This circular walk starts in Castleton, following a public footpath through farmland to eventually reach the summit of Mam Tor via the eerie broken road. From the summit its all downhill back to the village via farm tracks and open fields, finally descending through the Cave Dale limestone valley.
Distance: 10.1km (6.3mi) / Elev Gain: 373m
High Point: Mam Tor - 517m
Map: OS Explorer OL1
GPS Download: Mam Tor Circular
Starting Point: Castleton Visitor Centre
Walk highlights include Castleton village, the ‘broken road’, Mam Tor and the Cave Dale limestone valley.
1. From Castleton Visitor Centre head right onto Buxton Road.
2. After approx 150 metres, look out for a signed public footpath on the right side of the road. The footpath is by a house and runs between two distinctive stone walls.
3. Follow the footpath as it curves to the left, eventually running parallel to a stream.
4. Cross a narrow farm road and continue along the footpath, crossing the bridge over the stream.
5. Continue along the footpath, heading up hill. You will eventually arrive at a point of interest, namely a horse-powered ore crusher, previously used to process lead ore.
6. Turn right onto the narrow tarmac road, and continue on as the road winds up hill.
7. The road comes to an end, go through the gate – this is now the bottom of the ‘broken road’.
8. Continue along and explore the fasinating ‘broken road’, you will eventually see another gate signalling the top of the broken road.
9. Don’t go through the gate, instead turn back on yourself and follow the path which runs uphill to the ridge line. Note – there is a steeper more direct path to the summit of Mam Tor from here, however this route takes the more gradual approach!
10. At the ridge line, turn left and follow the ‘yellow brick road’ to the summit of Mam Tor – marked by a trig point and great views.
11. Continue following the path, which now heads down hill, eventually running parallel to a road (on your right).
12. As the road begins to curve to the right, take the left fork in the path – heading straight down to the main A623 road via a field.
13. Cross the road, and head through the gate over to the left – again heading downhill via a field.
14. Cross the main A623 road again, and head through the farm gate just over to the right.
15. Follow narrow road straight for almost 1 mile.
16. Follow the path to the left, as it merges with a bridleway from the right.
17. After approx 100-150 metres, turn left over a stone stile/step (next to a farm gate) and follow the path which merges into a field and gradually descends.
18. Continue on downhill, taking the right fork and heading towards a limestone valley called Cave Dale. The path becomes steep and rocky.
19. At the bottom of Cave Dale, you will meet a road. Head left towards the small grass triangle.
20. Keep to the left of the triangle, then turn right down Castle Street.
21. You arrive back in the centre of Castleton, stop off for a brew or head left back to the visitor centre.