And I stopped and let my heart breathe in
The quiet, still, whisper of the hills.

Kamil, The Wandering Cloud

This was, truly, when my hiking genuinely began, and I got reacquainted with the idea of long distance hiking, and my love of the remote, the windy and the serene.

I stayed on the outskirts of Sheffield the day before, and took a train to Edale via the beautiful Peak District. Edale is where the Pennine Way starts. It is a very pretty and quaint village. This was a perfectly sunny and warm day and I wasted no time getting myself on the trail.

In Edale, walking towards the start of the trail.

Immediately upon leaving the village, I was greeted by the beautiful views of the Peak District hills.

One minute into the trail

The first stretch takes the walker towards Upper Booth Farm, with the views of the gentle hills to your left accompanying you.

Towards Upper Booth Farm

Once past the farm, the trail takes you into The Vale of Edale and past The Cloughs.

After about 2 miles, one is coming up to the first steeper ascent towards Jacob’s Ladder and the first impressive views are around (or should I say, up) the corner. The day was very hot, I recall, about 28C, so I was glad I had plenty of water and a proper sun hat!

Just before the first steep ascent up Jacob’s Ladder. Where the trail disappears in the image, there is the first superbly steep ascent!
I stopped here for a while to enjoy the views

Now, the trail takes the walker via Edale Rocks towards Kinder Scout. Much less steep now that one has climbed up about 150 feet, although it goes slowly up, now on a rather rocky, less grassy, and more rugged terrain.

Kinder Scout

Now the trail turns west and you are presented with far-reaching views of the Kinder area, including, as you can see in the image below, Kinder Reservoir down below.

Now, the trail turns northwards again and the scenery changes again, this time into very grassy and what would be very boggy Feathermoss area. A fascinating view of a single stone path laid for the walker crawling lazily through this area, with gentle hills around you, but most of all, this thing that I have come to appreciate so much again and again on my trips struck me here: the enormous space, undisturbed by any tree, for miles, and practically complete silence.

Eventually, the trail crosses the major motorway, Snake Road and a slow and long, steady ascent, proceeds up towards Bleaklow Head.

View from the ascent towards Bleaklow Head on the Feathermoss area
Bleaklow Head

Once past Bleaklow Head, where it’s a bit easy to lose the trail as there seem to be multiple paths going in different directions (maps are important!), the trail starts to slowly descend towards Crowden, where the finish of my walk was on this first, amazing, day.

The views are nothing short of spectacular on this descent, and I honestly don’t think the images do any justice to this area. The combination of the heath, the grass, the moss and spectacular hills all around and the view of the reservoirs down below is breathtaking. It was at this stage, really, I think, that I simply knew I would be back for more. And then some more. Tired? Sure, I was. It was hot, I was sweaty and somewhat exhausted.

Who cares? No pain no gain.

Towards Crowden
Towards Crowden

Down below, the trail reaches Woodhead Road and two reservoirs there, with the town of Glossop just a few miles to the west, and Holmfirth and the big city life to the north east. Sheffield is almost directly to the east from here.

No transportation, of course, so I needed to wait for a taxi to take me towards Huddersfield back home, but a great start to my adventures this was!

All images from this trip can be seen in the video below:

Leave a Reply