Route: Rushup Edge, Mam Tor, Hollins Cross, Barker Bank, Back Tor, Lose Hill, Losehill End, Townhead Bridge, Hope Brink, Win Hill, Twitchill Farm, Edge Farm, Aston, Hope
From: Mam Tor
Parking: Car park at Mam Tor
Start Point: Rushup Edge
Region: Peak District Dark Peak
Route length: 10.1 miles (16.2 km)
Time Taken: 04:15
Average speed: 2.4 mph
Summits: Rushup Edge (550m), Mam Tor (517m), Barker Bank (426m), Back Tor (391m), Lose Hill (476m), Win Hill (462m)
Other points of interest: Hollins Cross
After a day spent exploring Grindsbrook Clough and the southern edge of Kinder Scout, I was back in the Peak District this weekend to make the most of a sunny summer afternoon in Hope, the parallel valley to Edale. The modest ridge that separates the two valleys, the Great Ridge as it is known, would provide our walking pleasure today, as it does for thousands of visitors every year.
The Great Ridge forms a finger of high ground from Mam Tor to Lose Hill and is justifiably popular as it commands sweeping views of Edale, Hope and the surrounds of Kinder Scout and Derwent Edge. Unlike most who visit however, we were able to call on two cars to maximise our time on the ridge and save any of the slightly tedious walking down in the valley. With one waiting in Hope we shuffled the other up Winnats Pass to the National Trust car park below Mam Tor.
Though the car park is primarily used to reach Mam Tor, we set out in the opposite direction to reach an alternate starting point on Rushup Edge. Rushup Edge is a lesser visited height to the west of Mam Tor, though still reaches a height of 550m. It's an easy climb over a mile to reach the top with superb view of Edale and Edale Head as accompaniment. The very top of Rushup Edge is fenced off as it bears the remains of a round barrow, known as Lord's Seat.
|The National Trust own Rushup Edge|
|Mam Tor seen from Rushup Edge|
|Looking along Rushup Edge|
|Grindslow Knoll and Kinder Scout|
|Looking south from Rushup Edge|
|Mam Tor's summit|
Enough about Mam Tor, which was bustling with people when we left, we were bound for our trip along the Great Ridge. A path runs along the length of the ridge, and is roughly paved to prevent erosion caused by the large number of visitors - it is perhaps one of the most accessible and visited ridges in the country.
|Edale's Great Ridge|
|A well engineered path leads along the top|
|The Great Ridge and Hope Valley|
|Castleton and the Hope valley|
|Tom Hyett's Memorial|
|The path climbs Barker Bank|
|Fence and gate on Barker Bank|
|Edale from Back Tor|
|The Great Ridge|
|A cairn sits atop Back Tor|
|Toposcope atop Lose Hil|
It is wrongly thought that the name (and that of the neighbouring Win Hill) are the result of a great battle. Local legend states that Lose Hill derives its name from the Dark Age Battle Battle of Win Hill and Lose Hill which is said to have been fought there in 626 AD. The army of Prince Cwichelm and his father, Cynegils, King of Wessex, stationed on Lose Hill and probably aided by Penda, King of Mercia, advanced on the Northumbrians, who were based on nearby Win Hill.
The battle was supposedly long and fierce and, despite having superior numbers, Cynegils' forces were defeated by the Northumbrians who built a wall and rolled boulders down upon them. However exciting and bloodthirsty this may seem, there is no record of this battle occuring in any contemporary Anglo-Saxon source.
Suggested explanations for the name of Lose Hill include that it derives from the Old English "hlose", meaning pigsties, or that it may be a corruption of ‘loose’, as in ‘free land’.
|Win Hill - now lacking it's peaked top|
|Woods at Losehill End|
|Fullwood Stile Lane|
|Climbing Win Hill|
|The path along the top of Hope Brink|
|Heading for Win Hill|
|Win Hill Pike|
|Win Hill Pike|
|Some interesting rocks cap the summit|
|Panorama from Win Hill|
|Win Hill's summit|
|A trig pillar marks the top|
|Starting back to Hope|