<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Derbyshire Life today click here

10 top Peak District hill climbs

PUBLISHED: 17:55 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:39 17 March 2018

Rainbow from Mam Tor Photo: Gary Wallis

Rainbow from Mam Tor Photo: Gary Wallis

as caption

Experienced walker and author of several Peak District books, Peter Naldrett selects his ten favourite hill climbs

View from The Roaches by Ken Cox View from The Roaches by Ken Cox

There’s nothing better than standing on top of a tall hill in good weather, enjoying the view and a great sense of achievement. Fortunately, we’re blessed with lots of wonderful peaks in Derbyshire – but choosing which one to climb can be a tricky decision.

Remember that every trip out into the hills needs planning for: you must make sure that you are dressed for the weather, have a pair of sturdy boots on and carry a map to follow your planned route.

Mam Tor Dawn by Jon Kidd Mam Tor Dawn by Jon Kidd

Mam Tor

Park in the car park halfway up the ‘shivering mountain’ and enjoy the short walk to the triangulation pillar on the summit, which gives amazing views of Hope Valley. While you’re in the area, make sure you pay a visit to the old road just beyond the Blue John Mine, which gives an insight into just how unstable and transitory this peak of shale and sandstone can be. It looks as if it’s been in an earthquake, but the damage was caused by landslides.

The summit of Win Hill Photo: Gary Wallis The summit of Win Hill Photo: Gary Wallis

Win Hill

Once you’re at the top of this rocky Peak District gem, you’ll get a view of Ladybower Reservoir that is reserved for those who’ve made the strenuous climb. There are various ways to get to the summit of Win Hill, and some are a lot easier than others. The most challenging is the direct route from Yorkshire Bridge, heading up the steep and slippery Parkin’s Clough. Parking is available on the roadside near the bridge, down the steep road close to the Yorkshire Bridge pub.

Kinder Scout from Upper Holt Photo: Gary Wallis Kinder Scout from Upper Holt Photo: Gary Wallis

Kinder Scout

The tallest of the Peak District hills, this is a rite of passage for Peak District hillwalkers and all those in love with the national park will attempt it at some point. There are various routes to the plateau and a choice of three different triangulation pillars marking the highest spots. For me, the best path to the top leaves from Edale, up Grindsbrook Clough to the peaty and rocky lunar landscape up there on Kinder. The train station and car park made this a popular place to walk from, giving the added advantage of being able to pop in the pub afterwards to celebrate your achievement!

Back Tor and the Great Ridge Photo: Gary Wallis Back Tor and the Great Ridge Photo: Gary Wallis

Back Tor

Set out from the car park near The Strines pub and follow the well-established track all the way across the moor to the fabulous ridge overlooking Derwent Valley. As you approach it, you’ll see the incredible tors that have been formed here over thousands of years by weathering processes, the exposure to the elements shaping these gritstone features into fabulous and mysterious shapes. Back Tor is the crown of all the tors in this area, a picture perfect collection of rocks with a trig point marking the highest point and affording fantastic views.

Black Hill, Peak District by matthewblack is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Flickr) @matthewblack Black Hill, Peak District by matthewblack is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (Flickr) @matthewblack

Black Hill

If you attempted to climb Black Hill 15 years ago, your memories may well be of a boggy nightmare, with the actual peak being practically impossible to reach. Things are different now atop this 528-metre peak, which is the highest point in West Yorkshire and positioned close to the Holme Moss transmitting station. Moors For The Future has been hard at work here, ensuring the precious peat landscape is looked after as well as laying a new path that gives easy access to the top. For the best route up, choose one of the two paths from the A635.

Thorpe Cloud Photo: Gary Wallis Thorpe Cloud Photo: Gary Wallis

Thorpe Cloud

The fossil-based rocks that make up the joyous hill known as Thorpe Cloud make this climb even more attractive. You can discover 350-million-year-old fossils right beneath your feet with minimal effort, making this a stand-out walk. The fact that you can park up in Dovedale to begin this one makes it even more sublime. Walk by the River Dove and cross over the famous stepping stones before making the climb to Thorpe Cloud – and there is a cracking ice-cream shop in the car park once you’ve earned a reward! 4

Spring On Bleaklow by Andy Hemingway Spring On Bleaklow by Andy Hemingway

Bleaklow

You’ll need a map, compass and GPS on this one, for sure. Bleaklow is indeed bleak and the weather on this barren peaty moorland can change for the worse in an instant; the last thing you want to do is get lost on Bleaklow. But on a clear, sunny day with a map and a well-planned walk, this is a real treat to explore upon. Because it’s Access Land, you can wander to find the hidden secrets that most people miss out on. These include the triangulation pillar from the 1930s marking the top spot and the 1940s’ wreckage of a plane that crashed in bad weather. The best access is from the A57 on the top of Snake Pass.

