Apparantly, Mam Tor is the most popular ridge walk in the peak district. I can certainly believe it. There’s a wide footpath along the top, and it’s crowded with walkers (including those walking in trainers), and paragliders and so on.
It’s a nice walk nonetheless, but certainly not somewhere to go for some isolation :-)
I would certainly suggest doing the walk in this direction, rather than clockwise – otherwise it’s quite a grind up Cave dale, and that can be pretty slippery.
Start: Castleton (SK151830)
Map: OS Explorer 1:25K OL1 Dark Peak
Head NW out of Castleton, along Hollowford road. At the conference centre (SK148853) follow the footpath NE. From here, you can follow the signposts to “Lose Hill” (SK153854). Then it’s a nice ridge walk along a real path (sometimes with fencing on either side!) to Back Tor (SK146850), Hollins Cross (SK136845) and then along Mam Tor (SK128837). Descend from Mam Tor, then either follow the footpath marked on the map here, across a field, or descend through the car park, then double back along the road for 200 m. Head SSE along the footpath, then follow the big path SE until you can turn L onto the Limestone Way (SK135813). Make sure that you stay on the path that leads to Cave Dale (it’s the main path), and then walk back to Castleton in the dale.
Me looking hardcore on Back Tor
Along to Hollins Cross
Paragliders over Mam Tor