Day 1: Edale to Torside

Start: Edale, Derbyshire
End: Torside, Derbyshire
Distance: Around 16 miles, can be up to 19.5 depending on accommodation
Ascent: Around 3,000 feet
Time: 8 to 9 hours
Getting there: Edale train station has regular services from Sheffield; Hadfield (2.5 mile walk from Torside) has reguar train services to Manchester.
Food and loos: None on route or at end of the day. Nearest facilities are in Hadfield, which is a 2.5 mile detour from Torside.
Terrain: Mostly good paths, with slabs making the moorland walking very easy going. Rough boulder scree paths in places, particularly towards the end of the day.
Difficulty: 3 – A long walk with several ascents and descents throughout the day. The final section before Torside is by far the hardest section of the day, and unwelcome after already walking for seven hours!

This is certainly one hell of a tough day to start out what could be a three week long walk.

I’ve walked for further and longer; in worst conditions; and on rougher terrain. But this was just about as hard a day’s walking as I have ever done. I was planning on doing three day’s on the Pennine Way, so decided to call it a day after this. I definitely under-estimated this walk!

One of the challenges is that there is so little accommodation at the start of the route in Edale, and virtually nothing when you get to the end of the day. With the extra walking at the start and end, it probably added four miles to an already tough day.

It was hot – at least 25 degrees and a cloudless sky. The miles on the open moorland were easy walking, but they offered no shelter from the heat and sun.

The start of the walk up Kinder Scout via Jacob’s Ladder was easy going. I even took the detour to look at Edale Cross (not worth it!). The summit plateau of Kinder Scout was spectacular, with swathes of white and purple flowers between smashed boulders. In the midst of the heatwave, everything was bone-dry, with not even the most modest of bogs to speak of.

Most of the walking is easy, on slabs across undulating moorland. You could particularly moonwalk for miles.

The toughest section of the day is at the end. The climb up and down High Peak is certainly on the rugged side, but fatigue is the real issue especially in these conditions. I found the descent into Torside particularly challenging. This section has around half a mile of exposed, rough paths. I hate walking in these conditions. I hate it more when I’ve already been walking for 15 miles and running out of water! It was all compounded by the fact that when I got to Torside I had another two and a half miles to walk to my bed for the night in Hadfield.

I was definitely put off walking the rest of the Pennine Way by this walk. However, I’m sure that next year I’ll be back to carry on with my section hike.