Mam Tor walks are some of the most popular and well known walks in the Derbyshire Peak District. Here’s a complete guide.
How To Get To Mam Tor
Towering over the village of Castleton, Mam Tor is one of the most popular hotspots in the Peak District.
Standing at 517 metres high, Mam Tor means ‘Mother Hill’, which alludes to the mini-hills at the base of Mam Tor created by the frequent landslips.
There are walks varying in length and difficulty that you can take, starting from places like Castleton and Hope, that will take you to Mam Tor.
From Castleton take the main road west up Winnats Pass.
At the T-junction, turn right and follow the road round, pass the first turning on the right and Mam Nick Car Park is the next right.
This is a pay-and-display National Trust Car Park with a pay-by-phone option.
Parking is £3.50 for 4 hours and £5 for longer stays. National Trust members are free.
Mam Nick is the starting place for the easiest walk, the other longer walks start in Castleton and Hope.
Service 200, Chapel-en-le-Frith to Castleton, via Winnats Pass, exit at Mam Tor.
Service 272, Sheffield to Castleton, then walk from the village or take the number 200 bus.
Hope and Edale stations are the closest train stations to Mam Tor.
Mam Tor Entrance Fee
It is free to visit Mam Tor.
Mam Tor Opening Times
Mam Tor is open 24 hours a day.
However we would not advise walking on the hill once it is getting dark.
Best Time To Visit Mam Tor
Mam Tor is very popular all year round, more so in the Summer, so we would advise arriving as early as possible, especially if you want to complete the shorter walk.
Arriving before 9am on weekends, bank holidays and school holidays would be advantageous!
Mam Tor is a popular spot for sunrise because it is easy to reach the summit.
If the Mam Nick car park is full, there are some lay-bys on the road but these fill up very quickly. There are double yellow lines along the road and you risk getting a ticket if you park here.
If you are struggling to park, try leaving from Castleton (route 2) as there is more parking available in the village.
Have a map of the area with you (you can download one on your phone) for if you you are unsure of which path to follow or want to change your route.
Comfortable walking shoes/boots are advised, especially for the longer walks and layered clothing as the weather can be changeable.
Take some refreshments for when you stop to take in the amazing views.
There are no toilet facilities on the Mam Tor walks. The closest public toilets are in Castleton and Hope.
Dogs are allowed on the Mam Tor walks as long as they are kept on a lead.
What To Pack
3 Mam Tor Walks In The Peak District
There are many different walks that you can take up Mam Tor.
They are all family friendly, especially route 1 where you will see small children climbing to the summit.
Here are three of the most popular walks. (These are just guides, we would advise using maps on all of your walks.)
Route 1. Mam Tor Circular Walk
This is a three mile walk (4.8km) that takes approximately 1-2 hours. The time can vary depending on the weather, how fit you are and who you are walking with.
Starting from the Mam Nick National Trust Car Park, it’s a relatively short but slightly steep climb to the top of Mam Tor (517 metres).
On reaching the summit you will see the stone ‘trig point’, a fixed survey point that always indicates that you are at the highest point of a mountain or hill.
From here you will have spectacular 360 degree views of the rolling Peak District countryside.
You then continue along the ridge, a more level part of the walk, to Hollins Cross.
After this you walk down through the woodlands to meet Broken Road. (A road that was abandoned due to landslides in the 1970s).
Following Broken Road, the walk leads you up past the entrance to Blue Johns Cavern. (This is another tourist attraction that is worth a visit.)
You will then arrive back where you started at Mam Nick Car Park.
Route 2. Castleton To Mam Tor Walk
We chose to do this exhilarating 6.5 mile walk (10.5km) which takes you along Great Ridge. Known as one of the best ridge walks in the country, it gives you superb views of Edale and Hope Valley.
This walk takes roughly 3-4 hours, depending on the weather, your levels of fitness and who you are walking with.
There is also an option to extend this route to an 8 mile walk to include a stroll by the river on the way back.
We started our walk from the main car park in the picturesque village of Castleton. (Pay-and-display car park with tickets starting at £1.60 for 1 hour, up to £7 for 24 hours.)
Once out of the village the terrain becomes rockier and takes you past Treak Cliff Cavern and Blue John Cavern, unique show caverns and popular attractions in the Peak District.
Passing through the different gates and following the signs, you will come to the stepped stone path that leads up to the summit of Mam Tor.
The summit is a great place to take a rest, have a snack and take in the amazing 360 degree views.
Leaving the summit you follow the path on your left, then continue along the ridge up to the next high point of Lose Hill Pike.
Having taken in the superb views from Lose Hill pike, follow the stony path down to Spring House Farm.
If returning to Castleton the route is pretty straightforward as you can see the village from here.
On reaching the village, you have a great choice of pubs and cafes to stop at and partake of some well deserved refreshments!
Route 3. Hope To Mam Tor Walk
This is a 9 mile walk (14.5km) that takes roughly 5-6 hours to complete and is another very popular walk in the Peak District.
The time it takes to complete will depend on the weather, your levels of fitness and who you are walking with.
This walk starts in the pretty village of Hope in Hope Valley. There is parking at Hope Valley Car Park. (Pay-and-display car park with tickets starting at £1.60 for 1 hour, up to £7 for 24 hours.)
From the church in Hope village you head out past the Hope Pinfold (an area of enclosed land once used to impound stray animals) towards Castleton.
Once you have reached Castleton you follow the same route as route 2, up to the summit of Mam Tor. Stop here and take in the amazing views before heading back down.
From here you walk along the Great Ridge and down towards Spring House Farm. Turning left at the farm there are some yellow markers that will help guide you back towards Hope.
When you reach the sign that reads Castleton left and Edale right, continue straight down. Once over the railway bridge you will see the yellow markers again that will guide you towards the road.
On reaching Hope Primary School, keep on the path into the village. Follow the church spire back to Hope Church and you have completed the walk!
Where To Stay In The Peak District
Devonshire Arms at Beeley is located on the Chatsworth Estate, which is owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
It is a 25-minute cross-country walk from Chatsworth House, and the property offers free WiFi in all areas and free on-site parking.
Each of the 18 individually designed bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom. Rooms are situated either in the main inn or the converted adjoining cottages.
Devonshire Arms at Beeley – Chatsworth has a relaxing and welcoming bar serving a selection of locally brewed ales, and wines from around the world. The restaurant serves produce that is locally sourced from the Chatsworth Estate.
This dog-friendly accommodation is 5.8 miles from Matlock and 9.7 miles from Chesterfield.
Set in just under 2 acres of private gardens, Ackroyd House is a 5-star country house located in Thurstonland, in the heart of Yorkshire countryside. It offers free WiFi and free private off road parking.
Rooms at the Ackroyd House feature en suite bathroom facilities, a large private seating area, a large flat TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
At Ackroyd House you will find a garden, barbecue facilities and a terrace. Other facilities offered at the property include an ironing service.
An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including cycling and hiking.
Set in a grand 17th-century manor, this YHA offers cosy log fires and cooked meals. It is situated in Hartington, in the heart of the Peak District.
The majority of rooms at YHA Hartington Hall contain bunk beds. There is also a guest lounge, with Wi-Fi access and a games area, and laundry facilities are available on site.
The traditional restaurant serves full evening meals, and features exposed beams and original fireplaces. A breakfast buffet is served daily, and there is also a guest kitchen.
Hartington Hall YHA is set in beautiful grounds, just a 20-minute drive from historical Buxton. YHA has free parking, and the magnificent Chatsworth House Estate is a 25-minute drive away.
For more places to stay in the Peak District, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.