Want to hike up Mam Tor in the Peak District but not sure what walk is best for you?
At a height of 517 metres (1,696 ft), Mam Tor is one of the most well-known hills in the Derbyshire, Peak District. Of course, Kinder Scout gets a shoutout for being the highest point too but the Mam Tor walk is the one that’s been hiked by more people. (Voted the 10th best walk by the public in the top 100 UK walks).
Mam Tor is known as the ‘Mother Hill’, the name came from the number of landslides in the area resulting in lots of new mini hills. And the history doesn’t stop there as there’s evidence that dates back to the Iron Age, where Mam Tor was an Iron Age hillfort!
If you’re visiting the Peak District for the day or weekend and want to do walk up Mam Tor then take a read of these 10 different routes and see which one suits you best.
The walks start from the main locations surrounding Mam Tor – (Castleton, Edale, Barber Booth, Hope and Mam Nick car park). And are a mix of different length Mam Tor walking routes from a lovely short 3-mile route to a huge 20-mile option, as well as plenty of ones in between.
Are you planning a Peak District trip to hike Mam Tor? Ask me any more questions in the comments below.
Great Ridge - Path Closure 2021
For information - please note that Peak District National Park have announced they will be undertaking restoration work on a section of the Great Ridge. The section of the Great Ridge from Hollins Cross to Back Tor will be CLOSED. Dates for the work are from March to May 2021 (approximately 8 weeks). Read more about the work here. There is a diversion in place via the lower paths around the work.
10 Best Mam Tor Walks
The walks are organised by distance starting with a lovely short walk perfect for most people to enjoy this Peak District hill. Each route is a circular walk and includes a map of the walk and the GPX file, everything you need to get you started.
Scroll down to the bottom for which OS map you need for your walk route, locations to start your walk and car parking options.
Mam Tor short walk from Mam Nick
Distance: 3 miles/5 km
Walk time: 1-2 hours
Total ascent: 288 m/945 ftGPX file
If you’re looking for a great short walk suitable for most people then this route from Mam Nick car park is the perfect walk. This is a National Trust car park and it is roughly 400 metres, so from there, it’s just over 100 metres of ascent to the top.
This short walk talks you up to Mam Tor summit then down the great ridge to Hollins Cross before looping back around on the old Castleton road back to the car park on a lovely circular loop.
If you simply want to walk to the summit and back the same way this would be a 1 km hike, worth knowing if you have children with tired legs after the hike up!Walk map here
Mam Tor + Hollins Cross route from Castleton
Distance: 5 miles/8 km
Walk time: 2-3 hours
Total ascent: 414 m/1,258 ftGPX file
This is a lovely walk from Castleton village, taking you up to Hollins Cross then along the Peak District Great Ridge you then have a steady climb to the summit of Mam Tor where you’ll see the trig point marking the summit!
For more details about this Mam Tor walking route including where to park at Castleton read my full post here.Walk route + map here
Mam Tor + Back Tor walk from Edale
Distance: 5 miles/8 km
Walk time: 2.5-3 hours
Total ascent: 416 m/1,364 ftGPX file
Here’s a lovely short walk from Edale which pretty much takes you straight up to Mam Tor, along to Back Tor and then loops back round.
It does mean that the walk starts with an uphill climb to Mam Tor, but once you’re on the ridge you can enjoy some lovely views. One of my favourite spots is the view from Back Tor.
This walk loops around just before then summit of Back Tor but if you have some energy I’d recommend hiking up to the top for some lovely views back along the ridge, I promise it’s worth it!Walk map here
Winnats Pass + Mam Tor hike from Castleton
Distance: 5 miles/8 km
Walk time: 2.5-3.5 hours
Total ascent: 409 m/1,342 ftGPX file
Before you start thinking, ooo, a great short walk up Mam Tor, this walk is a little deceiving. Yes, it’s short in distance but there’s also a pretty tricky steep climb up to Winnats Pass. However, you can always bypass this and walk through the pass instead of over the top.
