Walks Near Manchester: Castleton's Shivering Mountain

A nice six-mile rolling hill walk - perfect for a Sunday.

By Alex Watson | Last updated 27 July 2022

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Anybody else taken up walking on the weekends like their life depends on it?

Living in the city centre comes with about a million perks, the only one teeny tiny downside though is the lack of green space in the city.

But with the peaks less than an hour away, it’s nice and easy to get out into the open air, and up a big bloody mountain or massive trail. Even better if you’ve got yourself a dog, or a hangover. Or both.

Recently we headed to Castleton which is home to plenty of walks and some incredible views. For this walk, ‘Shivering Mountain‘, you go along the best ridge walks in the area for a hefty six-miles.

You are completely in the sticks for this walk so make sure you’ve got all the water, crisps, sandwiches and flask full of ‘Grandpa’s Medicine’ you could possibly need.

Kick-off from the centre of Castleton where you can park on the road for around two hours, in the all-day car park for £5 or the Visitor’s Centre car park. The latter only excepts coins though – just so you know!

Turn left out of the Visitor’s Centre and take the first right past the Castle Hotel pub then take the first right to head down a small lane. Pass The George and take a right at the bottom and past The Castleton Fish & Chip Shop (definitely get your tea here on the way back!).

Follow the road around until it becomes a stone path that heads along the bottom of a hillside field until you reach the main road again.

Cross here and head over the stile or through the gate. Follow the path all the way up to Treak Cliff Cavern and continue on until you end up at Blue John Cavern.

To the right of this is the road that has fallen down, if you’ve got the time and the energy, I’d head down and have a look it’s a pretty cool apocalyptic view!

Then, that massive hill that’s in front of you that looks really daunting and tiring – go up it! You need to go through the gate behind the cavern entrance and continue through these fields, crossing around three gates and one road before the final gate where you will veer right towards a steep hill.

Once you reach the top of the steep hill, cross the road and head through the gate on your right and up the stairs to the summit of Mam Tor.

Mam Tor // Credit: Rob Bendall

Meaning “Mother Hill”, the hill is one of the most famous walks in the Peak District, and got this name from the frequent landslips on its eastern face – which have resulted in a load of ‘mini-hills’ over the years.

These landslips, caused by unstable lower layers of shale, also give the hill its alternative name of ‘Shivering Mountain’.

From here you follow an obvious path along the ridge of the rolling hills. Pretty much head along the obvious path reaching the peak of Back Tor and then Lose Hill Pike where you’ll get all your best views.

Bear right down the stone path of the hill, cross a field and then head left down the hill following the old brick wall that has half fallen down.

The path will veer to the right down a steep hill after a group of trees. Cross the stile and bear right joining a stone lane that will become a surface lane and head down into Castleton towards Spring House Farm.

Once you reach Spring House Farm, turn left at the stable block and pass through two small gates. Cross several fields until you reach a footpath for Mam Tor via Lose Hill. Follow the sign for Hope until you reach some small buildings, head through the gate and continue straight down the narrow paths.

We had a pit-stop just before here for lunch away from the crowds at the top. Recommend taking a bottle of Prosecco. It’s always a good idea.

You’ll head through a tiny stile, then a cross stile before hopping over the railway. Continue across around five fields and gates. Once you reach the road, immediately turn left then right at the T junction.

Once you meet the main road, turn right for a few metres then turn left. Turn right at the signposted footpath, cross a stile and continue along the obvious path through a good few fields with the river on your right.

These fields (picture up) will give you a good view of where you’ve just walked (along the three hills in the background) so you can feel dead proud and that.

Eventually, you will be on a track that takes you back to the main road in Castleton. Enjoy!