Mam Tor, above Castleton is a fabulous place to visit, photograph and walk along. Below is a guide to the area including photos, tips on how to capture them and walking directions with possible viewpoints for you to see. All the images below are available to buy as prints. Visit my Peak District Photography gallery where you can find a selection of these images or contact me directly.

If you would like more guides to locations in the Peak District you can buy my eBook, Peak District Through The Lens or use an interactive app, SNAPP Guides with 100 of my spots featured on there. Or why not join me on a workshop and let me be your guide?

Introduction:

Mam Tor, for most, is the pinnacle of photography locations in the Peak District. It boasts easy to access elevated views of the often mist-lined valleys of Edale and Hope below.

Such a popular location for photography ensures on any given day you are likely to have the company of several photographers during the early hours. If visiting later in the day for a relaxing stroll, be prepared for a motorway of human traffic. Don’t let either of these detract though and enjoy the spot. Head out on a weekday if you prefer a quieter time.

The 517m high hill is known locally as ‘The Shivering Mountain’. Due to its rock composition of shale, it is very unstable and has frequent landslips. So much so, the A625 which used to be underneath Mam Tor is now permanently closed to vehicles and is locally known the ‘The Broken Road’.

From around 1200 BC, Mam Tor also used to be an Iron Age hill fort, which is clearly evident when viewed from the neighbouring Rushup Edge, and the ramparts can be clearly seen circling the hillside.

The whole area is fantastic for both walkers and photographer’s, with far reaching views and easy access. There are classic vistas or concentrate on abstract views. One of the most notable characteristics of Mam Tor and something most chase is the beautiful mist and fog lined valleys which are a common occurance during sunrise if the conditions are ripe.

Those feeling energetic could walk the whole of the Great Ridge afterwards or the easier optionis to pop into Castleton for a well-earnedbreakfast after an early start.

A Classic - The Mam Tor Gate at sunrise in autumn with a sea of fog in the Hope Valley Below - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

Viewpoint 7 – Fog blankets and hides the villages of Castleton and Hope during an autumnal sunrise from just below the summit of Mam Tor at the famous gate. Note the conditions aren’t described as a cloud inversion which is a common mis-conception and looks completely different!

Key Information

Access Rating: 15 Minutes to the summit over a well laid flagged path. Watch out when icy as the stones become slippy. The walk can be extended along the whole ridge along generally well maintained paths.
Photo Potential: 5/5. An excellent place for photographer’s for all abilities. Fog and mist often builds in the valleys in the morning.
Map: Explorer OL1 – Dark Peak
Parking Grid Reference: SK123833
Parking GPS Coordinates:
Latitude : 53.34585
Longitude : -1.815265
Parking Postal Code: S33 8WA (Please note this is the nearest postcode and takes you to a farm in the valley below).
Car Park: Mam Nick (National Trust Pay and Display. Alternate parking on roadside lay-bys available).
Location Grid Reference: SK127836
Best Season: Autumn/Spring for fog and mist but works all year round.
Best Time of Day: Sunrise
Distance to location from Car Park: 650m
Time to Location: 15 Minutes

Accessibility

Mam Tor affords some of the best viewsin the Peak District with an ease of access for the rewards. Most of the ascent of the 517m hill is cut out by being able to drive within a 15 minutes’ walk of the summit. Most of the hill has a flagged path, although some muddy sections are found leaving the summit to head down to viewpoint 5. The location isn’t readily accessible for those in a wheelchair, however, good views from Mam Nick can also be had.

Best Time of Year & Day

The location is at its best with a thick blanket of fog or mist in the valleys below. This is typically in autumn through to early spring. Look out for cool clear nights to maximize your chances and head out for sunrise. There’s never really a bad season to go, but a sunrise is always the best time.

How to get here:

Drive from Castleton Visitor Centre, headright at the mini-roundabout for 0.4 milesthen turn left onto Winnats Pass. Follow the pass to the top and turn right, follow for another mile and Mam Nick car park is onyour right in an area of trees. There are lay- bys for free parking just before Mam Nick.

From Mam Nick car park walk upwards through the trees onto the path at the side of the road and head right. You will come to a gate letting you onto Mam Tor, follow the distinct flagged path all the way up to thesummit which will take 10 minutes to reach for most. From here you can continue onwards following the Great Ridge, taking in Back Tor, Hollins Cross and Lose Hill if you wish. You can either do the route as a linear route (easier) or drop down into Castleton or Hope to get lunch and walk back along the valley and find an alternative route. A full day out would be to head up Cave Dale and then along Winnats Pass before returning to Mam Nick Car Park.

Highlights & Sights

Viewpoint 1

Around halfway up to the summit there is a view over the exquisite ‘driving road’ leading to Edale from the Mam Nick Car Park. The road snakes and winds its way down and this elevated position offers the perfect opportunity to capture it. It is better leaving this spot until your return from the summit as the early morning light takes a while to illuminate the road. Alternatively this could be a sunset location in the summer months, try getting it right by using something such as TPE which will help you plan lining the sun up with the end of the road.

