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Simply Hike Advert: The Routes We Took

5 We have been receiving overwhelming messages the past couple of months on our YouTube and Facebook pages asking us questions about our Simply Hike advert in the Peak District. The main question we get from everyone is what routes did we take to shoot the advert?  As a result all the Simply Hike team members that were involved with the advert have joined together and written this blog for you. What better way to beat those “Winter Blues” than to start planning for your next summer hike! Below we have explained the two different routes we took and the key points to note along each trek. The first route is very much for the more adventurous type as it involves scrambling and a few awkward areas, whereas the second route is perfect for any level of hiker/fitness and has the same incredible rewarding views at the top.

The More Adventurous Route:

This route is definitely for the more regular hikers out there who are at a reasonable fitness level and don’t mind getting their hands dirty and doing a bit of level 1 scrambling. As with most hikes in remote areas, this journey begins in a car park (I’m sure Tolkein wrote something similar to this in his work). The first section is on a lonely road that leads to a dead end - so cars aren’t overly a concern here and this eventually leads to the first public pass which takes you off the road and into the wilderness. Here the journey truly begins. After walking up quite an immediate steep incline your next checkpoint will be the Kinder Reservoir which really is a great location to sit and have a drink as you look across the water to this amazing backdrop of all the sweeping scenery. Although…you then suddenly realise the sheer size of this thing and the fact that your next leg of the journey is to walk half the circumference of it to the opposite side to which you stand – doh! 1 That’s pretty much what happens next, you walk through some gentle foliage, still pretty low to ground level and basically walk around the edge of the reservoir. There is still some great scenery here especially when the sun catches that water just right. Now here comes the more adventurous stuff, on the map you’ll see FB and you’ll reach the wooden footbridge which follows the comfortable public trail and leads to Blackshaws, but we don’t want to go that way. Nope. We want to go off the trail and follow the stream up hill…which is a coincidental metaphor for how you’re going to feel in about 30 minutes time. This is where things start to get a little narrower and everything is just a little more like ‘fresh’ terrain without any paths to stick to, real Neil Armstrong stuff here! Following the stream is most definitely a beautiful sight and bear in mind you’ll need to cross over it a few times when the surrounding grassland you were walking on runs out - and now the real incline begins. You’ll start to walk up and over rocky areas beside the stream and please be careful at this point since certain areas are quite slippery and the higher you get the longer the drop is to the stream, which would be fine if it was just water, but it’s peppered with sharp rocks so again, please be careful! Following the stream up the gentle gradient takes quite some effort and at certain points the ground gets extremely narrow, just wide enough for the width of one boot at times, but you’ll eventually meet the divide in the stream: Left would lead you up the Kinder Scout via the ‘River Kinder’, right will take you up the ‘Red Brook’ way. We chose Red Brook - and this is where the real fun begins people! Now I am assured that the scrambling you are about to commence is only level 1 since no ropes etc are being used…however we would like to consider this a 1.5 on the scrambling scale, so please be prepared for some physical activity and it’s really not for those who suffer from vertigo or any fear of heights. You will climb (scramble) up the big boulders which form part of a trickling waterfall down the hill (again, slippery) which after about 30 minutes becomes somewhat tiring, but when you stop to turn around, the sheer feeling of achievement and the vast scenery really makes up for it. We didn’t climb the whole way up the Red Brook since we needed to cut across the grass area on the left to film some of the scrambling advice videos, however you can just scramble the entire way up the Red Brook if you wish, and this will eventually lead to the public trail at the top of the Kinder Scout. 4 However our route takes you off the Red Brook heading North instead of carrying on East – and if you’re looking to do some level 2/3 scrambling this really is an incredible location to use. The natural formation of the rocks and boulders here is amazing and if you turn around there is just the most incredible view overlooking the Peak District that makes the entire journey worthwhile. After filming some scrambling advice videos we then climbed our way directly up the grassy hill which was the most tiring part of this journey – so our main advice would be: If you’re not up for the level 2/3 scrambling then carry on up the Red Brook, it’s a much steadier incline and saves a lot of stamina. The near vertical ascent up this grassy hill really does take it out of you, and after it had rained it was very slippery…so yea…just be aware! Anyways! After the tiring journey up this hill we were finally to the top of the Kinder Scout and there is some real scenery to be taken in here. If you thought the scenery was great on the way up, you ain't seen nothing yet! But be warned, this is one of those areas where you are standing on a literal cliff-edge. Great for pictures, not so great for falling off when the rocks are slippery or you’re in windy conditions…or both! So just be careful up here is all. Then after a nice recovery time and having taken all your selfies, the realisation hits you that you now have to make your way back down. Bummer. The good news is that you now just follow the public trail around the top of the Kinder Scout which is pleasant in both a physical and scenic sense. The only time it gets a little ropey is when you get to the William Clough area as this is where you come off the nice flat(ish) land and start to make a very steep descent. It’s only on grass so there’s not too much concern in terms of twisting ankles on rocky terrain etc, however the constant harsh downward angle does make your feet and toes start to ache after a while, but at least it’s near the end of your journey eh! Then once you reach the bottom you’ll join up to the same point at the kinder reservoir which is a nice familiar location and from this point onwards you are simply trekking back the same trail that brought you here to begin with, just make sure the reservoir is on your left the entire time then you know you’re heading in the right direction! 8  

