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A hike up Mam Tor is a must when visiting the Peak District. Its views are iconic, stretching out across the Edale Valley and the Derwent Moors.

mam-tor-peak-district
Photo: Mam Tor CREDIT Daniel Kay

Mam Tor Circular Walk - Why Go?

The views from Mam Tor are some of the best in Derbyshire. The climb up the hill itself is not too challenging, but the views make it worth any effort. The tor itself is part of the Great Ridge which runs for around 3km from Mam Tor to Lose Hill, with Hollins Cross being the lowest point. 

The Great Ridge separates the Vale of Edale from Castleton and as you stand at the summit of Mam Tor, you'll see the Edale Valley and Kinder Scout lying to the North. To the East, you can enjoy stunning views over Hope Valley and the Ladybower Reservoir. 

This Mam Tor circular walk might be short (taking around 2 hours to complete), but it takes you past some of the Peak District's most iconic landscapes, making it a worthy competitor for one of the best Peak District walks

Mam Tor Circular Walk - What to Expect

The circular walk around Mam Tor starts and ends at the Mam Nick car park. Most of the paths along this route are paved or clearly marked, particularly around the top of Mam Tor where the National Trust Estate Team have rebuilt the original path. Be prepared for the occasional steep steps and climbs, and take extra care after rain in case the steps are slippery. 

Because of the uneven ground in the Peaks, it’s advisable to wear a sturdy pair of walking boots and to take a good waterproof jacket just in case the weather turns. 

You may not need to bring lots of snacks for this short Peak District walk. This walk is near Castleton village, which has plenty to offer with pubs and rea rooms, and the Penny Pot Cafe in Edale is close too, so you'll have plenty of opportunity for tea and cake after a walk around Mam Tor. 

Mam Tor Circular Walk – The Route, Part 1

4.8km / 2 hours

The Mam Tor circular walk starts at Mam Nick, the National Trust car park, and right away you'll be climbing the famous tor. Take the steps at the top and follow the path next to the road until you reach a small gate with a National Trust sign. Here, bear left and climb a series of stone steps until the ground begins to level out. This isn't far from the summit of Mam Tor. 

Continue to follow the path to the top of the hill and be sure to take a moment to stand at the trig point, enjoying the idyllic views across the Peak District. Continue on across the flagstone path, following it north along the ridge until it gets noticeably steeper. From here, continue along the path to a small monument sitting in a dip in the ridge. 

At the monument, turn right and head downhill. When hiking back towards Mam Tor, take the right fork in the path just before the trees and skirt around the woods, where you'll continue along the path to the road. 

Mam Tor Circular Walk – The Route, Part 2

Walk along the road and through a gate, where you'll find a broken road. The damage to this abandoned road was caused by a landslide from Mam Tor. They happened frequently and created a series of mini-hills around the base of the tor, giving it its name, which means 'Mother Hill'. 

Carry on up the broken road through a gate and parking area, taking a left down the path towards the Blue John cavern. Pass the building that gives access to the mines, and go through the gate to a grassy path. Follow the trail to the top of the hill and bear right towards another gate. Cross the field and road, taking the left fork past another cave called Windy Knoll. It's advised not to enter the cave here as there can be frequent rockfalls.

At Windy Knoll, cross the field to a small gate by the road. Cross this road and follow the grass verge back to the car park. 

If you've got more time in the Peak District National Park and fancy trying some other stunning walks, check out our list of best Peak District walks.