Lady watching the views at top of the hill of Mom Tor

Mam Tor Walks: Circular Walk in the Peak District

Not sure about which places must you see on your trip to England? Let us help you make that list! If you’re planning to visit England, you must have several places you’d like to see- you may have gotten the list off Google, maybe read about it in a celebrity’s Instagram post or some relative or friend who might’ve made suggestions.

I bet one of those places must be the Peak District National Park. If it isn’t, you ought to add it right now.

Lady watching the views at top of the hill of Mom Tor

Peak District has three estates: High Peak, White Peak, and Long Shaw. It offers extraordinary landscapes you can enjoy all around the year. The most beautiful and best-loved part of Peak District is High Peak & Mam Tor hill is one of its highest peak.

Mam Tor

In the 17th century, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes described the Seven Wonders, which refers to the places you must visit in the Peak District, one of which is Mam Tor- a 1700 feet hill.

Mam Tor Hill
Views of Mam Tor Hill

“Mam Tor” means “Mother Hill” it gets its name because of the frequent landslides on its Eastern side that have led to the formation of many “mini hills.” These landslides have also given it an alternative name, the “Shivering Mountain.”

Let’s Climb with us on the Highest Peak of Derbyshire – Mam Tor Circular Walk.

Let’s take you on a virtual trek on the colossal peak of Mam Tor with me. (Do not forget to download Mam Tor Walk Map)

For your convenience, you will find a link for the map at the end of the article.

Since I started living in the UK, friends kept telling me to visit the Peak District, and since it’s so vast, I used to visit a part of it at every opportunity I got! Mam Tor had been on my list for a long time. I used to think that the hike was going to be taxing, so I kept putting it off, but the last weekend, I finally decided to climb Mother Hill & it was the most rewarding hike in the UK.

View of Mam Tor from Paveril Castle
View of Mam Tor from Paveril Castle

I woke up early in the morning to avoid the crowdedness of the “weekenders,” which was a wise decision.

Despite the ups & downs, twists & turns, the road trip to the base of the peak was scenic and mesmerizing.

Many people had parked their cars on the roadside, but I parked my car in the official National Trust car park (Mam Tor Car Park). It had a mini coffee & ice cream van. I got a delectable cup of latte and started my hike.

National Trust car park with easy pay by phone system
National Trust car park with easy pay by phone system

Rain from the night before had made some of the path wet and slippery, but big stone steps made it easy to climb up.

Step Stones on Mam Tor Walk
Stepping stones making the hike easier for everyone

The first part of the trail was steep, but the remainder was much easier.

Mam Tor Walking Route
Mam Tor Walking Route

Numerous side boards around the trail directed hikers to several footpaths.

Signboard-The National Trust Mam Tor
The National Trust Mam Tor

People of all ages climbed up the top of Mam Tor and down alongside. Many dog parents had also come to enjoy the weekend, and the pups were overjoyed.

People were posing and taking photos on the way up with picturesque sceneries behind them that looked no different than the desktop wallpapers we download on our computers.

The Mam Tor walk up to the peak took about 30 minutes, and the view was a sight to behold! For a moment, I thought this must be what heaven must look like! Wind ruffling through my hair, whispering in my ears, I opened my arms a little bit (pretty much like Shah Rukh Khan), wanting to embrace it, trying to take it all in.

lady sitting at the top of Mam Tor
One of the views from the top of Mam Tor

The iconic hill gives breath-taking views from all directions of the summit of Mam Tor. One way overlooks Castleton village, while the other is Edale village.

A ridge known as the “Great Ridge” extends from the western edge of Mam Tor to Lose Hill for approximately 3 kilometres at the eastern end, its lowest point being Hollins Cross.

Mam Tor Trig point
Mam Tor Trig point

I took pictures of the spectacular views and sat down on one side. Since it was a clear day, I could also see several paragliders flying around us.

The hill’s peak was crowded; everyone was awestruck after reaching the top and wanted to spend time there.

After spending about 30 minutes in what seemed other-worldly, I started my descent towards to great ridge which led me to the Hollins cross.

This great walk continued down towards the old road of Castleton and took me back to the car park along with the memories of this place & of course, the photos, one of which did end up as my screen saver.

History Buffs!

Mam Tor is reckoned to have been occupied 1200 BC onwards by the late Bronze Age and later by the Iron Age civilization as a fort.

It is believed that at the hill’s peak, about a hundred small platforms were evened off around its summit for the construction of timber huts.