 The Easier Route:

This really is a pleasant route for any level of fitness or hiking ability, there were plenty of families with children and some were even walking the dog – so if you’re a first time hiker it really is a great route. Again, we begin our journey at the car park, and you’ll walk along the roads for a while at the beginning of your hike – there’s a campsite and some houses along the route so the occasional car does appear, just a heads up to listen out for the sound of oncoming engines! 2 Then you’ll eventually reach the wilderness and your first checkpoint is a nice little stone bridge overhanging a little stream, we did a little bit of filming here as it was just such a nice backdrop for the video. From here you’ll walk past lots of farmland and enough sheep to fulfil Marks & Spencer’s entire Christmas jumper collection. Now one area that may confuse people new to hiking is the Bridal Path or ‘Bridleway’ which you’ll eventually reach. It is situated at somewhat of a cross-road where you have a little path leading down a hill to your left and a really nice farm/cottage in front of you. There’s a sign which is pointing in a generalised direction which could easily be misconstrued as you needing to walk down the path (it did throw us off slightly!) but when you reach this point you simply need to walk directly through the farm/cottage gates and carry along the public trail. Just a slightly worrying moment when you think “am I trespassing right now!?” so I thought I’d mention it. 6 From this point onwards the scenery really opens up and the vast hills surrounding you really start to show their grandeur. Then after walking along this for quite some time you’ll finally reach a little stone bridge standing over another stream – and next to this are some steps…or at least what appears to be ‘some’ steps. Now I would definitely recommend taking a break here, because those steps don’t stop. You will now climb these all the way to the top of the Kinder Scout – you have been warned my friends! Half way up it does start to feel as though you are on a travelator going nowhere, but you've just got to keep going, if you have a music player you’ll definitely want to press play on ‘Eye of the Tiger’ at this point. 3 After some step climbing you’ll eventually near the top and you’ll see some mega-sized rock formations, we did climb one for some photos but again this falls into level one scrambling so be careful if you choose to do this. Otherwise you have two options, you can carry on straight ahead or follow a narrow path to your right. If you continue going straight ahead walking up the incline, the ground will finally begin to level out – hurrah! You’ll now be walking on more of a slate stone texture which can be pretty slippery when wet so just a heads up there. Then continuing on you will eventually reach the edge of the Kinder Low, really great sights to see here and you could quite happily turn around and go back home now having accomplished quite a feat! However if you go back to the crossroad I mentioned earlier and continue along the path that would have been on your right, you’ll be led to the same location of the Kinder Scout that I talked about in the ‘More Adventurous Route’ but without the pain and suffering of all the scrambling! This is the highest point of the Peak District and again this really does have the best scenery purely for the fact that you are just so much higher than any other area. Then when you’re good and ready you quite simply turn around 180 degrees and walk back down the same path, which is a great relief knowing everything now is downwards – although it is still a steep decline so be careful on your descent. 7 And those, ladies and gents, are the 2 routes which we took up the Kinder Scout!