Iconic Peak District hill is voted one of the best to explore

Mam Tor
Mam Tor

The Peak District’s iconic Mam Tor hill has been named as one of the country’s favourite places to explore.

The Mam Tor circular walk, near Castleton, has been voted number ten in a run down of Britain’s 100 Favourite Walks.

Five other routes were also highlighted in the list, which was shown on an ITV programme of the same name earlier this month.

They included other Peak District routes, such as Kinder Scout which ranked at number 21, Dovedale to Milldale at 26, Stanage Edge at 35, The Roaches at 53, and the Nine Ladies stone circle at number 96.

The viewpoint at Mam Tor stretches north over the Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors. This circular walking route takes walkers round Mam Tor and provides some beautiful scenery.

The three mile route is dog friendly and takes around two hours to complete.

Known as the ‘shivering mountain’, the views from the top of Mam Tor are some of the best in the country and iconic in Peak District landscape.

Peak District National Park chief executive Sarah Fowler said she was delighted that so many areas of the Peak District had been recognised in the list.

She said: “We’re thrilled that Britain’s original national park had such a strong showing in this popular countdown, including a place in the top ten with the stunning Mam Tor.

“It was also great to see Kinder Scout feature strongly as this was the scene of the Mass Trespass in 1932, which earned people the right to roam the moors and ultimately led to the creation of our National Parks.

“The inclusion of the rugged and breathtaking Stanage Edge and the secluded valley of Dovedale within the top 50 really showcased the variety of landscape and walking opportunities the Peak District has to offer.

The programme also highlighted how vital it is that we continue to look after these most sought after routes, and it was particularly fitting that Mam Tor made it into the top ten.

“The Great Ridge walk – between Mam Tor and Lose Hill - is one of the routes featured in this year’s Mend our Mountains campaign led by the British Mountaineering Council.”

The top of the Mount Tor was a large Iron Age fort, and the fortifications can still be seen. However, the site was almost certainly occupied long before this.

Little is known of the actual dates of the fort or the people who either lived in it or protected it. It is the second highest such fort in Britain and could well be one of the oldest.

The trig point on the summit of the hill is placed on top of a tumulus, a mound of earth and stones over a grave, which probably dates from the Bronze Age, and a bronze axehead has also been found here.

Unfortunately the tumulus is now hard to make out because erosion has forced the National Trust, who own the hill and the nearby Winnats Pass, to pave the summit area.

The hill is named the shivering mountain as it has shifted in directions that have forced the outer walls of the hill to crumble away over the years.

The mountain is made up of shale and the East face is a dramatic and loose expanse of crumbling rock.

The area below the face is constantly on the move and each period of heavy rain undermines the loose shale and causes it to slip further down the valley.

The former A625 main road from Stockport to Sheffield once went down this way but was swept away by a landslide in 1974 and has not been rebuilt.

At the base of Mam Tor and nearby are four show caves. They are Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Peak Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern.

Paths in the Peak District were recently revealed to be among the most well-trodden in the country, according to The Ordnance Survey.

The people behind the survey analysed almost 400,000 public routes created over the past twelve months in a digital map to produce the results.

By breaking the country down into square kilometres and counting the number of routes passing through each square the league table was produced - and that sees the Edale area of the Peak District occupying six of the top ten spots.

Edale 3590 comes in second, followed by Edale Cross which comes in fourth, Edale (Jacob’s Ladder) at fifth, Edale (Mam Tor) at number eight, Edale (Hollins Cross) at number nine and finally Edale 2452 at number ten.

Edale (Upper Booth) also ranks lower down the league table at number sixteen, followed by Edale (Cold Side) which comes in at number seventeen.

Nick Giles, managing director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, says: “It may be a relatively small island we live on, but it’s crammed with variation and beauty.

“The Peak District is up there with any place in the world, and Edale, its village and valley, is a vast and stunning part of the country.

“With its easy access from Manchester and Sheffield, and it being either the start or end of the Pennine Way, depending on which way you’re walking it, it’s easy to see why it features so heavily in our league table.”

Assuming each of Edale’s routes takes an average of an hour to walk, it would take one of its 353 residents 875 days, or 2.4 years, to complete every walk. It would take the entire village 846 years to do this.