but occasionally boggy walking].
A short walk from the summit is recommended though. Parking carefully at the summit, the North side of the road preferred, make sure you get completely off the road and be aware you will be at quite angle when you leave the tarmac so easy does it!
Walk along the Pennine Way North for 5-10 mins. The photo above shows the path and the view back to the start point and the cars parked at the top with Kinder Scout in the distance. An improved view of Shelf stones can be seen at this point.
At present it’s worth it just to see the Bog Cotton (Cotton grass ). Red Grouse are resident birds on the top and more than likely they will see you before you see them – sometimes very close before they fly off with their loud ‘get back, get back’ alarm call. At the point where there is a dip down in the path there is a footpath crossroads – this section is known as Old Woman. Walking to the left the path is uneven and often wet compared to the first Pennine Way section but well worth it for another 5-10 minutes. At that point (through the gate in the foreground of the photo below) it’s all down hill to Old Glossop on the Doctor’s Gate path.
But even if you go no further and just retrace your steps it is worth going this far for the views and to get a feel for the moorland .The photo below shows the wide view to the north west from the left the tops are called James’s Thorn, Lower Shelf Stones and Higher Shelf Stones.
The rocky tops of these hills are impressive
If setting off for a longer walk to any of these tops be fully prepared with suitable walking boots,maps and sufficient clothing for all weathers – I also cannot recommend going over these moors for the first time solo unless sticking to the major footpaths. Too many people seem to get lost on these tops, of course most come to no harm but many arrive home tired after walking more miles than intended. Be careful out there or just stick to this very short walk to get a closer look at the flora and fauna of the Pennine moorland.About me and my blog