Best Walks from Castleton and Hope in the Peak District
By Dave Roberts
on September 15, 2019 5/5 (1)
Best Walks from Castleton and Hope in the Peak District
The villages of Castleton and Hope are an excellent base for exploring the Peak District National Park as they are positioned between the gritstone Dark Peak to the north and the gentler limestone White Peak to the south. As such, there’s a wide choice of walks directly from the villages. The gem would undoubtedly be any walk up the summit of Mam Tor, one of Britain’s favourite walks. Castleton and Hope are also central for those looking for walks from Edale, such as Kinder Scout, and Ladybower Reservoir.
The village of Castleton lies at the western end of the Hope Valley and is named after Peveril Castle, which was built in 1086. Peveril Castle was built by William Peverell, who was William the Conqueror’s son. These days, it’s one of the many tourist attractions along with the numerous caverns that attract people to this beautiful Derbyshire village. As befits such a location, it’s well seved by numerous eateries and around half a dozen pubs. There’s The Castle, The George, Ye Olde Nags Head, The Bull’s Head, The Peak Hotel and the curiously named Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn. Castleton used to sit on the main trunk road between Chapel-en-le-frith and Sheffield, until the landslips on Mam Tor swept sections of the road away in the late 70s. The narrow and steep Winnatts Pass is the only road westward from Castleton these days.
Hope village is only a kilometre or so down the road, and most walks from one village can easily be modified to start from the other. Hope is slightly larger than Castleton, but less dependent on tourism, but still boasts a number of eateries and pubs in the village including The Poacher’s Arms, The Woodroffe Arms and the Old Hall Hotel as well as few further out including another Cheshire Cheese Inn.
Best Walks From Castleton and Hope
Height Gained – 500 metres , Distance – 13.5 km, Time – 4 hours
Mam Tor and the Great Ridge is without doubt the must do walk for anyone visiting the Hope Valley. While it may only be just over 500m in height, it’s one of the few ‘peaks’ in the Peak District. This route takes in the entire Great Ridge from Mam Tor to Lose Hill via Hollins Hill where paths approach from all directions. Don’t be fazed by the term ‘Great Ridge’ as it’s only 3km in length, but pure quality.
Height Gained – 289 m, Distance – 9.5 km, Time – 3 hours
No visit to Casteton without visiting Peveril Castle and the numerous caverns that make it so popular. This walk includes a walk into Cavedale and includes the caves of Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, and Peak Cavern.
Height Gained – 382 metres , Distance – 13.5 km, Time – 3-4 hours
Win Hill, along with Mam Tor and Lose Hil on the opposite side of the Hope Valley, provides the main hill walking opportunities from Castleton and Hope. This route starts from Castleton, but could easily be adjusted in order to start from Hope.
Height Gained – 550 metres , Distance –26 km, Time –8 hours
If you want a longer walk, this circuit of Win Hill is a lower level walk that should take a good day to complete. Including Edale and Ladybower Reservoir on the loop, you could add a quick dash up Win Hill if you wanted even more views.
Height Gained – 1600 metres , Distance – 63 km, Time – LOTS!
If you’re thinking that the only walks from the Hope Valley are easy rambles that barely challenge your superhuman fitness, then you’ll need to try this walk out. Including Kinder Scout, Bleaklow and Ladybower Reservoir in its 60 odd kilometres, though you’l be hard pressed to find time to enjoy any of them on this challenge walk.
Walks from Edale
Height Gained – 620 metres , Distance – 18 km, Time – 6 hours
Edale is just up the road from Hope, making it an ideal base for anyone wanting to walk up Kinder Scout. This is one of a number of options from Edale, along with the Jacob’s Ladder route which follows the Pennine Way National Trail.
Height Gained – 380 metres , Distance – 9.7 km, Time – 3 hours
While it makes more sense for those based in the Castleton area to walk up Mam Tor directly from the village, the option from Edale includes the addition of Rushup Edge. However, the best option in our opinion would be to catch the train into Edale from Hope, and follow this route and the Great Ridge back to the start.
Height Gained – 640 metres , Distance – 14 km, Time – 4. hours
An alternative and quieter route up Kinder Scout from Edale along Grindsbrook Clough. It’s one of the very few scrambles in the Peak District, and the recommended route up for those looking for a bit more of a challenge. You’ll also avoid the crowds that follow the more popular walking routes to the top.
Walks from Ladybower and the Derwent Valley – near Hope and Castleton
Height Gained – 360 metres , Distance – 13 km, Time – 3.5 hours
Win Hill can be ascended from Hope, but it’s only a short distance to Ladybower Reservoir where you can take this alternative route up. It’s well worth the climb as it provides excellent views in all directions.
Height Gained – 320 metres , Distance – 8.2 km, Time – 2.5 hours
If you’re after views, then this walk up into the Derwent Moors has plenty. There are also some interesting rock formations along teh way, such as Hurkling Stones, Wheel Stones, White Tor, Salt Cellar and the summit of Back Tor.
Height Gained – 640 metres , Distance – 15 km, Time – 5 hours
The gritstones pillars at Alport look like castles from a distance and worth visiting. The most obvious pinnacle is known as The Tower and provides a challenging grade 1 scramble in order to add some interest to the route. The ‘castles’ were formed by a landslip and is considered to be the largest of it’s kind in the UK.
Height Gained – 500 metres , Distance – 15 km, Time – 5 hours
True ‘peaks’ are rare in the Peak District with most of the good walking to be found instead on some of the populare ‘edges’. Stanage Edge, or technically Stone Edge Edge, is another must do peak district walk.
Local Information and Recommended Maps and Guidebooks