From Castleton, you first head up to Winnats Pass, where there are beautiful views of the Hope Valley, before descending then ascending back up Mam Tor from the west.
The great thing about this walk is you get to see both locations from each hill, it’s also lovely looking back on where you hiked.
For more details about the ‘tricky’ parts of this hike, plus all the other information, map, start point and more, read the full walk route here.Walk route + map here
Rushup Edge + Mam Tor from Barber Booth
Distance: 6 miles/10 km
Walk time: 2.5-3.5 hours
Total ascent: 447 m/1,466 ftGPX file
This Mam Tor hike starts on the other side of the valley from Castleton in a small place called Barber Booth, not too far from Edale.
You take the path up through fields then up a track to reach Rushup Edge and along to the hill The Lord’s Seat. From this vantage point, you have wonderful views of Mam Tor and the path leading to the summit, nice to see where you are heading!
At the end of Rushup Edge, you descend a short way to the road before the final climb to reach the top. Then it’s all downhill from here, with the wonderful ridge in front of you. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Lose Hill at the end of the ridge.
Check out full details including route information and the start of the walk here.Walk route + map here
Read later? Save the post to Pinterest here
Lose Hill + Mam Tor walk from Castleton
Distance: 7 miles/11 km
Walk time: 3-4 hours
Total ascent: 535 m/1,755 ftGPX file
For a first time visitor to the Peak District, Mam Tor and the great ridge circular walk is brilliant. From Castleton, you make the ascent up to the far end of the Great Ridge at Lose Hill. From there, you can see all the way down to Mam Tor summit, on a clear day of course!
Then you make your way along the ridge which is lovely and easy to navigate, just stay on the top! The path is rocky in places but generally, it’s a good path which takes you all the way to the trig point on Mam Tor.
After enjoying those views, or maybe being blown around, (Mam Tor is known for being very windy on the top), you then walk back down to finish your walk in Castleton.
The full walk route, parking details and map is all here.Walk route + map here
Cave Dale + Mam Tor route from Castleton
Distance: 8 miles/13 km
Walk time: 3.5-4.5 hours
Total ascent: 530 m/1,738 ftGPX file
The Peak District has many ‘dales’ but Cave Dale is a real treat, hidden away behind Peveril Castle this walk starts with a real highlight. This is also the start of the Limestone Way, a 46 mile/74 km long-distance Peak District trail that ends in Rocester.
But you’re only on the Limestone Way for a short while before turning off and heading right then you’re not far from Mam Tor. From the summit, you enjoy a walk along the ridge all the way to Lose Hill summit then it’s the descent, past YHA Castleton and back to the start.
For a shorter Cave Dale walk, but with a trickier descent down Mam Tor you might like this 5-mile walk from Castleton, including Cave Dale and Mam Tor.Walk map here
Jacob’s Ladder, Rushup Edge + Mam Tor route from Edale
Distance: 10 miles/16 km
Walk time: 4.5-5.5 hours
Total ascent: 627 m/2,057 ftGPX file
Here’s a route starting from Edale, the most popular place to start a walk in the Peak District, and with good reason!
For the first part of this walk, you’re following the Pennine Way, heading up the famous Jacob’s Ladder, it’s a climb but once you’re up you can then enjoy the views without too much more ascent!
As the path splits to head up to Edale Rocks, you take the path heading left towards Brown Knoll, a slog of a section along flagstones but you’re soon as Rushup Edge with Mam Tor in your sight.
Then it’s a walk along to Hollins Cross and back down into Edale village. Read the full walk route, map + GPX file here.Walk route + map here
Win Hil, Lose Hill + Mam Tor walk from Hope
Distance: 12 miles/19 km
Walk time: 5.5-6.5 hours
Total ascent: 880 m/2,887 ftGPX file
Another longer walk for you, including three great hills, Win Hill, Lose Hill and, of course, Mam Tor. This walk starts from Hope train station as well, although you could start in Hope village itself.