Alport Castles Photo: Gary Wallis Alport Castles Photo: Gary Wallis

Alport Castles

This is one of the Peak District’s premier attractions, but it’s a walk which is unknown to many people. Setting out from Fairholmes in the Derwent Valley, the route is steep at first but levels out and rewards you with outstanding views. And then you reach a ridge and can see the wonder of Alport Castles, thought to be the result of the largest landslide in the UK’s history. The result is a pile of debris which, from a distance, looks like a motte and bailey castle – and, because it’s near the River Alport, hence the name.

The Roaches Photo: Thinkstock/R.G.McCraight The Roaches Photo: Thinkstock/R.G.McCraight

The Roaches

This is, without a doubt, one of the most striking landscapes in the country, never mind the Peak District. Tackle this one from Roaches Gate Car Park, a mile to the west of Upper Hulme, and it’ll be a really cracking day out. There is a ridge to enjoy, magical woodland, a mini gorge and some bewildering rock formations that you can get up close to – that’s some mix for an afternoon in your walking boots. The best bit is the view, though – so save it for a clear day, when you’ll be able to look out over the Cheshire Plains and make out the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales.

Higger Tor Photo: Gary Wallis Higger Tor Photo: Gary Wallis

Higger Tor

Park up at Burbage Bridge and press on towards this magnificent hill in a world-class setting. The rocky path to the summit takes you over peaty ground, but look out for the sandy, gritty material at your feet as you walk around here. This has been eroded from the distinctive rocks in these parts and then, with the help of the wind, helps to batter the existing rocks into weird and wonderful shapes. The whole of the valley around Burbage Brook is simply beautiful and after your ascent up Higger Tor there is a lovely round walk which takes you to the other side of the river and beneath Burbage Edge. This is a place you will certainly want to return to!

More from Out & About

A selection of walks close to one of the most popular walking spots in the UK.

Read more

Spending a day in Bakewell

Friday, April 13, 2018

Ashley Franklin discovers a day just isn’t long enough when you’re planning to visit the Ancient Capital of the Peak

Read more
Bakewell

Mike Smith visits an intriguing location on the White Peak plateau

Read more
White Peak

Chatsworth reopened in March having completed a 10-year programme of restoration and conservation that sees it restored to its full glory, inside and out. Pat Ashworth reports on the opening exhibition that reveals how the work has taken place

Read more
Chatsworth

10 top Peak District hill climbs

Friday, March 16, 2018

Experienced walker and author of several Peak District books, Peter Naldrett selects his ten favourite hill climbs

Read more
Peak District

Mike Smith describes the hidden side of the village as well as the better-known settlement alongside the A623 in this picturesque area in the heart of the Peak District.

Read more

Sally Mosley invites you to listen to birds singing and watch lambs playing as you stride out on this lovely scenic walk with the joys of spring in every step. Photographs by Sally Mosley

Read more

Buxton Museum & Art Gallery’s new attraction and digital experience gathers together the museum’s collection of 1,200 Peak District artefacts, collected over 125 years, Mike Smith chooses his top seven

Read more
Buxton

Ashley Franklin stays local and finds familiarity breeds affection...

Read more

From world class eventing, a day at the races, or even a country show, horse lovers will have plenty of opportunity to enjoy themselves in the local area.

Read more
Things to do in Derbyshire

A collection of walks in and around the Staffordshire section of the Peak District National Park.

Read more
Peak District

Photographer Paul Hobson considers what to look out for as springtime approaches

Read more

A collection of walks in and around the Yorkshire section of the Peak District National Park.

Read more
Peak District

Peter Seddon explores the long-lost tradition of village ‘Lock-Ups’.

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today


Local Business Directory

Derbyshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area




Property Search