Map: Sheet OL1 Peak District - Dark Peak area
Start: Public car park, Castleton (SK149830)
Castleton nestles in the Hope Valley, between the Peak District's gritstone moorlands and the limestone plateau - this walk provides a taste of each.
Leave the car park, heading left towards the centre of the village. At the road junction, follow the main road round to the left, then continue ahead at the next corner, where the main road turns right. Walk between cottages, out of the village, passing the burial ground on your right. Follow the track in the same direction - then cross a stile and follow the clear track, diagonally up the hillside to Hollins Cross, which is marked with a circular pillar. This is the end of the steepest uphill section of the walk. From here there are splendid views in both directions: Hope valley to the south, and Edale to the north.
From Hollins Cross take the paved path leading west along the ridge. This climbs gently, and curves round to the trigpoint at the summit of Mam Tor. If you are lucky, you will be entertained by hang gliders and para gliders being launched from the hilltop.
The path drops steeply down to the road. As you descend, the route ahead is clearly visible, crossing the main road, following the field boundary past Windy Knoll, across another road, through a gate, and cutting diagonally across a field.
The path ascends gently over the shoulder of a hill, then drops down gently to meet a track. Follow the track to the left. In the distance can be seen quarry spoil heaps. About 300 yards after the track is joined by a farm track from the left, turn left on to the Limestone Way footpath. When the path forks, take the lower route, past shakeholes, and follow the dry river valley into the dramatic Cavedale. The path emerges in Castleton - follow the road to the left, past the green, then right, down to the main road. Turn left to return to the car park.
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