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Rural Ramble 1: Edale to Castleton Circular
Distance: 9.5 miles Duration: 5 to 6 hours Price: 10.00 per person
(Special family/group rates available - see below)

View along the "Great Ridge" from Mam Tor
(© Rachel Docherty)
This family-friendly circular walk is a true Peak District classic, taking in some of the most famous hills and views in Derbyshire.

The walk begins in the village of Edale, and quickly ascends to Hollin's Cross on the famous "Great Ridge" that separates the Vale of Edale from the Hope Valley. Following the well-trodden footpath along the top of the ridge, the walk offers fine views across the Hope Valley on one side, and towards Kinder Scout on the other. From the end of the ridge at Lose Hill, it descends into the Hope Valley to pass through the village of Castleton, world-famous as the home of the unique Blue John stone. Leaving Castleton via a little-used and quiet footpath, the walk passes two of the Blue John mines before ascending one of the most famous closed roads in the UK. It then rejoins the "Great Ridge" at the ancient hill fort of Mam Tor to follow the ridge-top footpath back to Hollin's Cross before descending to finish back in the village of Edale.

In 2018, a survey of thousands of walkers by the Ordnance Survey and The Ramblers for the TV programme Britain's Favourite Walks: Top 100 rated the walk along the "Great Ridge" as the tenth most popular walk in the whole of the UK.

This walk is easily accessible by train from Sheffield and Manchester, and by changing trains at Sheffield can also be easily accessed from Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham and elsewhere. The start and end point of the walk is also adjacent to the main car park in Edale.

While it does involve a total of 2,800 feet of ascent, this is still a very family-friendly walk. However, due to the exposed nature of the terrain on the "Great Ridge", the sometimes changeable weather and the significant erosion of some of the paths, you will need warm and waterproof clothing and a good pair of walking boots.

Distance: 9.5 miles.
Duration (approx): 5 to 6 hours.
Start point: Edale Car Park,
Start time: 10:30am.
End point: Edale Car Park,
Dates available: March 9th, 24th.
April 13th, 27th.
May 12th, 25th.
June onwards, dates TBC.

Private bookings via a Personal Walking Guide are available now for any date from March 1st to November 30th 2019 - see here for details.

When is this walk available?

This walk is available as a scheduled walk each month between the beginning of March and the end of November. It may also be booked privately on a date of your choice by booking a Personal Walking Guide, or any scheduled walk may be upgraded to a private booking (subject to conditions - see below).

We can accept private bookings via a Personal Walking Guide for this walk on most Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays and some Sundays. It is also available on most Bank Holidays. If you make a private booking for this walk, either upgrading a scheduled walk to a private one, or booking a Personal Walking Guide, you can also request a different start time if desired. While we cannot guarantee this time, we will make every effort to accommodate your request.

Please note that, for bookings in late November and early March especially, there is the possibility that the walk may take place in snow or icy conditions. This can make conditions highly dangerous on top of the "Great Ridge", or make access to the start and finish point of the walk difficult as the roads are easily blocked by snow. If we believe the conditions to be potentially hazardous, we will attempt to notify you at least 24 hours in advance to give you the option of cancelling or rescheduling your booking.


The following prices apply for this walk:

Ticket Price Deposit
(Included in overall price)
Private Upgrade Cost
Adult or Child aged 16 and over
(Up to 8 people in group)
10.00 per person 2.50 per person 10.00 per group
Adult or Child aged 16 and over
(9 or more people in group)
8.00 per person 2.00 per person
Family Ticket - 1 adult plus up to 3 children
(aged 15 and below)
25.00 per ticket 6.25 per ticket
Family Ticket - 2 adults plus up to 3 children
(aged 15 and below)
32.00 per ticket 8.00 per ticket
Personal Walking Guide
(group of up to 10 people)
100.00 per group 15.00 per group N/A
Personal Walking Guide
(group of 11 to 20 people)
150.00 per group 22.50 per group

For more information on how to book places on this walk, and on private upgrades and private group bookings via a Personal Walking Guide, please see here. If you have any questions about the cost of this walk, please contact us via email at

Travel to and from the walk.

This walk is easily accessible from both Sheffield and Manchester via public transport. As both of these cities have good connections to the surrounding area, it can also be accessed from many other towns and cities including Derby, Nottingham, Buxton, Chesterfield and Matlock. It can also be accessed by car, although parking can be an issue in Edale on busy days. Full details of how to get to and from the walk will be included in the walk information sheet you will be sent along with your booking confirmation, but detailed information on the various public transport options is also available on our travel information page, which we try to keep as up to date as possible.

By far the easiest way to get to this walk, and the method we recommend in most cases, is by train. Edale is situated on the "Hope Valley Line", which runs between Sheffield and Manchester. Trains to Edale run hourly at weekends, and every two hours on weekdays, and the station at Edale is located just a couple of minutes walk from the start and end point of the walk.

The recommended service from Sheffield to Edale departs from Sheffield at 9:14am and arrives at Edale at 9:48am, giving you around half an hour to explore the village before the start of the walk. From Manchester, the recommended service to Edale for a Saturday walk departs from Manchester Piccadilly at 8:49am on weekdays and Saturdays, and 9:22am on Sundays. Journey time from Manchester to Edale is approximately 45 minutes. At the end of the walk, trains depart from Edale to Sheffield hourly at approximately 30 minutes past each hour (plus or minus a few minutes). Trains back to Manchester depart from Edale at approximately 13 minutes to each hour. Exact train times will be included in the walk information sheet.

There are no scheduled bus services to and from Edale, and it is not covered by any demand-responsive "dial-a-bus" services.

