Peak District: Wintery Losehill and Mam Tor

Mam Tor

Our final trip of 2022 was spent in England’s Peak District, a snowy and festive weekend before Christmas.

Located mostly in Derbyshire the Peak District National Park covers more than 550 square miles and popular with hikers receives about 13 million visitors a year. The highest point at 636 m is Kinder Scout.

Living a 3 hour drive away, we’ve enjoyed many weekends in the Peak District in all seasons but this was the first time Chris and I had experienced it in snow and ice!

Hope Tearoom Cafe

We left home at 5.45 am on a cold Saturday to allow 3 hours to drive to the Old Tearoom cafe in Hope where we were meeting 4 of our friends (Russell & Roza and Flo & Mike). Here we enjoyed a hearty breakfast to set us up for the day.

After breakfast we parked our cars in the public car park across the road from the cafe for a cost of £6 for the day and set off from Hope village. This was previously the starting point of the 20 mile Edale Skyline adventure we completed in June 2015.

Setting off

Derbyshire had less snow than what we had left behind in Bedfordshire however the ice was lethal. Hidden underneath what might have looked like a small innocent puddle was a mini menacing ice rink! This was the case even along the frozen muddy footpaths as we began to ascend towards Losehill.

As we climbed higher the weather turned colder but thankfully we were wrapped up in multiple layers.

Mam Tor
Heading towards Losehill
At the summit of Losehill

Losehill has an elevation of 476 m and as we approached the summit the wind accelerated and we were bombarded with hailstones!

Continuing towards Mam Tor
Stopping for a coffee and snack

Throughout the section towards Mam Tor we endured sharp tiny balls of ice blown straight into our faces by the strong wind. Just before reaching Mam Tor we decided to stop for a break and by this time it was properly snowing and thankfully much kinder on the skin!

At this point Russell & Roza made the sensible decision to attach their spikes to the bottom of their hiking boots.

At the summit of Mam Tor

Mam Tor (it’s name means ‘mother hill’) has an elevation of 517 m and visibility was low at the trig point!

The snow had provided a slightly better grip over the ice but it didn’t stop Mrs Clumsy (that would be me) from slipping over! Shortly after reaching the top of Mam Tor as we began to descend towards Castleton I tripped on an icy stone step and landed on my left hand! this wasn’t good and resulted in swelling and bruising and a redundant hand for the next few days 😦

Me negotiating the steep descent into Castleton

It took me quite a while to transition down this slope with one arm for balance! That wasn’t fun! By the time we reached Castleton it was getting dark so rather than continuing around the planned hilly route we took the icy, slippery and puddly footpath that went directly between Castleton and Hope.

Palace Hotel reception

By the time we reached the cars and after 8.5 miles of walking it was dark. Cold and wet we drove for about 25 minutes to the bright lights of Buxton where we checked into our warm and comfortable pre-booked rooms in the Palace Hotel.

Old Cheshire Cheese

At 304 m Buxton is Englands highest market town and is on the edge of the Peak District National Park. Buxton is the home of the well known Buxton spring water.

We had dinner in a cosy pub called the Cheshire Cheese where we enjoyed beer, wine and food as we sat on a large wooden table next to a log fire. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming. The service was friendly however the portions were quite small… we ended the evening in the bar back at the Palace hotel.

Cosy room in the Old Cheshire Cheese

We had planned to return home after breakfast on the Sunday and found a little gem of a cafe! With its fresh local produce, substantial portions and great service we had the best breakfast ever in The Cafe at Green Pavilion.

Another fab little adventure with our lovely friends 🙂

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