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Jacob’s Ladder Walk: Circular Route from Edale

Jacob’s Ladder Walk: Circular Route from Edale

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Discover the iconic Jacob’s Ladder, which is well-known in the Peak District National Park.

This incredible hike offers breathtaking views as you climb to the top. It is a must-visit Peak District hike.

So, lace up your boots as we go over everything you need to know before your next visit!

Getting to Jacob’s Ladder

The village of Edale is the starting point for this circular walk and is easily accessible by both car and public transport.

By car, it’s just a 15-minute drive from the main A6, passing by Mam Tor as you descend into the village.

By public transport, Edale is on the Hope Valley line, which connects Sheffield and Manchester Piccadilly with hourly departures. The trip takes approximately:

  • 44 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly
  • 32 minutes from Sheffield

Most services are operated by Northern Trains. View the timetable here.

Jacobs Lader Parking (In Edale)

Edale Car Park – HPBC 

Edale Car Park - HPBC 

This is the main 138-space car park in Edale, offering the most parking spaces in the area. It features onsite toilets and is connected to the village hall.

Edale Train Station & Overflow

If the main car park is full, the train station just around the corner has a small number of spaces.

Additionally, a few metres down from the station, there’s an overflow car park run by the village, offering plenty more spaces for £5 all-day parking.

Failing all of the above options, there’s a small car park along the route in Barber Booth.

Jacob’s Ladder Walk Map & Route

Download file for GPS

The route heads through the village of Edale and out via the Pennine Way, winding through the valley and starting the climb up to the Kinder plateau via Jacob’s Ladder. It continues around the moorland and edge of the valley before descending back into the village via Grindsbrook Clough.

 

Which map app should I use? I would recommend OS Maps as it is the most accurate; however, read my review of the best UK map apps.

Jacob’s Ladder Step by Step – 12.7 km (7.9 mi) ~ 3-4.5 hrs

1. Head out of the car park or station and onto the main road. Go under the railway tracks and past the Rambler Inn.

road under railway tracks - start of kinder scout walk

2. Continue up the road (Marys Ln), passing by Edale Visitor Centre, then the village church. Just before you reach The Old Nags Head, there is a path on the left which marks the start of the Pennine Way.

village centre of edale

3. The path heads out of the village and through a couple of gates, continuing to follow the Pennine Way.

path out of the village following the Pennine Way

4. The stone slab path continues through fields, heading uphill slightly.

stone slab path leading out of edale

5. The path then leads into Upper Booth. Head along the tarmac road, taking a right at the crossroads, and follow the road for a good distance until you reach Lee Farm, where there’s a road gate between the two farmhouses.

Lee Farm road gate between two farmhouses

6. Go through the gate and keep going along the path which leads up the Vale of Edale. Eventually, you’ll reach a stone packhorse bridge which crosses the brook, marking the start of Jacob’s Ladder.

start of jacob's ladder

7. Continue up the steep, staircase-like section that marks the climb towards the Kinder plateau. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the valley below.

jacobs ladder stair section of walk - peak district

8. The path keeps heading up to the right and continues to follow the Pennine Way. Make sure you stay on the designated path along this stretch, as several routes converge around this point of the walk.

Pennine Way heading up to kinder low

Optional: There is a path on the left that you can follow up to the Kinder Low trig point (Main summit of Kinder) or even all the way to Kinder Downfall waterfall, circling further around. This should add around 1 hour on to the walk.

9. The route continues through the boulder-like landscape past Pym Chair, Wool Packs, and Crowden Tower rock formations. Sections can get quite muddy here, so pick your line carefully.

boulder-like landscape past Pym Chair, Wool Packs, and Crowden Tower rock formations

10. The path goes right and downhill, following Grindsbrook Clough (Near Grindslow Knoll). 

Grindsbrook Clough kinder scout

11. Eventually, you rejoin the stone slab path and follow it until you cross the footbridge over Grinds Brook. 

12. Then, simply follow the road back to the village centre where you started a few hours ago. You can retrace your steps past the church and pubs, maybe stopping off for a post-hike pint!

Edale & Jacob’s Ladder Amenities & Facilities

penny pod cafe edale

Within the village of Edale there is a small range of pubs and cafes as well as a public toilet on the main car park. 

These include:

Cafes

  • The Penny Pot Cafe (Next to the station): Welcoming atmosphere with delicious homemade cakes, excellent coffee, and options for vegetarians and gluten-free diets
  • Newfold Farm Cafe: Licensed café and bar serving fresh, locally sourced food and drinks, including free-range meat, local dairy, and Fair Trade coffee.

Pubs

  • The Old Nags Head: Historic pub offering a diverse menu of classic British pub food and a wide selection of drinks, making it a perfect stop for hikers and visitors.
  • The Rambler Inn (Next to the station): Warm and pub with large outdoor seating, great for when the sun is out.

Edale Moorland Visitor Centre

Edale Moorland Visitor Centre

The Edale Visitors Centre, located at the start of the Pennine Way, serves as a hub for moorland research and visitor engagement. Its unique design features a sedum turf roof and a waterfall, showcasing eco-friendly architecture.

The knowledgeable staff are ready to assist visitors in exploring the area’s stunning landscapes.

Amenities Near Edale

Castleton or Hope, on the other side of the valley, are the closest villages with a few more pubs, cafes, and restaurants, and they are just a 10-15-minute drive away.

The closest major town is Chapel-en-le-Frith in the High Peak, which as both an Aldi and Morrisons around a 15-minute drive away just outside the Peak District boundary with Buxton being slightly bigger further up the A6.

History & Significance of the Area

By Clem Rutter, Rochester Kent – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4322427

Jacob’s Ladder is a historic bridleway linking the Kinder Scout plateau (managed by the National Trust) to Upper Booth in the Vale of Edale. In the 18th century, is said Jacob Marshall, a farmer at Edale Head, cut steps into this steep route, giving it its name inspired by the biblical ladder to heaven.

At the foot of Jacob’s Ladder, the River Noe is crossed by a Grade II listed gritstone packhorse bridge, an important part of a medieval trade route. This path was used to transport goods like salt, cheese, and cotton to the east, and coal and lead to the west.

The Pennine Way, a well-known long-distance trail, ascends Jacob’s Ladder just 2.5 miles from its start at Edale. In 1987, a stone-paved staircase was built along this path, enhancing its accessibility. 

Jacob’s Ladder Asked Questions

How long does it take to walk up Jacob’s Ladder?

Walking up just the ladder section takes about 5-10 minutes, but the entire walk from Edale takes around 4 hours.

Is Jacob’s Ladder an easy walk?

 It’s a moderate walk. Be sure to know your ability and bring the correct equipment.

Where do you start Jacob’s Ladder?

You can start from Edale or park at Barber Booth, which is a short distance away.

Is Jacob’s Ladder worth it?

Yes, it’s worth it for the scenic views and historical significance.

Can you drive to Jacob’s Ladder?

No, you cannot drive directly to Jacob’s Ladder. You can park nearby at Barber Booth.

Why are the steps called Jacob’s Ladder?

The steps are thought to be named after Jacob Marshall, a local farmer in the 18th century who farmed the land at Edale Head.