This classic Mam Tor walk is all about the views, so aim to visit on a clear day. It’s also one of the most popular view points and family walks in the UK (and understandably so, those 360 degree views are spectacular from Mam Tor trig point), so try and get there early or late in the day to avoid the crowds. Indeed, Mam Tor is a very popular sunrise and sunset spot, and during the summer months you will often see paragliders.
Starting at the Mam Tor National Trust car park it’s a short climb to the top of Mam Tor (517m). From here, the walk leads you down to Hollins Cross, and then down through the woodlands to meet Broken Road (which is a very broken road that was abandoned due to landslides in the 1970s). Following Broken Road the walk leads you up past the entrance to Blue Johns Cavern, before returning back to the car park.
If you just want to visit Mam Tor only and don’t want to continue this Mam Tor loop walk, read – How to get to Mam Tor the quick and easy way.
If you are planning a visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds. Please also take all litter home with you, don’t bring BBQs and park your car in designated parking areas. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.
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Do check out our top tips for hiking with young kids, as well as our essential items to take on a family hike in the Peak District.
Is Mam Tor difficult to climb?
The ascent from Mam Tor National Trust car park to Mam Tor trig point is only 550 metres, although it is rather steep. But take your time, stop for the views and you’ll be fine. This section is very doable with young kids, and as it’s a short distance even toddlers may want to attempt it! Just be wary of attempting it in the winter months as the flagstones up to Mam Tor (and along The Great Ridge) get exceptionally icy and treacherous underfoot.
Continuing along this Mam Tor walk after the trig point is a very nice gradient down hill. But then the climb up Broken Road and back up to Mam Tor National Trust car park is a steady ascent again.
Can dogs go up Mam Tor?
They can indeed! Although, please keep dogs on a short lead from 1st March to 31st July to help protect the Peak District’s rare birds, and avoid disturbing nests and chicks. There is only one wooden stile on this Mam Tor walk that isn’t too steep.
Mam Tor walk map
On all Peak District family walks it’s a good idea to have an Ordnance Survey paper map with you, even if you have your phone on you. For this walk you need the OS Explorer Map OL1 (Dark Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.
Our Mam Tor walk follows the below map in a clockwise direction.
Need to know
DISTANCE OF WALK: 4.1 km
TYPE OF WALK: circular, moderately difficult with a bit of a climb
PARKING: Parking at Mam Tor National Trust Car Park. Click here for location on Google Maps, postcode is S33 8WA. This is National Trust car park and free for members. If you’re not a member, you can pay online using paybyphone. There is roadside parking available, but please only use the designated laybys and park responsibly. However, by parking at the National Trust car park, you are supporting the work that goes in to maintaining this area.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Mam Tor trig point, Hollins Cross, spectacular views, Broken Road, Blue Johns Cavern.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: With kids, allow a good 2.5 to 3 hours.
TOTAL ASCENT: 271 metres
FACILITIES: The nearest public toilets and facilities are in Castleton.
This Mam Tor walk follows the above OS Map in a clockwise direction, starting from Mam Tor National Trust Car Park.
1. Take the footpath leading out the back of the car park (opposite side to the road entrance) and follow up to meet a bend in a road. Continue up towards Mam Tor, following the footpath signs. Please stick to the flagstone footpath here to avoid footpath erosion. The distance from the car park to the Mam Tor trig point is 550 metres.
2. Once you reach Mam Tor trig point, take a moment for the views and get photo evidence of your trig bagging! Then continue along the flagstone footpath down the other side along The Great Ridge.
3. 1.35km from Mam Tor trig point, after passing through two wooden gates, you will reach Hollins Cross, as shown in the photo below. If you like, you can continue straight ahead to Lose Hill for more stunning views. Otherwise, to continue this Mam Tor walk, go through the gate on the right and follow the footpath down on the right.
4. When you reach a fork after 300metres from Hollins Cross, take the footpath on the left and continue downwards into the woodland. This footpath can get exceptionally muddy in the wet months, so take care. Then just before you reach the building on the left, take the footpath the veers right and over a wooden stile.
5. This footpath through the woods then leads you out onto a track. Take a right along the track walking past buildings on the left, to then lead out onto a bend on Broken Road.
6. Once you reach the road, continue straight ahead, through the wooden gate, to continue along Broken Road (we did say it’s very broken!), climbing steadily up hill.
7. Cross a small steam and through a wooden gate that leads you into a car park. Continue straight ahead along the road, passing the entrance to Blue John Cavern (worth a visit!)
8. 300 metres past the entrance to Blue John Cavern is a footpath on your right. Take this footpath and climb up towards the road. Then take a left and retrace your steps back to the car park. This route avoids walking along the busy road. But if you want a shorter route back with a gentler climb, walk right along the road at the T-junction, just up from the entrance to Blue John’s Cavern.
Peak District Kids is a free online resource. If you enjoyed this walk, you can show your support by buying me a coffee. Thanks so much! You may also want to share your own photos of this walk in our Peak District Kids Facebook Group.