Mam Tor Tuesday 22nd December 2020

After my usual final pre-Christmas food shop, which meant at 6:00 am I was standing outside Sainsburys, we had a nice early start to our walk. Not only did it mean the usually busy car park in Castleton was deserted when we arrived but that we also had Cave Dale to ourselves and enjoyed the best of the weather. Regardless of the clear advantage the early start gave us I still don't intend to make a habit of starting every walk that early in the future.

Start: Castleton car park (SK 1492 8306)

Route:

Castleton car park - Cave Dale - Limestone Way - Windy Knoll - Mam Tor (TP) - Hollins Cross - Hollowford Road - Castleton car park

Distance: 5.75 miles     Ascent: 371 metres      Time Taken: 3 hrs 50 mins

Terrain: Clear paths

Weather: Sunny to start, clouding over as the day progressed.

Pub Visited: Tier 3    Ale Drunk: Banned

Route Map >>

 

Cave Dale

Entering a very wet looking Cave Dale.

Cave Dale

It was very strange to walk through Cave Dale and have it completly to ourselves.

Peveril Castle

The sun is just starting to catch the top of Peveril Castle.

Peveril Castle

After all the recent rain the rocky section of the dale is essentially a stream, by the time we reach the end of it we are ready to stop and enjoy the view back across the top of the dale to Lose Hill.

Cave Dale

Once we have stopped negotiating the wet stones we find ourselves trying to avoid equally wet and slippery mud.

Lose Hill

As the dale starts to widen we can look forward to enjoying some of the sunshine that is currently lighting up Lose Hill.

Back Tor

Back Tor comes into view as we finally have some company, although the sheep weren't keen to stop and chat.

Win Hill

Looking back to Win Hill as the Limestone Way meets up with the footpath to Peveril Castle and we meet the first walkers of the day.

Mam Tor

We reach the point at which we will stop following the Limestone Way and we can look across Rowter Farm to Mam Tor, where we are heading next.

Rushup Edge

As we walk along the track passing Rowter Farm we can enjoy the view across to Rushup Edge.

Mam Tor

Mam Tor is also in view and we can't help noticing that after a very quiet start to our walk we are about to find ourselves in amongst the crowds.

Back Tor

As ever Back Tor and Lose Hill look much quieter.

Windy Knoll

As we make our way up towards the summit of Mam Tor the number of cars parked around Windy Knoll are a clue as to why the number of people we are meeting has risen so rapidly.

Mam Tor

Judging by the crowds ahead of us plenty of people are enjoying the school holidays and their time on furlough.

Rushup Edge

Stepping off the path for a bit we enjoy the view along Rushup Edge to Lord's Seat.

Grindslow Knoll

Looking across the Vale of Edale to Grindslow Knoll it is obvious the blue skies are going to be disappearing given the low cloud that is now hugging the top of Kinder.

Mam Tor

A briefly empty summit gives me a chance to take a shot of the trig on the summit of Mam Tor. Now we are on the summit it is time to get my hat on, there has been a noticable change in the walking conditions from those we enjoyed when we set out.

Great Ridge

Looking along the Great Ridge to Lose Hill and beyond as we start to drop off the summit of Mam Tor.

Vale of Edale

The conditions across the Vale of Edale are constantly changing as now the edge of Kinder is free from cloud.

Rushup Edge

Instead Lord's Seat, the highest point on Rushup Edge, is now disappearing into the cloud.

Abney Moor

On the other side of the ridge Abney Moor can be seen across the Hope Valley.

Mam Tor

Looking back at Mam Tor it appears it is time to stop admiring the view and move on before we are joined by the family coming down the path.

Barker Bank

Trying to maintain some semblance of social distancing requires careful timing, if we arent to find ourselves walking on top of people.

Hollins Cross

At Hollins Cross we leave the ridge and take the path downhill, through the gate hidden by the memorial to Tom Hyett.

Hope Valley

Judging by the numbers coming up this normally quiet path the car park in Castleton might not be as empty as it was when we arrived there.

Mam Tor

Descending via this path gives one of the best views of the effects of the landslips that closed the road below Mam Tor.

Winnats Pass

Winnats Pass from the path down to Hollowford Road.

Mam Plantation

Looking back up the path to Hollins Cross.

Peveril Castle

Having set off so early and with the ridge being so busy we hadn't yet had lunch. Just as we reached the road we saw a bench so rather than have lunch in the car we quickly occupied the bench and enjoyed lunch with a view across the fields to Castleton and Peveril Castle.

Mam Tor

A final look back at Mam Tor as we depart our lunch spot and head for the car.

Little did we know that our plans to let everyone get out over Christmas and then return to walking ourselves once the schools were back would be scuppered by yet another lockdown. Hopefully 2021 will see a lot more walking on moors and fells than 2020 did.

 

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