A Mam Tor walk is an obligatory thing to do when visiting the Peak District. In this guide, I share a family-friendly walking route to Mam Tor, as well as all the essential info you’ll need before visiting.
Mam Tor, meaning “mother hill”, is up there with the most famous peaks in the Peak District. Set in the heart of the Hope Valley, just west of Castleton, it’s best to visit on a clear day when you can enjoy astonishing panoramic views from the summit.
This classic out-and-back Mam Tor walking route is not at all difficult and suitable for all the family. You’ll certainly feel the burn as you climb 150 metres to the trig point, but in terms of technicality, it’s an easy trail to manage.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about this easy peak district walk. I’ll include how to get there, where to park, and the best time to visit so you’ll be well prepared to walk Mam Tor. I’ll also provide some suggestions for those looking to up the intensity of this hike.
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Mam Tor Walk at a Glance
Time: 1-2 hours
Mam Tor Walk FAQs
Before I share my experience walking Mam Tor, let’s cover some key information to help you plan accordingly.
Getting There & Parking
Mam Tor is located in the Hope Valley area of the Peak District. It’s a mile west of Castleton, 5 miles southeast of Edale, and 2 miles south of Ladybower Reservoir. It’s also just a 30-minute drive from Sheffield.
The Mam Tor walking route starts by Blue John Cavern – another notable Castleton attraction. It then follows the road for a few minutes before branching off into the hills, where the ascent to the summit begins.
You’ll find parking for Mam Tor all along Mam Tor Road – click here for the Google Map Location. It’s free to park, and there are plenty of spaces, but keep in mind that it can get extremely busy during peak times.
Getting here by public transport is also doable. The 272 bus runs between Sheffield and Castleton, and the 200 runs from Chapel-en-le-Frith. The closest railway station to Mam Tor is in Edale.
Best Time to Visit
Mam Tor is an accessible hike providing some of the best views in the Peak District. It’s safe to say that it is a popular spot. We stayed nearby in our campervan for a few nights and saw walkers climbing Mam Tor from morning until night, so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be alone on the trail.
Of course, the weekends and during school holidays will always be the busiest. The classic Mam Tor walking route is one of few that are family-friendly in the area. When visiting during those times, it’s best to arrive as early as possible if you want to avoid the crowds.
With unobstructed panoramic views from the summit of Mam Tor, it’s also one of the best places to watch the sunrise and sunset. If you can visit during those times on a clear day, you’re in for quite the treat.
I would avoid walking Mam Tor in poor visibility. Not so much because it’s dangerous, but because this hike is all about the views. It also might not be much fun in high winds or heavy rain.
Mam Tor Walk Difficulty
As I mentioned earlier, this is one of the easier walks in the Peak District. While it’s a strenuous ascent to reach the summit, the trail is well-paved and easy to navigate. You can get to the trig point in around 30 minutes at a steady pace.
For those looking to up the intensity of their hike, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. You can continue to walk along the Great Ridge, which includes another four peaks, and you can even walk to Kinder Scout via Edale from Mam Tor.
Mam Tor Walk Map
Other Things Worth Knowing
Mam Tor Height: Mam Tor stands at a height of 517 metres.
Are Dogs Allowed at Mam Tor: The entirety of this trail is dog-friendly. Our 11-year-old Jack Russell/Chihuahua handled the route with no problems.
Is Mam Tor kid-friendly? Your kids will love this hike too! But keep a close eye on them when walking along the ridge.
Pushchair/Wheelchair Access: Unfortunately, this route is not accessible with a pushchair or wheelchair.
Footwear: Supportive footwear with a good grip is a hiking essential for this walk.
Weather: Be mindful that the weather can change quickly in the hills. Be prepared for all the seasons.
Facilities: You will find bins, shops, pubs, toilets etc. in Castleton. Other than that, there are no facilities. Bring enough food and water for your hike, and take all your rubbish home.
Map: It’s always good to have a map handy should you get lost or lose the trail. We use All Trails for this purpose.
Hiking Essential Items
Check out our Hiking Must Haves Blog for a list of hiking essentials for each and every adventure. Alternatively, here are some essential items I recommend you have in preparation for your walk:
- Sturdy worn-in hiking boots
- Twin Skin Socks
- A waterproof hiking backpack
- A refillable water bottle
- A waterproof jacket
- Life straw
- Hiking snacks
- Blister plasters
- First aid kit
- Power bank
Here are some other essentials for your adventure:
Our Experience on this Mam Tor Walk
After staying in our campervan for a few nights at the foot of the trailhead, we’d looked up numerously at the iconic Mam Tor peak. Despite the stormy weather, we’d watched hikers come and go, but we knew we wanted a clear dry day to enjoy it. Our time had come.
We set off early in the morning after watching the sunrise on Winnats Pass. It wasn’t the striking sunrise we had hoped for, but still a solid start to the day. Now we would walk up Mam Tor and continue to Kinder Scout via Edale.
The ascent begins almost immediately as you follow the trail from Mam Tor Road. It’s a wide grassy track to start with, which tends to be a favoured spot amongst the local livestock. As always, they were more concerned about our dog Ronnie than with us. Naturally, we gave them a wide birth.
A wooden gate marks the end of the grassy track, and the final few hundred metres to the summit is a series of paved rocky steps. It’s undoubtedly one of the most well-maintained trails we’ve come across in the Peak District. It made for a pleasant climb, despite the burn in the legs.
We reached the trig point in around 20 minutes. The reward for our efforts was the unbelievable panoramic views. There are various viewpoints allowing for different perspectives. It’s worth spending some time at the summit and taking it all in.
I found the view along the Great Ridge to be exceptionally breathtaking from this point. It stretches for miles into the distance, and I wish we had more time to walk all the way along it. It’s definitely on my list for next time.
Once you’re done immersing in the views, you can make your way back down the way you came. Or, if the adventure has left you thirsty for more, you can continue walking along the ridge. Either way, I hope you enjoy this iconic Peak District hike.
Enjoy This Mam Tor Walk!
I hope you enjoy this breathtaking location as much as we did. It’s one of the best Peak District viewpoints, in my opinion, and makes for a rewarding easy walk. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.