Fair Brook and Kinder Northern Edges from Birchen Clough

This Peak District walk starts from Birchen Clough and follows Fair Brook onto the Kinder Scout Plateau. Following the northern edge of the plateau there are good views towards Bleaklow. The final section of the walk follows the Snake Path from Ashop Head back to the start.

Technical sheet
No. 292958
A Hope Woodlands walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 06/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h00[?]
Distance Distance : 8.57mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1211ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1214ft
Highest point Highest point : 1988ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 1014ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Hope Woodlands
Starting point Starting point : N 53.41975° / W 1.83697°
Download : -


(D/A) The start is the small car park at Birchen Clough on the A57 Snake Road (Grid ref. SK109914). To avoid some walking on this busy road cross over and go through the gate descending through the woods to a stream. Follow this down staying on the east bank to reach the River Ashop. Do not cross the footbridge on your right and instead turn left on the clear path, which climbs to reach the main road. Turn right towards Sheffield past the Snake Inn and take the first signed footpath on the right. This leads down to a footbridge over the River Ashop (Grid ref. SK114902).

(1) Cross the bridge and follow the river downstream before turning right at the first brook. This is Fair Brook. Follow this upstream staying on the west side for the climb onto the Plateau. Near the top your clamber through rocks to reach the edge path. Turn right to reach Fairbrook Naze, which looks like a ship's prow from the valley.

(2) Stay on the edge path with good views to your right. Away to your left are the peat hags that make Kinder so infamous! Generally the path is fairly dry although there are some unavoidable sections that can be wet and boggy after rain. As you continue along the edge, heading almost due west, you will pass some interesting weathered millstone grit rock features including the "Boxing Gloves".

(3) After about two miles (which in fact seems much longer) you reach the Pennine Way at the top of Ashop Head. Turn right and descend steeply over a flagged path to Ashop Head. At the cross path (Grid ref. 063902) turn right. This is the Snake Path, which leads you back to the start. In places it can again be boggy although most of the worst sections have now been paved. Entering the woods (grid ref. 102907) keep on the lower path that runs parallel to the River Ashop. Cross the footbridge and turn left. You have now rejoined the outward route and all you need do is retrace your steps back to the parking area(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 1240ft - Car park at Birchen Clough
1 : mi 1.09 - alt. 1043ft - Turn right and cross the footbridge
2 : mi 3.04 - alt. 1965ft - Fairbrook Naze
3 : mi 4.8 - alt. 1939ft - Reach the Pennine Way
D/A : mi 8.57 - alt. 1237ft

Useful Information

This walk tackles the interesting route up Fair Brook to gain the Kinder Plateau then follows the northern edge to reach Ashop Head. The return is via the Snake Path with open views of the outward route. Despite venturing onto the Kinder Plateau it avoids many of the problems of the peat hags and is suitable for most times of the year. It also avoids complicated compass work as for most of the route you have clear landmarks although around Ashop Head a good sense of direction is required in periods of poor visibility.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Mon 06 Jul 2020 10:28:31 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 06/07/20
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Fantastic walk up one of the northern valleys on Kinder. Fair warning, I went after a few days of rain, which made it even more spectacular as it further emphasised the many waterfalls on this hike, however, the walk back via Ashop was very very boggy.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.