Peak District the Mam Tor way
On Sunday after sorting the garden and trimming the hedges, we took to the road to explore the Peak District the Mam Tor way.
Despite having lived in Manchester for over 15 years and growing up on the Wirral, I have hardly even dented the Peak District. So to put amends to that, I have decided (as it is under an hour from Manchester) that it is going to be the top of our list for hiking destination for our one day holidays. (again, I’ll come on to that at some point I promise!)
Lunch boxes? Check. Flask of tea? Check. Water? Check. Waterproofs? Check. Trouser legs? Check.
We pretty had everything we needed and off we headed to explore the Peak District the Mam Tor way. We planned to drive through Stockport as it would avoid the traffic issue that are inevitable on the way to Glossop and managed to find that we were able to enjoy a bit of an exciting countryside road trip on the way. I do love a drive through High Peak (not only so that I can regale the story of the crazy sound that comes from the Stockport Hydro! …I’m note sure Jit agrees having heard it one hundred or so times!)
After cruising around for quite a while looking for the National Trust car park, we ended up siding up in one of the bays to the side. While Jit grabbed lunch, I headed to pay for the parking. We weren’t able to pay though as every one of the pay boxes had been crow barred – much to our amusement as I trudged up and down the road trying to get rid of some money!
Checking in with our map again, we headed down to a B&B to see whether it was the car park we were after. It wasn’t, but we did spot somewhere better to park. En route we met a family from the B&B heading out for a walk, we said our ‘hellos’ and continued to the car to get back on track and to finally get around to hiking. If you dead further up the road, you will find that there is sheltered free parking which leads you straight to the walk.
We also met some SUPER cute sheep on the way back to the car – just look at their little stocky bodies and kissable lips! It was all I could do not to kiss them and hug them and… OK, I’m a bit weird!
…and off into the Peak District the Mam Tor way we went
Once parked, we found our way to the start of the route where we decided to go backwards. We headed out into the hills towards the B&B again, climbing upwards through woods, heather, gorse bushes, hopping over muddy patches back down into the valley where we once again met the same B&B family.
We greeted them and headed up towards the start of the ridge where we heard the young boys exclaiming ‘Look how far they have gone already!’ at which point we started to wonder whether we were actually ‘power hikers’ rather than your average ones… (thinking about it, many of our friends complain about even walking with us in town as we go so fast, so it could be a fact that we are both power walkers and power hikers)
Powering up the ridge we got to a crossing point where we started up to the summit. The track is flagged at this point so it is really easy to climb quickly and cover a lot of ground. You have the best views from up there too – so worth getting up that way.
While we rambled our way to the top (and after passing some ladies walking the peak drinking cans of Carlsberg!? Not what I would choose while hiking up hill in warm and windy weather, but each to their own!) we happened upon a very vocal sheep in just the right place for me to take a photo. It was definitely a poser as it maintained the position long enough for me and about five others to get some good shots – I love when you can get a great photo of an animal AND the backdrop!
We luckily had more than enough time to finish the circular, so carried on to the steps down and around the area affected by the landslips – very interesting and crazy the way that the tarmac just looked as though it melted, despite being layers and layers thick with rock and foundation.
I have to say that taking the steps down was much more comfortable for my knee that going up. I have memories of going up Cadir Idris only a few months after I stopped using my crutches and that was a bad choice!! I’ll probably be fine next time though as I’ve had time to build up and get some step training on.
As we came back to the road, we met the B&B family again, looking rather hot and bothered. We gave our greeting and heard the young girl whisper ‘they must walk really fast to get here already!’. We did realise that we had managed to cover a lot of ground in the time it took them to get around. But, I think remembering that we had the proper hiking gear on AND a lot of practice helps! I wouldn’t dream of doing something like it in a pair of Converse – but that could just be me. (health and safety Sarah)
Back at the car, we supped down another of tea before the drive home. We opted to go through Glossop for a change and surprisingly it wasn’t too bad (still queues, but miles better than a Saturday lunchtime!) After carrying around our kit, we didn’t use it – but I would certainly recommend that you’re better dong that than feeling cold or getting wet while up on a peak!
We are definitely planning a trip back because there is still so much more ground to cover and explore. We have hardly even dented it.
What is your favourite way to spend a Sunday? Have you been to the Peak District?
Here’s to dreaming of some more weekend hiking and exploring!