The Great Ridge - Mam Tor
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From the topPhoto: Jack Cunliffe, Macs Adventure
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/.
Track typesShow elevation profile
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 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.
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
The highest point of Rushup Edge is Lord's Seat, which offers a grand view east to Mam Tor and the Castleton Ridge.
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
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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