This walk setting off from Castleton and including a climb to the summit of Mam Tor is a relatively demanding walk, with some steep sections. It can be slippy in places when the weather is wet.
- Length: 5.5 miles / 9km
- Time: 3.5 – 4 hours
- Parking: In Castleton, car park just off A625
- Take the footpath that runs along the edge of the car park, the path runs alongside a stream. Take the path to Hollowfield Road and then turn left (the signpost shows towards Hollins Cross and Edale). After about 100m turn left again on an unmarked track with overhanging trees. Follow this track until it brings you out into fields. You’ll have a view of Mam Tor to your left. Follow the path across a number of fields towards Dunscar Farm, which is the cluster of buildings ahead in the trees.
- Once you approach Dunscar Farm, turn left down the drive for a short distance until there is a stile on the right-hand side. Leave the drive and go over the stile into the field. Walk through a number of fields and over some stiles (and remnants of stiles) heading towards Hollins Cross. Keep going until you reach a track, with stiles on each side. This is the base of the climb up to Hollins Cross. Follow the zig-zag footpath as it climbs quite steeply up to the summit and through a gate to Hollins Cross, a point where a number of ancient bridleways from Hope, Castleton and Edale all meet.
- With your back to the path you just came up, turn sharp left at Hollins Cross summit and then follow the path along the ridge for three-quarters of a mile to Mam Tor. There are stunning views to right across Edale to Kinder Scout, and on left to the high country beyond Castleton. Follow the wide, paved path to the trig point at the summit of Mam Tor the site of a Bronze Age hill fort, whose huge rampart is enclosed by a single ditch 7 ft deep; large quantities of jewellery, pottery and weapons up to 4000 years old were excavated there in the 1960s. Continue ahead on the path beyond the trig point, which descends steeply to a road.
- Turn left on road for a few yards, then cross a stile on left. Follow the signposted path ahead to A625. Cross the road with care and take the path signposted to Windy Knoll, a yawning cavern to the side of the path, where more than 6500 animal bones dating from the Stone Age were discovered in 1875. The cave was once a waterhole where grizzly bears, s tigers, bison, wolves and reindeer stopped to drink. Cross stile at top of the field onto the B6061.
- Go through a gate just to the right on the far side of the road and follow a surfaced drive leading to Rowter Farm. Walk along the drive until it bends sharply left into a farmyard, then go straight ahead on a rough track across upland pasture. Ignore the footpath to left signposted to Castleton, and continue to a T-junction. Turn left to meet the signposted Limestone Way at a stile.
- Cross a stile and turn left on Limestone Way towards Castleton, passing an old mine workings on right. Where the path divides a short distance farther on, fork right and continue downhill, through rolling turf- covered terrain crisscrossed with stone walls. Go through a couple of metal gates across the track to arrive in the upper reaches of Cave Dale. This deep ravine was probably formed at the end of the last Ice Age when water from melting glaciers eroded the porous limestone. As the path drops deeper into the gorge, there is a dramatic view on left of Peveril Castle, perched above pale bluffs and protected on three sides by natural fortifications Cross a stile at end of the path to reach the edge of Castleton. The car park is a few minutes walk away, across Market Place and down cottage-lined Castle Street.
After Walk Refreshments
Cafe: Three Roofs Cafe
Pub: The Bulls Head
Restaurant: 1530 The Restaurant