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The Great Ridge - Mam Tor

· 3 reviews · Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • From the top
    / From the top
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Bridge
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Black Tor
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Losehill
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Into the woods
    Photo: Macs Adventure
  • / Mam tor
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 500 400 300 200 100 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
A circular route, starting in the small village of Edale rises to the crest of Back Tor before following the great ridge over three peaks including the old Hill Fort Mam Tor before coming back down into Edale.
moderate
Distance 14.7 km
3:30 h
597 m
597 m
549 m
214 m

Today's walk takes you from the verdant and tree peppered valley with a small river that courses through its floor up to a high, rocky and windswept tidge. The village of Edale, with a train station, a cafe and public toilets is your start point. Heading East you will cross the river and start climbing almost immediately. Back Tor towers above you, its south face a mass dark of gritstone looming over the valley. As you summit the first tor you head East, following the ridge to Lose Tor, with unspoilt views below for 180 degrees and the ridge disappearing into the distance behind you. Dropping to the other side of the ridge you will pass through a beautiful forest before rising again and following the crest of the ridge all the way to the old hill fort of Mam Tor before dropping down a wide path back into Edale.

You will need to take a train to Edale to start your walk today. Trains leave frequently from Hathersage and it takes approx 15 minutes to reach Edale. You can view the timetable at https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/

Author’s recommendation

As you descend from Mam Tor briefly, you cross the road between this Tor and the next. It is a mountain pass with a road surface very conducive to road cycling. Stop and watch the cyclists as they crest the hill, it is known to be one of the toughest climbs in the UK.
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
549 m
Lowest point
214 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

If visibility is bad then you will need to take care on this walk.

There are some road crossings, always be aware of traffic and be sure to use a pavement/sidewalk where possible, where it isn’t walk on the right-hand side of the road,

Some of the ground can be uneven, with steep descents and muddy/boggy ground. Ensure you have suitable footwear and step cautiously where needed, the mud is especially tricky in wet weather.

A note about farms and animals: Be very aware of closing gates behind you. Remember, animals on a farm are not pets and can be closer to a wild animal than a domestic pet - particularly for dogs. The main risk today is horses as the path often crosses fields with grazing horses.

When crossing the streams, be wary of slippery and loose stones, if you feel unsure bring walking poles for support, and you can always find a more suitable crossing a little up or downstream.

Tips and hints

Food and Drink

There is a great cafe at the station in Edale, make sure you check for opening times on their website. Otherwise, there are plenty of places to stop for a picnic (although the ridge is a little exposed so perhaps opt for lunch at a lower point) but this must be bought in Hathersage before you arrive in Edale as there are no shops in the village.

More info: https://www.visitpeakdistrict.com/food-and-drink/penny-pot-cafe-p682501

 

Points of Interest

Back Tor

Back Tor is the first Tor you summit hen you approach the ridge. It is the most imposing, with a wall of dark gritstone and a very special view from the summit on a clear day. It is also the steepest and most arduous part of the days climbing, so don't worry if you are feeling tired after it, the route does get easier.

Mam Tor

The hill is crowned by a late Bronze Age and early Iron Age univallate hill fort, and two Bronze Age bowl barrows. At the base of the Tor and nearby are four show caves: Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Peak Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern where lead, Blue John, fluorspar and other minerals were once mined. Blue John is a beautiful jewel that is found in this cave alone. 

More info: http://www.trekkingbritain.com/mamtorandthegreatridge.htm

Lords Seat

The highest point of Rushup Edge is Lord's Seat, which offers a grand view east to Mam Tor and the Castleton Ridge.

 

 

Start

Edale Train Station (238 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
SK 12343 85338
DD
53.364772, -1.815969
DMS
53°21'53.2"N 1°48'57.5"W
UTM
30U 578787 5913503
w3w 
///unfit.assume.arrival

Destination

Edale Train Station

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00m km - With your back to the train timetable next to the cafe TURN LEFT then immediately TURN RIGHT and proceed past the carpark for 50 metres where you TURN LEFT at the T Junction

1.40 km - TURN RIGHT descending signposted for Back Tor

1.60 km - BEAR RIGHT after crossing the stone bridge and begin to ascend

1.90 km - STRAIGHT ON through wooden gate ascending stony path

2.00 km - Through the wooden gate and BEAR LEFT, ignore the path to the right, follow the  signs for Back Tor

2.40 km - Pass through the wooden gate and head STRAIGHT ON signed for Back Tor

2.60 km - BEAR RIGHT ascending ith cliff face to your left

2.70 km - At top of ridge, TURN LEFT and proceed up the stone steps to the summit of Back Tor

2.90 km - Continue STRAIGHT ON joining the next path

3.50 km - Cross the gate to summit Lose Hill then BEAR RIGHT

4.10 km - Cross the gate and BEAR RIGHT for 30 metres then TURN RIGHT over the gate and BEAR RIGHT across the field

4.30 km - Pass through the gate and continue STRAIGHT ON

4.40 km - STRAIGHT ON ascending

4.90 km - Enter the woods crossing a wooden gate

5.20 km - After passing through the forest, cross the wooden gate and continue STRAIGHT ON, staying on the highest path as it ascends onto the ridge

7.50 km - Reach top of Tor, continue STRAIGHT ON

7.90 km - Pass through the gate and over the road, BEAR LEFT for 20 metres before you TURN RIGHT to cross through another wooden gate and up onto the next ridge

8.20 km - BEAR RIGHT at the fork in the path

9.60 km - Head STRAIGHT ON over two wooden gates

10.60 km - BEAR RIGHT where the path forks

11.80 km - Pass through the wooden gate

12.40 km - Pass through the wooden gate at the bottom of the ridge

12.90 km - Pass through the metal gate and TURN LEFT, following the road into Edale

14.50 km - TURN LEFT into Edale

14 70 km - TURN LEFT into the station where you began, your walk is finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
SK 12343 85338
DD
53.364772, -1.815969
DMS
53°21'53.2"N 1°48'57.5"W
UTM
30U 578787 5913503
w3w 
///unfit.assume.arrival
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Sturdy waterproof boots as the path can be slippery and wet in parts.

Walking poles for stream crossing and muddy descents if the weather is wet.


Questions and answers

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Rating

4.7
(3)
Ben Taylor
May 20, 2022 · Community
nice walk I would advise not walking the roads down in the valley 😅
Show more
When did you do this route? May 18, 2022
Greg Baum
October 30, 2019 · Community

Photos from others


Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
14.7 km
Duration
3:30 h
Ascent
597 m
Descent
597 m
Highest point
549 m
Lowest point
214 m
Out and back Scenic Geological highlights Healthy climate

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