January 2020. A new Year. A new decade. A whole lot of new hikes to explore! We’ve already been out a few times this month but Saturday was our first hike just the two of us.
Our go-to hike is the Kinder loop starting & ending in Edale in the Peak District. It’s a great hike with stunning views & has become one of our favourites. When we take friends hiking, we go to Edale. When we don’t want to have to think where we’re going, we head to Edale. When you know a route confidently it’s like a good recipe you can rely on & theres a load of variations of the loop you can do. But recently we’ve been thinking we need to expand our ‘go-to’s’ & venture to different parts of the Peaks (around 6 months ago we headed to The Roaches near Leek – a popular spot for climbers – & ran a really fun 10k route which we plan to go back & hike soon). It’s great getting to know a place but not becoming so comfortable you stop exploring elsewhere. So on Friday evening Rufino researched & decided we should hike the Hayfield to Kinder route & off we went. Still on kinder but from the other side…
We followed the route from our 50 Walks in The Peak District book which as well as giving excellent details about the hikes provides ‘fascinating background reading for every walk’ as proudly stated on the back cover. And so they should state! It was a fascinating read… The story of how Kinder Scout became open to the public: Benny Rothman was a Manchester Rambler & along with other ramblers from the local area & Sheffield led a mass trespass in 1932 on Kinder Scout against the owners of the land protesting that the land be open to public access. Benny was one of five arrested & did a short stint in jail for unlawful assembly & breach of the peace but had inspired a cause which continued to campaign until 1951 when the recently formed National Park negotiated with the land owners to keep the moorlands open to the public. Hurray for hikers! Thank you Benny & co for your campaigning & not giving up 🙂 There was even a song written about Benny, you can listen here.
The hike heads out of Bowden Bridge car park & up to Kinder. Up and Up and Up. The full loop was just over 7 miles & took 4 hours but by the end I felt as though we’d done a full day!
It was a stunning walk & had a more dramatic feeling than the Jacobs Ladder side of Kinder and felt in parts similar to the Lakes. That might have been because of the weather. There was low cloud & a dull grey sky which contrasted against the colours of the land & highlighted the earthy quality & texture of the day. When you’re only a sunshine hiker you miss the dramatic days. It felt really atmospheric. Our weather app informed us it was 6 degrees but with wind chill would feel like 2 & it certainly did. My thighs & bum were numb for much of the walk. Serves me right for not preparing properly. We checked the weather app whilst already on Kinder… My North Face trousers which are brilliant weren’t thick enough by far to keep me warm but on a positive this numb bum memory will push me to purchase those RAB fleece lined trousers I had been eyeing up at Go Outdoors last weekend with my Christmas voucher. Yay!
Cold cheeks & bracing against the wind with attitude
At the top it was super windy & cold (did I mention?) To distract myself I ran through my lines for a show I’m touring in next month. Rufino doesn’t feel the cold like me so other than his face he was fine.
On the way down Rufino did the most epic fall. It was so graceful & swan like. He somehow went up before going down. Incredible. Like in slow motion. I wish I could have captured it on film to show him how graceful he was. The downward journey went through steep muddy fields. There was evidence of previous falls or near falls from other hikers because of the mud slide marks on the grass.
When we got back to the car we were both muddy (particularly Rufino) & hadn’t brought a change of clothes or a bag to put the muddy boots in. Every time we say ‘Oh we must get an Ikea box & line it with a bin liner for muddy things & bring old towels to sit on. We forgot again. Next time!’ but we haven’t yet remembered. I think we’re always shocked by how muddy the trails can get.
Anyway this hike isn’t that tough, although steep in places, but felt tough for me as I wasn’t in the hiking mood & needed to push myself. I was glad I did, as I always am. We thoroughly enjoyed our homemade parsnip soup & plate of chips when we got home 🙂