Mount Famine and South Head
10.4 km and 521 metres of ascent
Section 1 – To Mount Famine
Leaving the car park head towards the village and cross the main road. Pass the church and turn right up Church St. At the top of the hill follow the Pennine Bridleway sign (PBW) left on to Valley Road, at the end the road narrows and becomes an access track. Continue along the track keeping the river to your left, after a few hundred metres keep right on the PBW and follow the track alongside the wood. Turn right at a signpost and walk up hill through the woods of Elle Bank. At the top of the wood you reach a wall where you should turn left, as you emerge from the wood Kinder Scout and the distinct white Shooting Cabin can now be seen to the left.
Cross a style and skirt the wall and shortly the Dragons Back, Mount Famine and in the distance South Head can all be seen. Continue on the path over the Dragons Back and eventually you will cross the PBW, which runs north to south, continue with the wall on your right over a style and follow the track up a steep pull on the northern end of Mount Famine. Just before the summit it’s worth bearing east on the path to a rocky outcrop with magnificent views to Kinder Low End and Kinder Downfall. The Manchester conurbation can now be seen to the west.
Section 2 – to South Head
Now follow the track to the summit of Mount Famine where South Head can be seen directly ahead. The track now takes you down a grassy hill until you reach the PBW where you should turn left and after approx. 30 metres go right over a collapsed wall following the well defined track to the summit of South Head.
(If you wish to avoid the steep climb up South Head, then keep on the main PBW until you reach the Public Footpath sign number 233).
From the summit of South Head there are expansive views across to Brown Knoll and Toot Hill where the Cowburn Railway Tunnel air shaft can be seen on the horizon. Occasionally smoke can be seen billowing from the ventilation shaft on the occasions a steam train runs through the tunnel.
Section 3 – Return to Hayfield from South Head
On leaving South Head, head east down the grassy slope to reach the Penning Bridleway again. Turn left for 40 meters, and then take the footpath number 233 down Dimpus Clough, toward the footbridge crossing the river Sett. On crossing the bridge, go up to the Land Rover track, and turn right up Oaken Clough for 100m, where a footpath sign will point you a way to the left. Follow this obvious path towards a small group of trees, cross the stream over a small culvert and through the woods. There is a tumbled down shooting cabin on you right, which makes a lovely picnic spot. The path then continues, over a style, crossing 2 fields, before leading you down to Coldwell Clough, where the footpath gives way to a bridleway that links Hayfield with Edale. Turn left, past the pretty farm building, now on a metalled road, past Ashes Farm to bring you back to the road to Hayfield. By Bowden Bridges, take the left fork past the campsite, which will bring you back to Valley Road and you can trace your steps back to Hayfield, where the pubs and Cricket Club await you.