Hello friends! I am currently relaxing at home in 31 degrees celsius heat in London. I am heading home in a week and I am so excited for all the hikes I will be doing! To get myself back into hiking, I went to Peak District National Park about 3 weeks ago for a quick 2 day, one night backpacking trip. The Peak District is really, really big but after doing a bit of research we decided to make the Kinder Cross/Edale area as our goal!
1. Journey to Edale
We took the East Midlands train from London St. Pancras to Sheffield with an arrival at 11:00am. We then had to take another train from Sheffield to Edale with it’s ultimate destinatoin being Manchester Picadilly for the train. For the first train we took, we did book in advance to save money. However, the second train we bought tickets the day of, which turned out to be around 14 pounds a head with an open return time for the next day. The train to Edale doesn’t run as often so do make note of scheduled train times! However, it is mainly others who take this train as you can tell with all the hiking boots and outdoor gear on.
2. En route to Kinder Cross
Edale is a tiny area so we easily were able to found our trail head which starts right before reaching a a pub called The Old Nags Head. There will be a wooden post marked the Pennine Way to get your journey started! We didn’t have a concise itinerary planned but we knew that we were hoping to camp out by Kinder Cross at the end of the day. So we followed along the Pennine Way, walking West through a lot of farmland, and lots and lots of sheep. It was definitely the most proper English Country side experience that I have had with sheep and rams grazing in all directions. This day also happened to be quite hot so I was feeling quite sweaty in a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt. After awhile, we reached Jacob’s Ladder which definitely stands by its name! It is essentially this route that is a winding incline that makes up most of the height that we would be taking during our journey. We continued along North where we stopped to have lunch with views of Jacob’s ladder before continuing along. Do keep in mind we started walking from Edale around 1/2pm and eventually set camp for around 5/6pm. We managed to find a big pertruding rock to set up our tent by since it was really windy. I was quite hungry by then and I have always found myself loving camp food. To be fair that is probably because I haven’t been on any extensive camping trips and I am always just so hungry after a long day of walking!
The Kinder Cross area is defintely recommended as it provides higher views and deep valleys which was what I was aiming for. This was all completed at a very leisurely pace! For our next day, we were running low on water as we realised there was not a lot of running water to filter in the Peak District, so our goal was to go towards the Kinder Reservoir. We ended up walking between two valleys and eventually found a stream of water. We were quite thirsty though so ended up filtering water that still had a green-ish colour and definitely tasted a bit funny but knock on wood, we were fine! However, we were quite silly to soon realise we should have waited a bit longer to get closer to the reservoir which had fast running, water that appeared to be more clear instead haha! We ended up making a loop around the Kinder Reservoir, then walking back towards Jacob’s ladder but walking on what I believe was called Edale’s Head instead back towards Edale. This was a fun route with a lot of tors and incredible scatter rock formations which provided a different type of scenery from yesterday.
3. Random (Important) Bits
- Bring a map! We had printed out a map online in advance and I felt that the Peak District is quite well marked but also provides a lot of opportunities to wander off on your own while eventually making your way back to a main path.
- Bring lots of water and definitely have a water filtration device in hand and make time to find a stream or a lake as even though some areas were marked as a river on our map, when we got there, we realised it was all dried up! This could be due to the time of the year as well, but hydration is incredibly important!
- I have done many hikes elsewhere, especially back home in Canada, but I have never felt so safe doing this hike (Aside from an aggressive ram that we met along the way). It was during half term, so we met a lot of families from the North especially and solo walkers. I felt this was also because there wasn’t any intensive, strenuous lanscape to conquer and in all directions you just see rolling hills which made it feel more safe haha!
- I went to the Peak District with a pair of old trainers and they definitely did the job for this trip. However, most people were wearing hiking boots which is definitely a thing in England. I do think though if I did more off trail walking and if the weather wasn’t as nice and sunny, hiking boots would have come in handy!
I definitely had a fun experience exploring the Peak District! It was a nice break from living in London and really made me miss home. There are other areas like Lake District, Snowdonia, and Cornwall that would allow for some hiking that I would like to explore…hopefully in the near future!