Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Great Ridge

The Great Ridge and the Edale Valley seen from Lord's Seat

The Great Ridge marks the boundary between the northern Dark Peak and the southern White Peak. Running from Mam Tor in the West to Lose Hill in the east it is the high ground separating the Edale and Castleton valleys. It is also a fantastic walk which I have done a couple of times, once in winter and once in summer.
It’s not easy to make this into a sensible loop (unless your an SAS type and wish to walk the entire Edale skyline of 20+ miles), but, there is a very convenient railway line allowing you to do a linear walk. So, park in Hope and catch the train to Edale.
From Edale you have your choice of ways up to the start of the ridge. I have stuck to the footpaths north of the railway to Barber Booth and then taken the Chapel Gate Bridleway up to Rushup Edge. The high point at Lord’s Seat makes a great lunch stop, so far proving to be quieter than the Great Ridge itself. That said when I was here last summer there were people hang-gliding by launching themselves off the ridge. Rather them than me!!

On the way to Chapel Gate
The Ridge from below Chapel Gate

View back towards Brown Knoll and Kinder

Lord's Seat and the Ridge

View from Lord's Seat

Hang glider take off

Hang glider

From here head east to Mam Tor (be aware that there is quite a cleft in the ridge where the road comes over so you have a drop down and climb back up again). Mam Tor (or Mother Hill) is also known as the shivering mountain due to landslips from the unstable shale layers. There is also evidence of occupation dating back to the Bronze Age around 1200BC. From here you can enjoy your walk along the ridge past Hollins Cross, Back Tor and up onto Lose Hill. Enjoy the views along the way.

Windswept Tree - winter

Windswept Tree - summer

View back to Rushup Edge from the ascent of Mam Tor
Mam Tor
(yes, I know the white balance is off)

The way ahead form the descent off Mam Tor

The path continues to Back Tor

Back Tor
Once on Lose Hill you can look back wistfully along the Ridge before dropping down into Hope.

View from Lose Hill

This route is 9.5 miles with 3,487 feet of ascent but can be varied. Shorten it by heading directly to Mam Tor from Edale or lengthen it by ascending the northern Kinder side of the Edale valley and looping round to Rushup Edge via Brown Knoll.


  1. I've got to say that I am really unimpressed with the video quality as it stands. I uploaded these videos directly onto blogger and it's awful.

    I will look into sharing them off flickr or opening a youtube account so you can see them in HD.

  2. Videos now via YouTube. Much better quality.

  3. Some very familiar views Alistair. I usually go walking on a Sunday, but the weather's terrible today so I'm having a look around all the hiking/walking blogs.

    1. Raining for me as well! Thanks for looking at my blog.

      The Great Ridge views are lovely - it's a great walk.