Summer Star gazing walk at Mam Tor

Walking trail

Perfect for families and anyone unfamiliar with astronomy, this summer guide will introduce you to star gazing at Mam Tor, which stands proudly at the head of the Hope Valley.

Mam Tor trig point, blue sky, landscape views


Map route for Autumn star gazing at Mam Tor walk


Mam Nick car park, grid ref: SK123832


Leave the car park at the top left hand corner and follow the surfaced path up to the edge of the road at Mam Nick. The Plough is perhaps the most easily recognised group of stars in the northern sky and is a very useful ‘skymark’. The Plough is always above the horizon and allows us to find Polaris, or the Pole Star. If you imagine The Plough as a saucepan, in summer it's tipped upside down.

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Go through the gate on the right and follow the surfaced path through the ancient ramparts of the hill fort to the summit trig point (15 mins). On the other side of Polaris if you continue your line of sight you can find a W of stars. This is the constellation of Cassiopeia.

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You are now in the centre of Mam Tor's Iron Age monument. The wide open skies here provide a wonderful spot for star gazing. Turning to look in the opposite direction, the stars in the southern sky change as the seasons change. Look out for the Summer Triangle. It is made up of the stars Deneb, Vega and Altair. Deneb is the body of Cygnus, the swan, whose cross-shape is also shown. If you’re very lucky, and get a very dark night, you might be able to see the Milky Way, our galaxy,down which Cygnus appears to fly. Why not lay a blanket on the ground and take it all in? Return via the same route.

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Mam Nick car park, grid ref: SK123832

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Summer Star gazing walk at Mam Tor


Keep to the surfaced path as there are dangerous steep drops on the edges of the hill. Strenuous ascent with steps and rough surfaces, good footwear and torches essential. The summit can be very cold so wrap up warm. Not suitable at night for young children or those with reduced mobility. Sheep may be grazing. Please be aware of trip hazards in the dark. Choose a clear night, and take binoculars and a torch to follow in Galileo Galilei's footsteps.

Summer Star gazing walk at Mam Tor

Contact us

Summer Star gazing walk at Mam Tor

How to get here

Mam Tor, Hope Valley, Derbyshire
By train

Hope and Edale are nearest train stations.

By road

From Castleton, up Winnats Pass signed Buxton and Chapel, turn right at the top then follow the road round a very sharp left hand bend.  Mam Nick car park is on the right. From the west approach from Chapel-en-le-Frith (car park on left after long straight run along Rushup Edge) or Buxton (keep left when you reach the road up from Castleton, then directions as above)

By foot

From Castleton follow the road north-west up Winnats Pass and on paths across Winnats Head Farm until you reach point 1 on the map

By bus

Service 200, Chapel-en-le-Frith to Castleton, via Winnats Pass, alight Mam Tor. Service 272, Sheffield to Castleton, then walk from village or pick up 200 bus

By bicycle

Pennine Bridleway is 2 miles (3.2km) west on the road to Chapel-en-le-Frith

Summer Star gazing walk at Mam Tor

Facilities and access

  • National Trust car park at Mam Tor (SK123833)
  • Dogs must be on a lead at all times from early March to end July