Mam Tor, Castleton Walk


Mam Tor, known as Mother Hill or Shivering mountain, is a hill 517 metres high, in the High Peak area of Derbyshire and one of the most famous walks in the Peak District.

Just under an hour and half travel time from Bradford

We parked in the Castleton National park Visitor carpark, postcode S33 8WN

Walk approx. 5.6 miles, steep climbs, great views, allow 3-4 hours. Take a map and plenty of water!

Hip2trek kids stand in Castleton village Hip2trek kids walk up steep hill with backpacks view of Wynnats pass gorge

I’ve been wanting to discover the Peak District for years having only scratched the surface visiting near Lady Bower reservoir for a little walk. Now, armed with maps and books we decided to finally tick Mam Tor off my ever-increasing list of ‘want to do’s’.

Just under an hour and half from Bradford is the village of Castleton in Derbyshire, home of Peak Caverns, the limestone gorge of Winnats pass and the start of many walks. This time we would be walking to Mam Tor – or Shivering Mountain as it is also known. If you’ve ever seen photos of this area its likely that you’ve seen the iconic landscape of the Great Ridge from Mam Tor. We’ve planned to go a few times but at standing over 517 metres high, the weather forecast up there would have had us literally shivering. This time the weather looked good on the mountain weather forecast, and at last the kids would climb their first big hill.

We parked in the National Park Car park and set off through the village and on to the open moorland. The kids were already bickering as the rain came down and we did miss the first turn off our path. Never mind, we soon realised and got to see Winnats pass and where the Peak Cavern tours start. On the way back to our last known point on the map, it was clear to see from the other direction the path we should have taken climbing high up on to the top of the moorland. It might have got the adults huffing and puffing, but as we stopped for jelly babies at the top of our climb the views were worth it.

After several stiles, missing finger posts and a few fields, we could finally see what we were walking towards. Mam Tor was in sight! If you can’t manage a big walk with steep climbs, then you can just park at the bottom of Mam Tor and walk up to the summit.

Hip2trek stood at the Mam Tor trig point Hip2trek stood with the Mam Tor trig

The rain had disappeared and was replaced with humid intermittent sunshine and we sat at the bottom for our picnic. The walk up is short and steep, and we now joined the crowds wanting a photo with the Trig point. Up until now we’d had the walk to ourselves despite the busy carpark. We took our turn for photos but didn’t get a clear shot with just us and the trig point.

View along the Great Ridgeway from Mam Tor

I did however get the views I had been so eager to see and could have stayed up there hours. I was in my element and quite giddy with the views. The kids were eager to walk on, the lure of the Great Ridge and a long run of footpath so tempting to run along. I didn’t get the best iconic photo, but Little Legs was thrilled to see the picture in the guide book was really in front of her. Having walked along the Great Ridge to Lose Hill, we then picked our way down the hillside. This path was a little trickier and we followed it on to a rocky bridleway. Emerging from the end of the bridleway I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a converted horsebox where ice creams and cold drinks were being sold. It would have been rude not to stop!

Hip2trek kid on steep rocky bridleway

Munching their lollies the kids looked back up to Mam Tor and where we had just walked down. They were so proud of themselves for walking up their first ‘mountain’! We weren’t quite back to Castleton, but it isn’t far along a tarmacked road back to the village. The village was heaving and the pubs and cafes all busy with people. We spotted an empty table outside at the back at one of the pubs, a little rest for tired legs and a thirst-quenching drink for our little walking family. Peak District I loved you. Can’t wait to go back!

Have you walked up Mam Tor? Visited the Peak District? Let me know in the comments. I would love some places to discover or to know any tips you have for visiting.

I have received no incentive to write this, but just wanted to share our adventure with you. All views are honest and my own.

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15 comments Add yours
    1. Thank you! The great thing about Mam Tor was that there is a car park at the bottom if you can’t do a big walk. Something for your 3 year old to look forward to another time maybe!

    1. It’s a fab place for walking and we’ll be going back to the area to see where else we can explore.

  1. We’ve been to Mam tor a few times. it’s definitely a popular walk but you can see why. A beautiful and iconic part of the Peak District. #adventurecalling

    1. It is such a beautiful area, I could have just stayed at the top of Mam Tor looking at the view.

  2. We stayed in the Peak District last year but I have to admit we cheated a bit with Mam Tor – it was absolutely tipping it down and visibility was bad so we parked in the car park and took a brisk 15-minute walk to the summit instead of going the scenic route. I’m sure the views from the top are lovely on a clear day though! #adventurecalling

    1. Aw what a shame about the weather! I don’t blame you for taking the shorter route, these places are beautiful but so exposed in bad weather.

  3. Me and Luke walked up Mam Tor and along the ridge a few years ago and I remember it being great (if busy!). I would love to head back and take the kids for a little adventure. It looks like you all had a great day and another one ticked off your list! Thanks for sharing with us #AdventureCalling

  4. I spent many a happy weekend camping in Edale and walked up Mam Tor from Edale and then descended into Castleton. A great walk I think you should try is from Edale up to Hollins Cross then into Castleton.

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