Hiking Mam Tor: A Peak District favourite

One of the most famous walks in The Peak District is a hike up Mam Tor. You could do the direct route and park in the car park at the bottom, but where’s the fun in that?! Instead, we opted to do a 5 mile route from the town of Castleton and take in a bit more of the wonderful scenery surrounding us.


Hike Information

Location: You start the Mam Tor hike in Castleton, where there is ample parking. The most central car park is by the Castleton Visitor Centre. It costs ยฃ6 to park for the day, but does get filled up early so if it’s full when you arrive there is another car park down the road.

Hike distance and time: The full round loop is 5 miles long and will take around 3 hours depending on fitness, so makes for the perfect half day trip.

Terrain: The terrain includes quite a steep climb, so you need to be of reasonable fitness. The route is largely paved or home to well trodden grass paths so no scrambling is involved. I even wore trainers rather than hiking boots, which I wouldn’t dream of on some hikes so overall this is an easy to moderate hike.


The Hike

We followed the route guidance HERE but for some reason did it in reverse.

A. Start in Castleton

Arrive in Castleton before it gets too busy. You then have two options – either explore Castleton itself first while it’s still quiet and then head on your walk, or do the walk first then finish in Castleton with lunch in a pub and then explore. In Castleton, there are lovely places to discover including strolling along the river and a trip to Peveril Castle.

Either way, to start the walking route from the visitor centre car park, exit at the top right corner of the car park along the little stream away from the main road.

Views from Peveril Castle

B. Castleton to Hollins Cross

Head out of the car park and head along one of the many paths that lead towards the hills, which start out running alongside the little river. We actually diverted a bit from the route, and ended up following a path that ran alongside Dunscar Farm. This section of the route is very flat and easy to walk.

Eventually, you will arrive at the base of the hill, and the only way is up! It’s a steep climb from the lanes up to Hollins Cross, but we did it in stages on a scorcher of a day, with plenty of water. The views at the top from Hollins Cross are stunning, so recover by sitting to enjoy them for a minute or two before continuing.

Having a rest at the top of Hollins Cross

C. Hollins Cross to Mam Tor

From Hollins Cross, head left across to Mam Tor itself. This section is one of England’s most famous ridge walks, so be sure to wrap up warm as it can get very windy up there! It’s pretty much a straight and flat-ish walk, with incredible views out across the fields – and of course be sure to get the obligatory Trig point photo!

Famous Mam Tor view

D. Mam Tor to Winnats Pass

From the Mam Tor summit, continue heading away from the direction you came, and descend down. There is only really one path to follow and it’s quite well paved, although made of a number of steep steps. You will eventually come out in a field (probably full of sheep) and it’s time to start your loop back to Castleton. Continue through the fields, past a disused quarry and in the direction of Winnats Head Farm, and then walk through the incredible Winnats Pass on your way back.

E. Winnats Pass to Castleton

After walking through Winnats Pass, continue back round in to Castleton. You will pass Speedwell Cavern on your way, so if underground caves appeal then you could always pop in to discover a bit more about the area’s mining history. If not, continue on to Castleton and treat yourself to a pub meal – you deserve it!


So what do you think? I absolutely loved this hike and it felt good to complete one of the Peak District’s most famous routes. Thanks so much for reading; stay safe and happy travelling.

36 Comments

  1. The hike looks wonderful, Hannah! The Peveril Castle is cool, as is the farmland and expansive surrounding views from Hollins Cross and Mam Tor ~ thanks for sharing your neck of the woods with the world, my friend ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After visiting Castleton for the first time last month and seeing the signposts up to Mam Tor from Treak Cliff Cavern, Iโ€™d like to return in better weather to do this hike. Your detailed description and photos are very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a beautiful area of the country, that’s for sure. We hit lucky with the weather, although it’s quite a steep climb so definitely needed lots of water!! I’m glad you like the walk and hope you get to do it one day – thanks so much for reading Marion ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So much greenery! Really confirms just how beautiful the Peak District is. I’m sure you never got tired of the views each step of the way. I’ll have to put Mam Tor on my radar when I return to England someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, there is barely any shade cover so on a hot day suncream, lots of water and a hat are all essential. I totally fell in love with the views though. Thanks so much for reading and have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thatโ€™s a beautiful hike with some quintessential English greens and scenery. I like the look of Castleton, would definitely poke around a bit. In fact we are off to a little corner of the Staffordshire Peak District today. A tiny town called Ilam, just for an afternoon amble. Great shots and info!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh nice, I think that’s near Thor’s Cave, which we are planning to hike over the Easter weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ That little corner of England is just so beautiful so I hope you enjoyed your trip to Ilam ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Aw so glad you like them Meg and that I can transport you somewhere new – like you I wish I wasn’t working and was out exploring instead ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading as always and have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – it was definitely perfect weather so we were very lucky! Haha, it’s always hit and miss especially in England, many times I’ve got to the summit and not seen anything for all the cloud cover! Have a great weekend lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Wow, what a great hike ๐Ÿฅฐ the Peak District has to be one of the most beautiful areas to visit in England due to its rural villages that are speckled around the stunning countryside! Set out from anywhere and youโ€™re guaranteed to find a fantastic walking path! Thanks for sharing and have a good day โ˜บ๏ธ Aiva xx

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    1. It’s such a beautiful location that’s for sure ๐Ÿ™‚ We are so lucky to have it within easy distance for a one night stay, making it the perfect weekend trip when the weather starts getting nicer. Hope you had a lovely weekend Aiva xx

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  6. We were there the summer before COVID hit. Really enjoyed hiking it (trying to remember if we went all the way upโ€ฆ). What I do know for sure is that we CYCLED Winnats Pass. Well, the husband did. I tried to but it is SO steep I had to get off my bike and push it up, which was really, really difficult given the grade!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CYCLED? I mean, wow….kudos to your husband. I’d have been keeled over in a heap at the bottom if I’d tried to cycle it that’s for sure!!! It’s basically vertical at some points! Hope you had a lovely weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Thanks for taking us along on this hike, lovely views. The Peveril Castle ruin is so interesting โ€“ I donโ€™t know why I am drawn to those broken down structures but I find them romantic, hiding so much history. And the sheep are always welcome.

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  8. Oh. My. God. The scenery! I need to be there. Iโ€™m literally obsessed with the UK. The countryside is magical. What great photos. That view from Peveril Castle! Wow. And the next lot of picsโ€ฆandโ€ฆwell..all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is such a magical place, and everything is so close together as we are so small. You can go from central London to this hike in only 3 hours ๐Ÿ™‚ I have lots more English countryside walks coming up on the blog so I hope you enjoy them. Thanks so much for reading and have a lovely day.

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      1. It looks amazing! Here in Australia a LOT of travelling is required to get anywhere. The fact that so much goodness is crammed into such a relatively small land mass is probably half the appeal of the UK for me. As well as the fact that once youโ€™re there, so many other interesting countries are but a stoneโ€™s throw away!

        Looking forward to more English Countryside walksโ€ฆ.and to living vicariously through your blog!

        Liked by 1 person

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