Living in Warwickshire, the Peak District is an ideal choice for a weekend fix of hills, and one of my favourite outings is a classic circular walk from Castleton. If I’m showing off the Peak to foreigners, or just to less outdoorsy types, this is often the route I’ll choose. Castleton and nearby Hope have plenty of accommodation and pubs, and the scenery is stunning. Beginning in Castleton, start by walking up Cave Dale it’s a little taxing, but fun hiking, with steep sided banks and the ruined Peveril Castle to distract you. At the top, bear right your goal is Mam Tor in the distance. Crossing a road, it’s a further short uphill burst to the 517m summit, where you get top of the world views.
Next is my favourite part of the walk: stay high and follow the obvious and spectacular ridge, taking in the tops of Hollins Cross and Lose Hill (this is a great ridge for a trail run too). Then it’s down, typically through some bog, either back to Castleton, or for a swift half at The Cheshire Cheese Inn in Hope. I once outstayed my welcome in its glorious beer garden. Perhaps this article will redeem me…
STAY THERE – There is lots of accommodation in both Castleton and Hope – YHA Castleton Losehill Hall is a refurbished gothic mansion, offering rooms and facilities at YHAs usual high standards.
MAPS & GUIDES – OS Explorer OL1 – The Peak District, Dark Peak Area – is the map. The walk is covered in Vertebrate Publishing’s excellent Day Walks in the Peak District guide, and if you’re staying for a second day, Kinder Scout from Edale via Jacob’s Ladder is another great hike.