Walk: Castleton and Hollins Cross, Derbyshire
An 8.5km hike from one of the Peak District's most beautiful villages to the top of Hollins Cross and Mam Tor
Enjoy a 8.5km walk from Castleton to the summits of Hollins Cross and Mam Tor in the Peak District National Park.
From Castleton – says outdoors writer Helen Moat – I cross pastures alongside the Odin Sitch stream until I meet the ‘Coffin Road’, used by mourners from Edale, who – before their own churchyard was consecrated – made the difficult journey over the ridge to the parish church at Castleton.
2. Hollins Cross
I head up the stony track to Hollins Cross, the lowest point on the Great Ridge. The burial procession would pause at this crossroads to offer prayers; I linger for the views. Eastwards, the Great Ridge dips and rises to Lose Hill, to the north, the Kinder Massif fills the skyline, while drystone walls criss-cross the flat-bottomed valley back towards Castleton.
3. Shivering Mountain
Continuing westward to Mam Tor, I drop down to the abandoned road that once took traffic across the base of the hill. Also known as the ‘Shivering Mountain’, the notorious landslip of Mam Tor was a foolish routeing for the highway. After several attempts to stabilise the road, a new route was forged through the spectacular Winnats Pass in 1979. I marvel at the cracked and broken sections of asphalt, dropping several feet in a couple of places. The road leads back to Castleton, its Blue John jewellers and cafés.
I stop by the recently renovated visitor centre for a much-needed cuppa, taking time to look at the Historical Society’s museum exhibits and interpretation boards.
Click on the map below for an interactive version of the route.
Helen is the author of Slow Travel The Peak District, Bradt and A Time of Birds, Saraband, a memoir and travelogue describing her journey across Europe to Istanbul on her sit-up-and-beg bike.