This is a walk of ups and down, to begin with you have a climb up to Win Hill with beautiful views to Ladybower Reservoir, then it’s back down again before another climb to Lose Hill and along to the trig point at Mam Tor summit.
Descending this route you go via the road Winnats Pass, a simply amazing part of the walk, before heading back into Castleton where you have a nice gentle end to the walk.Walk route + map here
Edale Skyline (including Mam Tor) from Hope
Distance: 20 miles/32 km
Walk time: 8-10 hours
Total ascent: 1,252 m/4,107 ftGPX file
And lastly, the circular walk that just keeps giving! The Edale Skyline is a tough and challenging walk but not only does it tick off Mam Tor summit but all the other hills around the Edale in the Hope Valley.
For added mileage, you can start the route from Edale itself, but this route begins from Hope and starts with Win Hill, before heading down then back to the Kinder Plateau, on to Lord’s Seat, Mam Tor, along the great ridge and lastly to Lose Hill.
If you fancy a big day out in the Peak District then this is a great walk. For the full route, useful information, map and starting point for this walk read my full post on the hike here.Walk route + map here
Let me know if you have any more questions about these Mam Tor walking routes in the comments below.
More useful walk information
Mam Tor walk map
Which map do you need?
And don’t forget your compass. I recommend the Silva Expedition compass
Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App.
Where to start the walks?
Here are the five start locations for the walks in this post, including suggested car parks. The car park charges vary for each place, from free to paid-for options. If you are a national Trust member the Mam Nick car park is free for members.
- Mam Nick car park, Hope Valley, S33 8WA
- Castleton visitor centre, Buxton Road, Castleton, S33 8WN
- Barber Booth car park, Barber Booth, Hope Valley, S33 7ZL
- Edale village car park, Edale, Hope Valley, S33 7ZQ
- Hope train station, Station Road, Hope, Hope Valley, S33 6RR
The car parks vary in size but during peak times will fill up quickly, there are some options for layby parking on the road, but please consider whether emergency vehicles can safely pass.
Alternatively, if you are travelling by public transport there are train stations at both Edale and Hope, which you can easily travel to from Manchester or Sheffield.
Mam Tor weather
The weather in the valley can be very different to the top so it’s worth checking the Met Office weather for Mam Tor (Derbyshire) to be prepared.
One type of weather you’re likely to experience on the summit of Mam Tor is the wind, especially if you opt to walk along the Great Ridge to the top. As there’s a valley either side the wind seems extra strong on the top so be prepared with some warm layers to put on at the top.
Oh, and keep hold of small objects, like hats, gloves and small children hehe!
Because of the winds, you might even see paragliders flying around the skies near the summit.
More walks in the Peak District
How about heading up Kinder Scout next or maybe nearby Grindslow Knoll from Edale? Here are some more walks you might like:
- Grindslow Knoll (via Ringing Roger) Walk From Edale | 5.5-Mile Route
- Kinder Scout Walk From Edale (via Grindsbrook Clough) | 8-Mile Route
- Grindslow Knoll (via Grindsbrook Clough) Short Walk from Edale | 4-Mile Route
Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here
Peak District charity patches
Peak District Walks have launched their charity patches raising funds for the Edale Mountain Rescue Team (charity no. 1138626) - one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK.
Order our Mam Tor, Kinder Scout or our latest Thorpe Cloud patch. Please visit our shop below. If you'd like to know when new designs are created, join our mailing list here to be notified.
More about the charity project here.
Need more help planning your Peak District trip?
Check out the 7 YHAs in the Peak District and find the best walks direct from your accommodation.
Find out what maps you will need for your trip here.
FREE beginner's hiking eBook. (Coming soon - request a copy here).
*NEW* Read our useful guides on hiking tips here.
Coming soon - Guided Walks with introduction to map reading (register your interest here).
Visit our hiking recommendations page, (footwear, clothes + kit).
Or get in touch and I will help as best I can :).
Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability through any injuries or accidents that may result from walking our routes. We always recommend you wear appropriate footwear to avoid injuries and to take a paper map and compass on your walks. Read more here.