While it is possible to drive to Edale, parking is quite limited and very popular. This means that it can be difficult to find a parking space unless you are prepared to arrive early. Edale has one main pay-and-display car park by the entrance to the village, plus a much smaller 20-space pay-and-display car park at Edale Station. While it is possible to drive into Edale from the west, this is not really recommended as the road is definitely not suited to modern traffic. It is therefore much better to approach the village from the east, via the nearby village of Hope, as the roads along this route are much better.

Edale is within the areas covered by both the Derbyshire Wayfarer and Greater Manchester Wayfarer day rover tickets. Both may be used on any train services to and from the village at weekends and on Bank Holidays, and the Derbyshire Wayfarer may also be used on the 9:14am train from Sheffield to Edale on weekdays as well. As the Greater Manchester Wayfarer is not valid on weekday trains until 9:30am, it is not possible to use this on the 8:49am weekday train to Edale.

Is there anything special I need to bring?

Given the nature of this walk, and the fact that some short sections of the route can be quite muddy if the weather has been wet, a good pair of walking boots is essential. The weather around Edale and Castleton can be quite variable and there is little shelter along much of the route, so it is important to also have a good set of waterproof clothing, just in case. As the walk takes place in all weathers, and the section along the "Great Ridge" is very exposed, you may need warm clothing too - even on an otherwise warm and sunny day, the winds on the top of the ridge can be surprisingly cold. It is also recommended that you bring sufficient food and water with you as there are few opportunities to purchase either along the route of the walk, apart from a couple of small shops in Castleton.

Are there any disabled access issues?

Unfortunately, this walk is not suitable for wheelchairs due to the terrain involved. Those with other mobility issues may also find difficulty with sections of the route where the ground is very rocky and uneven. For this reason, this walk is not recommended for those with mobility issues.

Is this walk suitable for dogs?

Yes, this walk is suitable for dogs. However, we do ask that you keep your dog under close control at all times. This is especially important on the sections of the walk that pass through fields where there may be livestock present. If you wish to bring your dog with you, please notify us beforehand.


Scheduled Walks

You can book and pay for places on all of our scheduled walks online via PayPal. Other payment options are available on request - Please e-mail us for details if required.

The cost of this walk is 10.00 per person, including a 2.50 per person non-refundable deposit. The normal maximum group size for this walk is 8 people, but we can accommodate groups of up to 20 people if required, and offer a discounted rate of 8.00 per person for larger groups of 9 or more. For bookings of more than 8 people, please e-mail us with details of your booking and we will send you a PayPal invoice or arrange other payment options as required.

We also have discounted family tickets available for this walk. These cost 25.00 for one adult and up to three children aged up to 15 years old, or 32.00 for two adults and up to three children aged up to 15 years old. These family tickets can be booked via PayPal below. Other discounted family rates can be quoted on request - please e-mail us for details. All family tickets include a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Bookings

If you wish to have the exclusive services of your guide, you may upgrade any scheduled walk to a private booking. Not only does this guarantee you the exclusive services of your guide, but it allows you to walk at your own pace without having to worry about others, and the walk may also be varied within reason to suit your own personal interests or abilities. Please note that we cannot upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking if we have already received other bookings for that walk.

The cost of upgrading a scheduled walk to a private booking is the same as for a scheduled walk, plus a private booking fee of 10.00 per group. For private group bookings of 9 or more, we offer a discounted rate of 8.00 per person, including a 2.00 per person non-refundable deposit, plus the 10.00 per group private booking fee. Please e-mail us for more information if you would like to upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking.

Personal Walking Guides

You can also make a private booking for this walk on dates other than those on which it is normally scheduled by booking a Personal Walking Guide. This allows you to do the walk when you want to, not when we have it scheduled. We have Personal Walking Gudes available most days, except for those listed as either "unavailable" or "unavailable for private bookings" on the calendar here. Please see the table below for the days of the week on which we are able to offer Personal Walking Guide bookings for this walk.

Personal Walking Guide Availability - Edale to Castleton Circular
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Bank Holidays
Most* No No No Most* Most* Most* Most*
* = Please contact us for details of availability

The cost of a Personal Walking Guide for this walk is 100.00 per group (150.00 for groups of 11 to 20 people). Please note that we cannot take a Personal Walking Guide booking for this walk on the same date as we are also running it as a scheduled walk. Please e-mail us for more information if you would like to make a Personal Walking Guide booking for this walk.

Bookings can be made at any time up to 48 hours before the intended date of your walk (72 hours for Personal Walking Guides), but the earlier you book, the more chance you have of getting the date you would like. We regret that we cannot accept bookings made less than 48 hours prior to the planned start time of the walk.

Please ensure before booking that you have read and agree to our terms and conditions.

Latest booking news

  • Bookings are open for all dates listed, and close at 1:00pm two days prior to the date of the walks.
  • We are now accepting Personal Walking Guide bookings for this walk. Personal Walking Guide bookings may be made for most Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, plus some Sundays between March 1st and November 23rd 2019.
How to book

To book a scheduled walk, simply select the number of places and desired start time from the drop-down lists, enter the date you would like to book, and confirm that you accept the terms and conditions. If you have a credit or debit card, you don't even need a PayPal account in order to make your booking.

Once we have received your booking, we will e-mail your booking confirmation and other information you will need to the address you gave during the booking process. In order to allow sufficient time for us to process your booking, please book at least two days ahead of the date of the walk you wish to book.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please contact us via e-mail with details of the walk you would like to book and we will send you the necessary information. As booking in this way takes much longer than booking online, please book at least two weeks before the date of the walk to allow for postage times.

Private bookings

If you would like to upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking or book a Personal Walking Guide for this walk, please contact us to see if this is possible. You can find more information on private group bookings here, and information on Personal Walking Guides here.

Book a place on this walk

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If you encounter any problems with your booking, or have any questions about this walk, please e-mail us.


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