Castleton to Mam Tor Circular Walk via Cave Dale
This Mam Tor walk starts in Castleton and heads up through Cave Dale before climbing Mam Tor, along to Hollins Cross then back down to Castleton. It’s a lovely scenic Peak District walk of 6 miles.
On International Women’s Day 2022 I took part in my first group hike with a group of ladies I met online, organised by Acai and Emily aka Trigs and Teeth on Instagram. I was so scared beforehand! I’m quite an introverted person so wouldn’t normally put myself out there like this, but I thought I should be more brave. It turns out I had nothing to worry about – the ladies were all lovely. We had a great day and perfect weather for a March hike in the Peak District.
We met in the Castleton Visitor Centre car park and headed off through the back streets of Castleton, along Castle Street and Bargate, past The Castle pub. The route heads off through Cave Dale, which is a dry limestone valley formed from a coral reef some 350 million years ago. It’s a great place to go fossil hunting with the kids! We didn’t see any, unfortunately.
The path running through the bottom of the valley is quite stony and rough going, climbing upwards, but there are fabulous views of Peveril Castle.
At the top of the valley we took the turning on the right hand side into the fields and followed the path down onto the road at Winnats Pass. Winnats Pass has to be one of the most famous roads in the Peak District with its towering limestone sides.
We walked up next to the road, before coming to a gate leading across the fields to Mam Tor. We crossed the Sheffield Road and went into the fields on the other side, following the footpath to the foot of Mam Tor. Here, the route starts to climb up.
We came out of the fields onto the road and then went through the gate onto the paved path up to Mam Tor itself. This path can be slippery in bad weather but thankfully we just had the ever present Mam Tor wind to deal with on this day! I’ve only been once when it wasn’t blowing a gale!
We climbed to the top, and I managed that rarest of things – a photo of Mam Tor trig point with no-one around it! In reality there were about 20-30 people milling around at the summit but I timed it just right. We had a break for lunch, sheltering from the wind on the western side of Mam Tor with spectacular views down over Edale.
After lunch we set off along The Great Ridge as far as Hollins Cross, then took the path down the side of the hill. Hollins Cross is a low col of 392m high and is a junction on The Great Ridge where several paths meet, between the valleys of Edale and Castleton. It’s marked by a stone column.
There is a footpath leading down to the roadside over the fields, which was quite stony and muddy. The fields were really muddy and I was beginning to wonder whether it had been a spectacular waste of time cleaning my boots from our last muddy trip out! Luckily my Scarpa Terra GTX boots keep my feet warm and dry.
We followed the footpath over the fields and back into Castleton, where we went to The George for a quick after walk drink.
This is a lovely walk from Castleton, and if we had had longer it would have been great to do more of the Great Ridge and head over to Lose Hill (like we did in our Castleton to Mam Tor and The Great Ridge walk). We were against the clock though for the school run so had to make sure we were back in time!
Castleton to Mam Tor walk route:
Parking: Castleton Visitors Centre S33 8WN. Pay to park by cash or via paybyphone.co.uk and it cost £6 for the day. .
Facilities: The visitors centre has toilets and there are shops and pubs in Castleton.
Walk Time: 2-3 hours including lunch stop
Distance: 6 miles (11km)
Trig Points Bagged: Mam Tor
Peak District Peaks Bagged: Mam Tor
Peak District Ethels Bagged: Mam Tor
Mam Tor Circular Walk Route Map:
This Mam Tor circular walk takes in some of the most beautiful scenery in Castleton, and you still have time to explore the village of Castleton as well. For more Mam Tor walks, check out Mam Tor and Rushup Edge Circular Walk, Castleton, Mam Tor and The Great Ridge Walk or Mam Tor Short Walk.