National Trust Winter Walks

With Kate Smith, Assistant Manager at Cotswold Outdoor Nottingham


We caught up with Assistant Store Manager Kate Smith to find out about her favourite National Trust winter walks.


Living in Nottingham I am lucky to be close to the Peak District where much of the beautiful Dark Peak area is part of the National Trust’s High Peak Estate. From my first visit to Castleton on a school geography field trip, to weekend walking trips to Edale with my DofE club whilst at university in Sheffield, it is an area I have grown up walking in and have visited time and time again with friends and family.

Do you have a favourite winter walk at a National Trust place?

© Kate Smith

My favourite winter walk is a circular route starting and finishing in Edale. The route takes you out of Edale up Grindsbook Clough, across the Kinder Plateau past Crowden Tower and back to Edale down Jacob’s Ladder. 


If I’m feeling more energetic and there are enough hours of daylight, the route can be extended by heading across Kinder Scout to the waterfall Kinder Downfall and then heading south to Jacob’s Ladder on the Pennine Way via Kinder Low.


I love this walk for so many reasons. There is a good variety of terrain on the route so everyone is kept happy. Having walked the route with so many different friends over the years it never gets boring and brings back great memories every time. The walk across much of the Kinder Plateau is relatively flat but the part of the walk up Grindbrook Clough is more of a scramble in places so perfect for ‘mountain goats’ who hate a steady uphill route.


For those who like a navigational challenge then the extension of the walk to Kinder Downfall is a good choice as being able to walk on a compass bearing is essential to find your way across the peaty terrain.

Are there any places you visit specifically?

© Kate Smith

The spectacular scenery is another thing that brings me back to this walk time and time again. The views across the Vale of Edale are stunning on a clear day. The landscape can look and feel so different depending on the time of year. The moorland plant life changes colour dramatically in the autumn and winter months and completely changes the atmosphere of the area compared to the summer.

© Kate Smith

If you are lucky enough to catch one of the few snowy days in the Peak District then the whole landscape and difficulty of the walk changes again. I was lucky enough to do the walk once in early 2015 on a beautifully sunny day with full snow cover. It felt like I was in an Alpine ski resort, not the Peak District!

© Kate Smith

Icicles had formed along the side of Grinds Brook and once you reached the top, the views across the snow covered Kinder Plateau were amazing. The wind sweeping across the plateau had created beautiful patterns in the snow and I was lucky enough to catch sight of several mountain hares that day with their white winter coats fitting in with the landscape for once!

Is there an essential bit of kit you take on a wintry walk?

The essential bit of kit that I always carry with me on a winter walk is an insulated jacket. My old favourite is my Rab Plasma Hoodie which is a synthetic filled jacket and is great on a damp day. If I know that the weather is going to be clear then I prefer to take my Montane Featherlite Down jacket as it packs up so small considering how warm it is.


Shop Insulated Jackets

Posted By 

Kate Smith, Assistant Store Manager Nottingham


Kate is the Assistant Manager at Cotswold Outdoor in Nottingham and has worked there for over five years. Kate went to university close to the Peak District where she often volunteered at weekends with the National Trust through a student conservation group, helping them to protect the landscape for future generations.

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