Castleton, Derbyshire – 2nd June 2024

Strenuous Leader :  John                               Distance : 11 miles  

We will turn left out of the car park and once leaving the road will climb up Cave Dale and on the Limestone Way head for Oxlow House and Windy Knoll.  We will then start the climb to Mam Tor heading across the top to Hollins Cross and Lose Hill.  If the weather is with us there will be some great views.

We start our return to Castleton, via the village of Hope, on good paths in the expectation we can get back in time for some grog.

Moderate Leader:  Pamela                             Distance : 8 miles

As the strenuous group start so will we head up Cave Dale and pick up the Limestone Way for a short time before heading past one of the many disused mine and quarry workings to Windy Knoll.  We will make our way from Little Mam Tor on undulating paths to Only Grange Farm where we will turn towards the village and a couple of miles later we will be back in the car park and ready to hunt down something cold or hot depending on your choices.

Easy Leader:  Jackie                                     Distance: 4.5 miles

From the coach park we head off along Hollowford Road (lane), turning off onto a good track past Losehill Hall reaching Spring House Farm Cottages.  Then via good footpaths to reach the village of Hope.  After a short break here (toilets) we return to Castleton through fields and then along Peakshole Water.

Well marked paths throughout, numerous stiles of various kinds.  First part gradually uphill then descent into Hope.  Lovely views all the way.


Castleton is regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in the Peak District surrounded by superb walking countryside, and with plenty of watering holes and outdoor shops to cater for walkers’ needs.

First recorded in 1196, Castleton is essentially a medieval mining town. Unlike most mining towns, it was planned, rather than being built by random extensions. Set out under the castle, it ceased to prosper when the castle lost its importance in the fourteenth century. The castle named Peveril Castle dates from the 11th century and was built by William Peveril, William the Conqueror’s local bailiff. The rectangular keep is late Norman of about 1175. A dry ditch isolates the castle yard, which occupies nearly the whole of the summit, from the rest of the hill. By the seventeenth century the castle was in ruins.

Castleton is famed for its show caves: Speedwell Mine is at the foot of Winnats Pass. Treak Cliff Cavern is the biggest, and along with Blue John Cave produces the beautiful Blue John, a blue and yellow coloured semi-precious stone which is used in the manufacture of ornaments and jewellery which are on sale in the shops. Peak cavern was used for rope making.

Mam Tor is composed of alternate layers of sandstone and shale, exposed in the great precipice. This is a highly unstable combination which has given rise to Mam Tor’s other name, the Shivering Mountain. The summit is ringed by the massive ramparts of an Iron Age fort, cut into by the continually slipping cliff. A packhorse track skirts the north face of Mam Tor and then follows the ridge to Hollins Cross and down to Hope on the southern slopes of Lose Hill. Until 1633, when a chapel was built at Edale, funeral processions had to climb the ridge for burial at Hope.

Limestone and shale are the essential components of cement and so Hope Cement Works, constructed in 1933, is strategically placed at the geological junction of the two. A branch line joins the works to the main railway line over concrete bridges which are quite out of character with the area. The quarry is gradually devouring the limestone to the south and, although providing much needed local employment, is quite a blot on the landscape.