Mam Tor Walk

Their artefacts such as pottery which were found at the site indicate the occupants as being fighters as well as a thriving community. You will see a number of interesting ancient artefacts preserved and embedded in the ground on the way up.

Mam Tor Walk

Mam Tor Walk


Is it worth it?

If you ask me, I’d say a big and loud yes! The climb up looks more daunting than it actually is. It is the perfect spot to recharge your mind and body.

If you’re a photographer, you’ll get some mind-blowing clicks; if you’re here with friends, family, or your partner, you’ll enjoy the walk and love the view.

View of Mam Tor
View of Mam Tor

Not just that, Mam Tor walk was voted the 10th best walk in the UK by the public among a list of 100. It is easy to climb for the kids as well as the elderly. No wonder why it is one of the best peak district walks.

Mam Tor Walking Routes – Mam Tor Walks

You could try any of these lovely routes to Mam Tor depending on the area where you want to start from. Here are some details to help you decide which one you would like to take.

Mam Tor short walk from Mam Nick car park

This lovely walk route takes you from the National Trust car park to the summit, then continues down the great ridge to the Hollins cross after which it loops back around onto the old Castleton road, ultimately leading back to the car park in a circular loop.

Hollins Cross route from Castleton

Castleton village is a beautiful place to stay the night if you wish to explore the area a bit more. A walk from Castleton will take you up to the Great Ridge which is a steady ascent towards Mam Tor trig point.

Hollins Cross route from Castleton village is a lovely walk taking about 2 to 3 hours. (Approx. 10.5 Km to cover Mam Tor Circular Walk).

Walk towards Mam Tor from Dunscar farm in Castleton
Walk towards Mam Tor from Dunscar farm in Castleton

Back Tor walk from Edale

Mam Tor and Back Tor walk from Hope Valley & Edale village starts with a steep uphill climb and takes about 3 hours but once you reach the great ridge, the view is worth it. It may take about 2.5 to 3.5 hours.

Hope Village, Peak District
Hope Village, Peak District

Winnats pass hike from Castleton

This walk is about 8 km in distance and may seem short but it is a pretty steep climb up to the Winnats pass. It takes about 2 to 4 hours.

Rushup Edge route from Barber Booth

Barber Booth is a small area on the other side of Castleton and not very far from Edale. The walk from Barber booth will take about 2.5 to 3.5 hours and takes you through fields to Rushup Edge and continues along a hill called Lord’s Seat. (Approx. 14.5 Km to cover Mam Tor Walk).

Things to Keep in Mind: Mam Tor Walks

  • If it’s a rainy season or wet weather (which honestly every season in the UK is), I’d suggest taking along a good pair of boots.
  • It is very windy at the peak, so keep a warmer/ upper wear with you, especially for the kids.

Views from Mam Tor

  • Keep a water bottle along as the steep hike might make you thirsty.
  • If you’ve got time, I’d recommend taking the Mam Tor walk up the old road that was closed in the 1970s following multiple landslides. It’s a fascinating journey that adds to the location’s magnificence.
  • It also passes the remains of Odin Mine, which still has its large crushing wheel. It’s worth seeing for a little bit of history.
  • On the way back, I saw several cars on the roadside getting parking tickets, so I’d recommend going for the paid car parking.
  • There’s no toilet facility at this place, so come prepared.

Caves around Mam Tor

Mam Tor is surrounded by several caverns, which add to the dramatic effect of the location. These show caves include Peak Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Blue John Cavern, and Treak Cliff Cavern. Peak Cavern, also known as the Devil’s Arse, is the largest cave in the UK.

Peak Cavern - Devil's Arse
Peak Cavern – Devil’s Arse

Within a mile of Mam Tor, there is Titan- a natural cavern which is the deepest shaft of any known cave in Britain.

Visiting these caverns is one of the most popular activities in Derbyshire & Peak District. Read our next blogs to know more about those!

Click on this link to download the map provided by the National Trust

Mam tor Walk Pinterest Pin

Dr. Mahnoor

Hi! I am Dr Mahnoor, a doctor and content writer from England, UK. I'm a doctor by profession but writing has always been my greatest passion. I'm mostly found scribbling in my notepad & that content will more likely than not be my travel diaries.

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Hello Fellows!

Welcome to Travel Club of Upminster! After taking a long gap of around four years, I have again started my journey as a Blogger, and started this blog. I am traveler by choice. I am glad to see you all here! Happy Traveling!