The Great Ridge and Win Hill Walk, A Challenging Peak District Hike
The Great Ridge and Win Hill walk is a tricky route designed to test even the most experienced walkers.
Settled between Lose Hill and Mam Tor, the Great Ridge is considered to be the most walked ridge in England and will provide a challenge for those who take on the route. With a steep climb to the top and some tricky terrain, we recommend arriving prepared for an adventure as this route can take between 6 and 8 hours to complete.
Let’s take a look at this walk and some of the highlights to look out for along the way.
The Great Ridge Walk, Peak District
For this route, you can start at Hope Car Park in Hope Valley. From here, you’ll easily be able to make your way to the trailhead to begin the walk.
Find your way down Edale Road, turning left onto Eccles Close. As you make your way down the street, you will quickly notice a path on your right. Follow this path up towards the farm.
This 21km route can get very muddy. Make sure you have the correct waterproof boots and are prepared for this lengthy and tricky trail before you set off.
The route is steep and after hopping over a stile and heading left and then right, you will follow the trail to the summit, picking up a path as you reach the top.
At the top, you’ll have time to admire the view of Win Hill before you head in its direction for the next section of the walk.
You will follow the trail along the ridge towards Mam Tor from this first summit. The path is clear but steep in its descent. You will follow this path for a couple of kilometres until you reach the summit.
Mam Tor, translated means “Mother Hill”, a statement of just how significant this mass is in the landscape of the Peak District. It got its name because of its historical landslides that resulted in a number of smaller, “child hills” at its base.
At the top of Mam Tor, it can be windy, so be careful on particularly breezy days.
You’ll want to leave the summit in the direction of Rushup Edge and take a sharp right down a trail just before you hit the road. Following this path, you will reach a lane that will lead you into the village of Edale.
Follow the road under the railway tracks and past the campsite, taking the path immediately after you pass it.
This part of the trail is well signposted towards Nether Booth. After following this path for a short time, you will hit a road. Take the first left onto the path to the farm. Keeping, right, follow the trail through the thick woodland until you hit Jaggers Clough.
Jaggers Clough is a real highlight for walks in the area. It’s a fairly secluded spot where you can take in the wild and brilliant narrow valley. In really wet conditions, it’s advised to try and bypass the area where you can as some routes can rely on scrambling and climbing the stream, which is especially difficult in wet conditions.
For this trail, cross the river and begin on your ascent to Hope Cross, a scenic marker and the beginning of the return back towards your starting point.
When you reach the marker, take a right and follow the path towards Win Hill.
Standing at 462m above sea level, Win Hill is by no means a small feature of the landscape.
When following this part of the trail, be sure to follow the path closely as there can be limited visibility of the summit on days when the weather is poor and it can be easy to veer off course.
When you reach the summit of Win Hill be sure to take in the sights (and take a quick breather should you need one). One of the high peaks in the area, it offers a great view of the surroundings.
When you’re ready, begin your descent from the top. Some find the terrain for the next part of the walk quite tricky although not overly difficult compared to the rest of the trail. The public pathway back towards the village is marked and easy to follow. You’ll head through a gate and continue down the path. When you reach the junction in the trail, take the obvious route to the left to head back to Hope where you began.
Tips for Tackling The Great Ridge Walk
- This trail isn’t for the faint-hearted. Covering over 21km, this walk will take even the most experienced of hikers around 6 hours to complete. For runners, around 3.5 hours is to be expected to complete the route.
- Here’s a top tip for the trail. The starting car park in Hope village only takes change, so be sure to take enough coins for a lengthy stay should you really want to enjoy the route and surrounding area.
- On this route, you will pass cafes and pubs in both Hope and Edale where you can stop off for some food and drink should you want a break on the way.
- This Great Ridge walk is not suitable for children. Both the distance and difficult terrain make it one of the more challenging routes in our Guide to the Peak District.
- For more family-friendly walks, we’d recommend trying the Wyming Brook or Padley Gorge walks that are more suitable for a family day out.