Fair Brook Scramble to Kinder Scout Northern Edges
If you’re looking for a fun Peak District walk, with a scramble up Fair Brook, waterfalls galore, mystical rock formations and a wander through the beautiful Snake Woodlands, this is the walk for you! This Fair Brook scramble takes you up onto the northern edges of Kinder Scout and then back down along Ashop Moor to Snake Woodlands and is just over 9 miles long.
Fair Brook is one of the different brooks flowing down from the Kinder Scout plateau and eventually runs into the River Ashop as it flows down towards Ladybower Reservoir. Packed full of waterfalls, there is also a great Fair Brook scramble up onto Fairbrook Naze and the northern edge of Kinder Scout. This side of the plateau is much quieter than the Edale side, and you might even have the whole place to yourself. We visited on a sunny Good Friday and only saw a handful of other people until we got to Snake Woodlands.
Our walk started in Birchen Clough Bridge car park near the entrance to Snake Woodlands. We crossed over the road and walked down through the woods, crossing the first bridge and then following Lady Clough through the woods. We crossed the stile and then went through the gate back into the woodlands, before emerging alongside the River Ashop. We followed this faint riverside path until we got to the bridge over the River Ashop, then picked up the path alongside Fair Brook.
The path alongside Fair Brook winds its way up the hillside. Fair Brook itself is home to lots of beautiful waterfalls and there are some deep enough for a dip if you like a bit of wild swimming.
After about a mile of following the moorland path, it starts to get rockier and we scrambled up over the rocks to reach the top of Fair Brook. This is a hands on scramble, classed as a Grade 1, and it can be wet in places.
At the top of Fair Brook we headed north to Fairbrook Naze where there are some amazing gritstone rock formations to explore, including the famous Cup which has spectacular views down over Woodlands Valley and beyond over the moors.
We then turned west and followed the path running along the northern edge of Kinder Scout, passing other scrambles such as Nether Red Brook. Along here there are amazing views over Ashop Moor over to Bleaklow and Higher Shelf Stones, and yet more fabulous rock formations such as The Boxing Glove.
The route reaches a stile and then we dropped the steep hillside to the crossroads leading to Mill Hill, Ashop Moor or Edale. We headed north-east along the Snake Path to Ashop Moor, which is very boggy in places. The path follows the River Ashop as it flows through the valley on its way to Snake Woodlands.
We also saw a beautiful waterfall (sadly there were a load of “wild campers” (aka people wanting to camp for free, not actual wild campers) setting up a large camp right in front of it, camping chairs and all) – I’ve cropped their debris out of this photo!
From here we followed the river back over the wooden bridge, over the stile and then back through the woodlands and up to the car park. Here again there were large groups of free campers, or rather just teenagers with booze. I dread to think what the woods will have been like the day after as a lot of the campers in Snake Woodlands don’t stick to the Leave No Trace principles.
Anyways. This was a great scramble walk in a beautiful place, and one we’ll definitely be returning to!
Snake Woodland Car Park:
Birchen Clough Bridge S33 0BJ | What3Words:///gushes.aviation.headers
Facilities: There are no facilities
Walk Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 9.3 miles (14.96km)
Trig Points Bagged: None
Peak District Peaks Bagged: None
Peak District Ethels Bagged: None
Fair Brook Scramble Map:
Some other scrambles you might like:
I’d love to see if you did this walk – you can find me on Instagram 🙂