The Great Ridge.

Start. Mam Nick car park.

Route. Mam Nick car park - Mam Tor - Hollins Cross - Barker Bank - Back Tor - Lose Hill - Hollowford Road - Castleton - Winnats Pass - Winnats Head Farm - Mam Nick car park.

Notes. Christened by WA “Walter” Poucher the ridge linking Mam Tor (mother hill) and Lose Hill presents the lucky hill walker with a splendid ridge walk, I think The Great Ridge aptly describes it. Walk from Mam Tor home to one of the earliest hill forts in Britain, the summit being ringed by a ditch and series of ramparts, you have the Vale of Edale and the Millstone Grit of the Dark Peak to your left and the limestone of the Hope Valley and the White Peak to your right. The stepping stone of the Mam Nick car park makes for an easy ascent, a good path guides you into a world of amazing scenery, what more can I say, come give it a go.

Scratch the last couple of lines, a heat haze had descended over Peak District, amazing scenery doesn't look quite so through the murk of the day, but we're here making the best of a poor lot. We left the car park following way-marked paths, an easy ascent followed before reaching the summit of Mam Tor, with the ridge just visible through the gloom we wandered on. We passed Hollins Cross the lowest point on the ridge, once the main route between Castleton and Edale, an old coffin road and sight of a cross that disappeared in the 1920s, a memorial to Tom Hyett a keen walker now stands proud on the spot. The ridge continued to the impressive Back Tor then on to Lose Hill where we stopped for lunch.

Lunch over we re-traced our steps to Back Tor before descending into the Hope Valley, good paths guided us to Castleton where we felt the need to visit the Three Roofs Café. With full stomachs and empty bladders we left the village, the main road guided us to Arthur's Way, the narrow lane that passes the Speedwell Cavern before ascending the spectacular Winnats Pass, it maybe a busy road but the scenery is quite breath-taking. At the top of the hill we accessed a green trod passing behind Winnats Head Farm then through cow pastures to reach the main road, a short walk along the edge of the main road followed before safely stepping into the Mam Nick car park.

view route map.


From the ascent of Mam Tor limited views into the Vale of Edale.

On Mam Tor, the summit is ringed by a ditch and a number of ramparts, believed to be one of the earliest hill forts in Britain.

Hard to see through the murk but your looking to Winnats Head, the buildings to the left belong to the Blue John Cavern.

Hazy views over the Hope Valley, seen from the ditch ringing the summit.

The Great Ridge, it's a pity about the paving slabs but popular walks like this one do have erosion problems.

Edale seen from The Great Ridge.

Viewing Back Tor and Lose Hill.

The cliffs of Back Tor, the only steep climb on the whole ridge.

A wonderful view from Back Tor, let Barker Bank carry the eye to Mam Tor with the head of the Hope Valley to the left and the head of Edale the right.

If you need to know what you're looking at there's a view indicator on the summit of Lose Hill.

The view back from Lose Hill.

A touch of colour on a grey day, over the gorse Mam Tor.

Ascending Winnats Pass, there's not a breath of wind today, I believe Winnat is short for Windygate and on a windy day it's easy to see why.

The Hope Valley and Win Hill seen from Winnats Pass.

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