Hayfield (Ready Camp)

UK England Peak District Derbyshire

Kinder Road, Hayfield, High Peak, Derbyshire SK22 2LE
A prime spot for walkers in the Dark Peak area and at the foot of Kinder Scout.
The Peak District may be known as one of England’s most beautiful rambling landscapes, a vast natural playground for the fifteen million who live within an hour of its boundaries, but it’s all thanks to the people of Hayfield. You don’t have to strap on your best walking shoes to wander the easy half-mile up to Bowden Bridge car park. It was here, in April 1932, that a group of walkers took to the Kinder Scout plateau in a mass trespass that paved the way for future generations. It still took more than half a century for ramblers to gain rights to all access land, but they sparked a campaign for the peaks, ensuring its future as a national park and giving it a reputation as the home of rambling in England.

Today, down the road from where the trespassers assembled, Hayfield Campsite is a fitting ode to their travails. It is a site perfect for modern day walkers, with that simple camping charm but handy new features like a drying-room for airing out your post-mountain wares. The site is long and narrow, running parallel to a tiny river fed by the Kinder Reservoir further up the hill.

The real treats, though, are the handy and brand new Ready Camp safari tents. These tents come fully furnished with the likes of double beds, dining room furniture, a deep, comfortable sofa and a kitchenette that includes a working fridge and running water. There’s plenty of storage and all the utensils are there so you can come straight in with a bag of spuds and a slab of local lamb, getting straight to work whipping up a storm. The tents offer a new sparkle to this well-established campsite, which has been run here by the Camping and Caravanning Club for decades.

The main local walking route skirts the base of the hill opposite the campsite, round to Little Hayfield, from where there is an excellent climb up to Lantern Pike. The panoramic view from the summit reveals no fewer than seven different counties. When you stumble back down into the village be sure to stop in the aptly named Lantern Pike Inn – a top cubby hole for post-climbing beer. Another, longer nearby route is to retrace the footsteps of those who have gone before, heading past the memorial plaque and up what is now the ‘Trespass Trail’. 

If you continue south west on the Kinder Scout plateau you can join the Pennine Way and head to its very first marker in Edale (opposite another excellent pub). The route is one of the best known in the whole of the Peak District and the plateau has rightfully earned the landscape fame for its untainted beauty. On the way back down, remember to doth your walkers cap to the mass trespassers of 1932, then slip off the walking boots and slink into the Ready Camp safari tents of 2015 – times have certainly changed but the inspiring landscape is just the same as it ever was.

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