Mam Tor & Hollins Cross - 3 routes which visit Pervil Castle & show case caverns.
2¾ mi/4½ km
6½ mi/10½ km
7½ mi/12 km
1 hrs 30 mins
3 hrs 10 mins
3 hrs 40 mins
OS Explorer OL1 - The Peak District, Dark Peak Area
There are three walk options.
All three walks start in the pay and display car park at Mam Nick. Exit the car park at the northern edge. Follow the dramatic trail to the Great Ridge up to Mam Tor to be graced with impressive views to the north of the valley of Edale with the Kinder Plateau beyond. The Great Ridge goes from Mam Tor then over Hollins Cross before ending at Lose Hill.
The timings for the routes do not include time spent at the caves or the castle
The 2¾ miles (about 1 hour 30 minutes) walk goes from Mam Tor to Hollins Cross, takes in the Blue John show case cavern, then heads to Winnats Head Farm before crossing fields and back to the car park.
The 6½ miles (about 1 hour 30 m 1 hour 30 m 3 hours 10 minutes) walk goes from Mam Tor to Hollins Cross and after taking in the Blue John show case cavern continues on to the Treak Cliff Cavern, the Speedwell Cavern and Peak Cave before calling in at Pervil Castle, then along Cave Dale and Limestone Way and back to the car park.
The 7½ miles (about 1 hour 30 m 3 hours 40 minutes) walk follows the ridge from Mam Tor to Lose Hill, then on to Castleton and Pervil Castle, before following Cave Dale and Limestone Way back to the car park.
Blue John, Treak Cliff & Speedwell Caverns are three magnificant show case caverns with their large deposits of Blue John, Britain's rarest mineral, a most prized ornamental variety of Fluor-Spar (Calcium Fluoride). The mineral was first discovered at Castleton by the Romans, and is still managed today and crafted in to various trinkets.
Pervil Castle is managed by English Heritage and dates back to the 11th century. It sits prominantly on the hill overlooking the Castleton village, from the top there are breath taking views over the Hope Valley.
Peak Cave sits directly beneath the castle, it once contained houses, soot from the chimneys can still be seen on the roof of the cave. The entrance was used for rope making for hundreds of years and some of the equipment used still remains.
The 6½ & 7½ miles walks for the return leg of the routes, follow Cave Dale a dry rugged limestone steep sided ravine, the sides of which tower either side to about 170 feet high. On wet days the limestone trail can be slippery and channels water when it rains - in heavy rainfall it becomes a stream. A rearward view captures Pervil Castle nestled on its hill with Lose Hill in the distance, then picks up the Limestone Way for a short way, before turning off to follow old mining and farm tracks back to the car park. The Limestone Way is a trail that is about 45 miles long, running from Rocester in Staffordshire to Castleton in Derbyshire.
If planning on taking in some of the caverns and the castle - the outing will be longer - remember that winter has shorter daylight days. It is advisable to choose a day where the daylight is at least 8 hours long, as time can sometimes slip way. Access to the Blue John Cavern is £14.00 (in 2018). The Treak Cliff Cavern Visitor Centre is free, access to the cavern is £12.00 (in 2018). Access to the Speedwell and Peak Caverns is £11.75 (in 2018), though multi tickets for these two can be purchased. The guided tours of the caverns last about 40 minutes each.