Kinder Scout via Hayfield: A mass trespass

Kinder Scout via Hayfield: A mass trespass


5 hours

8.6 Miles

Where is Kinder Scout?

Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District and attracts thousands of visitors every year offering stunning views and enjoyable walks. There are several routes to climb Kinder Scout, this one starts at Bowden Bridge car park in Hayfield.

The Mass Trespass route from Bowden Bridge car park in Hayfield is a circular route that retraces the famous Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout in 1932.

Why choose The Mass Trespass route?

The ‘Mass Trespass’ happened back in 1932 when 400 walkers wilfully trespassed on the land in protest to the fact that walkers were denied access to open land. 

The  majority of the protesters were mainly from Manchester and were led by 20-year-old Benny Rothman. 

With some good weather and a steady pace up a fairly steep incline you are rewarded with stunning views across to Manchester.

Kinder Scout

Travelling to Kinder Scout

There are several ways to get to Kinder Scout and depending on your location some will be more enticing than others. 

Travelling by train the nearest station is New Mills and a ten-minute bus journey will bring you to Hayfield Bus Station. There are regular buses to Hayfield from Stockport via Marple and New Mills, Glossop and Chapel-en-le-Frith. From Hayfield Bus Station, Bowden Bridge is just a short walk away. 

Remember to always plan your journey in advance and be sure to know the latest information. Useful travel info can be found here.

If travelling by car, there is parking along Kinder Road (though it can get busy), or a dedicated car park at Bowden Bridge.


There are public toilet facilities opposite the car park, which might be a good option considering you have a few hours walking ahead of you.

In the summer months you will often find a coffee cart setting up base within the car park for that added caffeine boost before heading out.

Commemorative Plaque

What kit will I need?

  • Comfortable walking boots (ensure they have been worn in first)
  • A day pack for additional clothing and refreshments
  • First Aid kit
  • Good quality waterproof jacket & trousers
  • Warm hat & gloves (weather dependent)
  • Any additional equipment you feel will be required such as walking poles etc

How difficult is this route?

Kinder is a great walk and a great way to spend a few hours. Depending on your route and your own fitness levels it is easily manageable within 4-5 hours. The route is also child friendly but obviously depending on their age and walking experience be sure to allow enough time to complete the walk safely.  

As with all walks be sure to know what the weather is doing. This walk will change dramatically dependant on the weather. 

We had almost perfect weather conditions but still needed to be careful in sections.  

Route Description

The weather was decent so we jumped on a train from Piccadilly in Manchester and headed to New Mills. From here it is a ten minute bus journey to Hayfield and a short walk to Bowden Bridge car park.

  • This route starts out from Bowden Bridge car park, the original rallying point for the trespassers, where there is now a commemorative plaque on the quarry wall. From here head north along Kinder road. Cross the river via Booth bridge and follow the finger post left and headed through the gate.
  • The footpath follows the riverbank and leads to a footbridge to cross the river. Keep to the left and head up a cobbled lane. A few minutes later Kinder Reservoir comes into view. Stay on the path (ignoring a path leading off to the left) which takes you above the reservoir and to the foot of William Clough.
Kinder Reservoir

Taking in the views at Sandy Hays

  • Continue up to Ashop Head and keep right onto Pennine Way. A little further along is Sandy Hays.
  • From here you can see the ‘Mermaids Pool’ below.
  • Arriving at Kinder Downfall, when the wind is strong the waterfall actually blows upwards.
Kinder Scout views
  • Crossing the river continue along the Pennine Way along the edge of the plateau. Approximately 2km from here and you reach the trig point at Kinder Low.
  • Proceed south along a flagged path dropping down to the right hand side.
  • Reaching the moors follow the route down towards the Ashes. At this point you rejoin a tarmac road and make your way along back to Bowden Bridge Car Park.

Food & Drink

Now that the hard work was out of the way it was time for a pint. Just down the road from the car park is The Sportsman Inn. The staff were all really friendly and welcoming, a couple of pints later and we were ready to leave. We had booked in for a meal a little further down the road at The Pack Horse, Hayfield later that evening. 

It was my first time visiting but it certainly will not be the last. The food was outstanding and as with The Sportsman the staff were terrific.

Steak Sharer at The Packhorse


  • Mike Richardson

    Mike is a Mancunian who is usually found hiking the Mountains in the Lake District. He has a passion for the outdoors and loves a pint after a day in the Mountains.

Mike Richardson

Mike is a Mancunian who is usually found hiking the Mountains in the Lake District. He has a passion for the outdoors and loves a pint after a day in the Mountains.

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