Mam Tor Hill a guide to climbing in the Peak District

Top hills to climb in the Peak District

21, Jun 2021 | Peak District, Walks

Climb every mountain….

Being outdoors and surrounded by such great scenery is one of the joys of living in Derbyshire. As restrictions relaxed one of the best things we have discovered is to get up amongst the clouds. In a different way than taking a flight!

Surprisingly although it’s called the Peak District we don’t have any mountains to climb but we do have lots of hills. Theories on how the name Peak derived cite the Pecsaetan or peaklanders, an Anglo-Saxon tribe inhabiting the central and northern parts of the area from the 6th century, when it belonged to the Anglian kingdom of Mercia.

There is nothing more exhilarating than standing on top of a hill here in the Peak District after a long climb and enjoying the breathtaking views on offer. The only problem you may find is which one to choose as we have so many! Here is a guide to some of our favourites hills to climb in the Peak District.

Picture of Mam Tor in Glendon Guest sitting room

Mam Tor

This is a steady climb if you park halfway up the “shivering mountain”. This hill offers wonderful views of the Hope Valley and is home to many of the Peak District’s caverns such as Blue John. If you are climbing this hill, make sure you visit the old road just beyond Blue John Cavern. This old road looks like it is out of an earthquake movie but was destroyed by a landslip. This is why it is called the shivering mountain. This shows you how unstable the geography is here with sandstone and shale as part of the hill’s formation. Look out for gliders and hand gliders often seen here above this famous peak.

Mam tor is used in a Chanel 4 advertising campaign and is the picture above our fireplace in our guest sitting room. 

View from Mam Tor in Peak District

Thorpe Cloud

Start your climb from the car park at Dovedale. On this trail, you are walking over 350 million years of history and if you look close enough you may discover a fossil or two under your feet. Walk along the river Dove and across the famous stepping-stones before you ascend this awe-inspiring hill. Reward yourself with an ice cream following your descent back to the starting point.

Win Hill

This is a strenuous climb but well worth a visit. You are rewarded with great views of Lady Bower reservoir. There are various paths that lead to the summit, some better underfoot than others. The most strenuous but most direct is heading up Parkin’s Clough. Parking available on the roadside. The Yorkshire Bridge Pub do good food and drink if you are looking for some refreshment after your walk.

HIgger Tor in the Peak District

Higger Tor

Your starting point here is Burbage Edge car park. You begin walking through a stunning landscape that is truly world-class. Well laid out paths can be found in this rocky landscape. Here you will find strange and wonderful rock formations carved out by the elements of wind and water. This place is one you will want to return to time and time again. Explore Padley Gorge and the Longshaw Estate whilst you visit. One of our favourite places is Surprise View.

Kinder Scout

This is the tallest of all our hills and one that most hillwalkers want to attempt. The landscape at the top of this hill may be considered a rocky lunar one. There are various ways to get to the plateau and three trig points mark the highest points. We find the best place to start is in Edale. The village pub is a good place to celebrate your achievement. Kinder Scout also has an important place in history and the subsequent opening of so many footpaths for public use, following the mass trespass.

View from Kinder Scout to Kinder Reservoir

Alport Castles

This is one of the Peak Districts hidden gems and thought to be the result of one of the UK’s largest landslips. The debris from the slip has left what looks like a castle. Your starting point is at Fairholmes in the Derwent valley, the route is steep at first but levels out with rewarding views.

Please remember, when climbing hills, you need to plan. Good walking boots are a must, wear clothes that are suitable for the weather, carry a map or guidebook, plan your route carefully and take something to eat and drink. And when the days are shorter be aware of light and having time to complete your walk safely.

If you are looking forward to being able to explore and walk again these areas are all worth a visit. It would be lovely to welcome you to Glendon if you decide to visit the Peak District.

Walking boots and backpack in Peak District

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