Traditionally, the sign of a Cheshire cheese swinging in front of a pub was used to show it offered a warm welcome, and that a roaring fire, hearty meal and tankard of ale awaited within. This is certainly true of the Cheshire Cheese which lies nestled in the village of Hope in the Peak District.
This is the sort of cosy pub you long to stumble across after an invigorating day in the hills.
The road past the Cheshire Cheese Inn was a key trade route for salt sellers and sheep drovers in medieval times ©Carys Matthews
Top of Losehill
Setting out from The Cheshire Cheese, head along Edale Road until you see a footpath sign on your left for Losehill. You can either take the first stile, which offers a slightly shorter route, or carry on along the road and past the Losehill House Hotel. Continue upwards along the tree-lined footpath.
Climb Back Tor
The next section of the route climbs up to the top of Back Tor, which offers wonderful, panoramic views of the Derbyshire countryside.From here it is a short but steep descent down the path towards Hollins Cross, a good opportunity for a breather and some great photos of the landscape below.
Conquer the Shivering Mountain
Continue along the Great Ridge towards one of Castleton’s most famous landmarks, the hulking mass of Mam Tor. The hill is nicknamed the ‘Shivering Mountain’ after a number of landslips sent loose bands of shale and gritstone sliding down its sides.
The sun rises over Mam Tor in the Peak District ©Getty
Follow the stone surfaced footpath to the top of the Tor for neverending views of the Edale Valley and across to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors.
Across the Moorland
Descend Mam Tor and continue along the Rowter Bridleway, across the moorland and towards Windy Knoll. Here, you can choose to shorten your route and head down Winnats Pass, a cleft in the land that was formed after a cave system collapsed, or continue further along the Limestone Way.
The easy stone footpath to the top of Mam Tor, sometimes known as Mother Hill, rewards walkers with panoramic views of the Peaks ©Carys Matthews
Capture the castle
The dramatic ruins of Perevil Castle, an 11th-century fortification run by English Heritage, loom above the village of Castleton. Mentioned in the Doomsday survey, the castle is one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses and was built by Henry II in 1176.
Castleton is not short of charming tearooms and cafes for weary walkers. Head to the well-named Ramblers Rest for coffee and a slab of cake or to the Three Roofs Café for a traditional Derbyshire cream tea. From here, you can either take the main Castleton road back to Hope or follow a footpath past the Ramblers Rest to the Cheshire Cheese.
Find out more about the Cheshire Cheese Inn and the Peak District National Park.
Click on the map below for an interactive versions of the route.
Main image ©Carys Matthews