The Road from Mam Nick to Edale in the Winter with Snow from Mam Tor - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

A winters view looking down to the end of the Edale Valley near Barber and Upper Booth with some fantastic light.

Viewpoint 2

The summit offers a variety of opportunities,being original is the hard part. Explore here, thetrig point offers a good foreground interest but also heading off the summit to the cliff edge affords dramatic views to the landslip below.

Mam Tor Winter Panoramic from the landslip - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

From just below the summit you can stand at the top of the huge landslip that is clearly visible from Castleton. This winters sunrise shot was taken as a panoramic to showcase the whole scale of the area.

A cloud inversion at sunrise from the landslip on Mam Tor in Autumn - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

The summit of Mam Tor only just pokes out of the top of a cloud inversion during an autumnal sunrise.

Viewpoint 3

While at the summit don’t forget to check the view back to where you came from, it can often be easy to look at the grand views and forget what’s behind you. The flagged path back downlends itself well as a leading line looking over to Rushup Edge.

Mam Tor Flagged Path looking towards Rushup Edge - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

The flagged path provides a great leading line to Rushup Edge, a point which is higher than Mam Tor but much less visited.

Viewpoint 4

The Hope Cement Works is easily visible from Mam Tor, and considered by some an eyesore on the landscape. However, the industrial plantdoes provide many jobs for the local area. Embrace what is presented to you and portray landscape vs. man. Using a telephoto will allow you to pick out the cement works. On a misty day, the chimney may just poke out of the top.

Hope Cement Works from the summit of Mam Tor with mist in the valley - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

A panoramic crop looking down the Hope Valley and wispy mist covers it. The cement works can be seen on the right and adds a different element to an otherwise mostly natural scene.

Viewpoint 5

The lofty summit allows you to pick details out in the valley below. Often when days are misty a telephoto lens works well to concentrate on abstract details and shadows. A particularly good view is down to Winnats Pass but look for trees, drystone walls and any other details which form patterns.

Winnats Pass under a cloud inversion in autumn from Mam Tor - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

Taken on a rather special morning where cloud engulfed Winnats Pass. Taken from the summit of Mam Tor.

Mam Nick Car Park trees in fog - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

This shot was taken on a return to the car after shooting a particularly clear sunrise. A band of fog rolled in, obscuring the woodland around Mam Nick Car Park and it was an opportunity to shoot something abstract.

Mam Tor Abstract Shot - Fog flowing over snowy fields - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

Fog dances across snow covered fields beyond Winnats Pass.

Viewpoint 6

Further down from the summit as you start to descend the Great Ridge, there are superb views of the ridge itself. There is the odd rock, a flagged path and a leading fence, which all make great foreground interest. There are plenty of spaces to stand, so there’s no set composition. Explore and try and find something unique.

A winters sunrise on Mam Tor with frost and mist - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

A frosty and cold morning with small amount of mist in the Hope Valley. A stunning sunrise saw me using this old drystone wall and foreground grasses as a leading line to take you along the Great Ridge from Mam Tor.

The Great Ridge in winter at sunrise with intense light and snow from just below the summit of Mam Tor - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide.jpg

Fantastic winter conditions and light as the snow meets the lower, greener slopes on the Great Ridge. Taken during winter at sunrise.

Viewpoint 7

Once the Great Ridge starts to level out, you will come to a gated fence. This viewpoint perhaps makes the most iconic image in the Peak District. The path runs along the ridge, inviting the viewer to walk along, while on special days a thick fog will line the valley.

Hope Valley in a blanket of fog from the summit of Mam Tor in Autumn - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

Taken from the gate. An alternative view photographing the trees, drystone walls and farms below Mam Tor as fog swirled around. The cement works is just poking out in the distance.

Viewpoint 8

From the gated fence, don’t forget to look behind you to Mam Tor. It is often easy to forget what is around, but the Shivering Mountain will be cast in glorious light as the sun rises and strikes it.

The Mam Tor Gate Alternative View - Looking Back Towards Mam Tor - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

Looking back up to Mam Tor from the gate with lovely light and using the flagged path as a leading line.

Viewpoint 9:

From various places walking down from the summit of Mam Tor to the gate you are rewarded with great views along the Great Ridge. It is advisable to get a telephoto out to photograph leading lines, pick out details or photograph it under mist.

Walkers in winter on the Great Ridge from Mam Tor - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide.jpg

Winter is a great time to walk along and visit the Great Ridge. The light tends to be good all day. This shot was taken, concentrating on the walkers for scale looking to Back Tor and Lose Hill.

The Great Ridge Under a sea of Fog during an Autumn Inversion - Mam Tor Photography Location Guide

Once a cloud inversion started to burn off, the Great Ridge started to appear. I had to wait patiently for the cloud to wrap around details in the desired places.

Mist rolls over the Great Ridge.

Thank you for taking the time to read and hopefully it helps you out. For further information on the Peak District such as accommodation etc, head over to the tourist board, Visit Peak District.