Kinder Downfall and the Reservoir Round Trail runningWalking

The western edge of the Kinder plateau makes for a fine circuit of the skyline overlooking the eponymous reservoir, with excellent views over Lantern Pike to the Cheshire plain, with the Welsh hills forming a backdrop on clear days. For admirers of cityscapes, there are also the soaring tower blocks of Manchester. You’re also treading hallowed ground in the history of the right to roam, as this was the scene of the famous Kinder Trespass in 1932. Although Kinder Scout is the highest “point” in the Peak District, the summit is left as an optional detour as it is scenically vastly inferior to the escarpment. The other superlative here is the Downfall, which has the honour of the highest waterfall in the Peak. Sitting in a west-facing, funnel-shaped ravine, it’s famous for blowing upwards as often as down.

Sundown from Kinder Downfall   © Norman Hadley
Sundown from Kinder Downfall
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Detailed description

SK0486586922 Start at the Bowden Bridge car park. Start walking up the Kinder Road, heading north-north-east.

SK0512487643 After just under a kilometre, fork right, over the river Kinder, and follow the track on a rising diagonal for a further 400 metres.

SK0543287896 Take a right turn, gaining a distinctive line, at the top edge of the woods fringing the reservoir's southern shore. This can be damp in places.
Kinder Reservoir  © Norman Hadley
Kinder Reservoir
© Norman Hadley, Nov 2023

SK0652987554 At the end of the woods, the track tries to coax you round on a contour. Instead, head up a path, sketchy in places, on the same easterly bearing, up to the plateau rim at Cluther Rocks. The views start to open up around here.
Looking across to Lantern Pike  © Norman Hadley
Looking across to Lantern Pike
© Norman Hadley, Nov 2023

SK0804587983 Once you're established, on the rim, the navigation becomes easy, down to the beck crossing at the Downfall, then veering sharply to the west-north-west. The views from up here are lovely.

SK0706689297 After a kilometre-and-a-half (or about a mile, if you prefer), you'll reach an outcrop of rocks at the top of a nose heading down to the reservoir. Follow the nose down to a footbridge over the inlet to the reservoir.

SK0596788735 Cross the footbridge then follow the path (damp in parts) along the reservoir's northern shore, back to the fork mentioned at point (2)

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