Straight off the towpath between bridge 28 (New Mills) & bridge 29 is the Torrs Riverside Park, you can follow that into New Mills and pick up the Sett Valley Trail to Hayfield without climbing a single hill. From Hayfield you can launch your assault onto Kinder Scout.
So, we did all that in very pleasant walking weather and stopped for a swift pint at an awfully posh pub before our final push from base camp (the pub sign read, "ramblers welcome", but we still felt the need to skirt the smart rugs due to walking boots).
This was "it" then, left the pub and the heavens opened and a bus pulled up for New Mills,"2 adults and 4 dogs please". I guess we'll never make proper explorers, but we did have another fabulous day.