Hope Valley

As you approach Hope Valley from Fox House you come to a bend in the road between rocks called Surprise View. As you round the bend this magnificent view fills your gaze, taking the eye over Hathersage in the valley bottom, along the valley and up to the Mam Tor/Lose Hill ridge with Kinder Scout on the distant skyline.

Hope valley is broad and green and both the valley and the hills on either side make excellent walking.

The stepping stones across the Derwent near Hathersage are an essential link on some walking routes but they are only passable when the river is low. After heavy rain, or when the snow is melting off the hills, the river rises to cover the stones completely, necessitating a detour beyond Hathersage or to Bamford to find an alternative crossing.
The Lose Hill - Mam Tor ridge seen from the slopes of Win Hill

Mam Tor is known as the Shivering Mountain because of the shaley cliffs which are constantly moving. Until the late 1960s a main road route wound its way up the side of the hill but the cost of repairing the road as it was carried down the hill by the landslips meant that it was eventually abandoned. To walk or cycle the old road is a fascinating experience to see the futility of man's fight against the forces of nature!

In ancient times there was an iron age hill fort around the summit of Mam Tor and the play of light on the snow in this photograph shows the line of the fortifications very clearly.

The only route out of the head of Hope Valley now is via Winnatts Pass, a very steep, narrow road passing between high limestone cliffs. Very picturesque but it doesn't lend itself to too much motor traffic!

At the beginning of the Pass is Speedwell Cavern, visited by boat along the underground passages. Well worth seeing.