A picturesque walk with some steep climbs. Starts in Castleton and takes the limestone way through Cave Dale. The walk then works is way overland to Mam Tor and along the Great Ridge to Back Tor. From here the walk goes towards Blue John Cavern before descending via Winnat's Pass and then over the field back to Castleton. Some steep climbs most notably Mam Tor and Back Tor - also some steep and rocky terrain/descents.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Start from the Castleton visitors centre car park. Head to the main road and turn left.
(1) Take a right at the pub onto Castle Street. At the next junction, turn left onto Market Place and keep War Memorial on your left.
(2) Take a right onto the Limestone Way and follow it to the top of the hill. This section is pretty, atmospheric and with good views of Peveril Castle. Rocky terrain and could be slippery in the wet. Also, look out for mountain bikes.
(3) When you reach the rough road, turn right (The Limestone Way continues straight ahead). Continue along this track until you reach the second stile on your right go over this and walk through the field with the wall on your left. Keep going along this path where you will have views of Mam Tor and the Great Ridge. Continue until you reach Winnat's Road.
(4) Cross the road to the obvious path on the opposite side and follow this until you reach Sheffield Road.
(5) Cross this road and take the short grassy climb to the gate at the top. Take the obvious route up to the top of Mam Tor then follow the ridgeline to climb Back Tor.
(6) Following a little breather, descend Back Tor and retrace your steps a little way.
(7) You will arrive at a gate where a few paths intersect. Turn left and follow the path that runs perpendicular to the ridge.
(8) As you reach Hollins Cross, keep left and descend further passing a copse of trees on your right. This will bring you to Mam Tor Road. Follow it straight on/right - up the old road that was destroyed in a landslide.
(9) You join a turning circle. Continue until you see a track on the left signposted Blue John Cavern. Continue along this road to the building and pass this through a gate to the right. Follow this up and round to the left (you will see a farm to your right) the path becomes less well defined here but looks for a small V in the land. This should be on your left as you descend to Winnat's pass. Spectacular views and again very atmospheric.
(10) Continue down with the road on your right until you reach a car park and building on your right.
Shortly after this turn right and follow the path along the road - at the fork keep left on Goose Hill which then joins the road.
(11) Keep going until you turn left after a little bridge - keeping the stream on your left, passing Blue John Jewellery on your left, coming to the A6187 Buxton Road - cross over to where you began. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 620ft - Castleton visitors centre car park
1 : mi 0.1 - alt. 636ft - Turn right near pub
2 : mi 0.24 - alt. 702ft - Join Limestone Way
3 : mi 1.69 - alt. 1388ft - Turn right
4 : mi 3.08 - alt. 1365ft - Winnat's Road
5 : mi 3.41 - alt. 1365ft - Sheffield Road
6 : mi 5.31 - alt. 1362ft - Back Tor
7 : mi 5.49 - alt. 1260ft - Intersection
8 : mi 6.04 - alt. 1247ft - Hollins Cross
9 : mi 6.85 - alt. 1161ft - Turning circle
10 : mi 7.48 - alt. 1184ft - Winnats Pass
11 : mi 8.6 - alt. 646ft - Bridge
D/A : mi 8.77 - alt. 620ft - Castleton visitors centre car park
Payment is cash only at the time of writing at the Castleton visitors centre car park.
Sturdy walking boots that offer ankle protection as there is some rocky terrain.
There are some muddy areas.
Always be prepared for rapid changes in the weather.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(4) is a nice spot for lunch if the time is right - relatively sheltered.
Views through Cave Dale are lovely and you can see the Castle.
Mam Tor gets busy but again has lovely views of the vale of Edale - the Great Ridge gets quieter the further along it you go.
Blue John Caves - closed at the time of writing due to the Covid 19 pandemic however restrictions were easing so please check.
Very atmospheric walking down Winnat's Pass - more like something out of the Lord of the Rings.
At the bottom of Winnats Pass there is a building offering boat tours of the caves - closed at the time of writing due to the Covid 19 pandemic however restrictions were easing so please check
Just as you get back to the pretty houses of Castleton you can see a large gorge/cave to the right behind the houses - known as the Devil's Arse (Peak Cavern) - closed at the time of writing due to the Covid 19 pandemic however restrictions were easing so please check.
The visitor's centre in Castleton was open serving food and drink - with appropriate safety measures and social distancing due to Covid 19.
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