Peak District mountains and hills: The highest points to hike

The Peak District is a national hotspot for breathtaking natural landscapes expanding into the horizon. If you’re looking for a rewarding hike, well, look no further. We’re here to share the best mountains with the highest points where you feel on top of the world. But first…

Does the Peak District have mountains?

There’s no definitive difference between a mountain and hill so the Peak District national park could technically be home to many mountains. But hills tend to be less steep and not as high, which is a more apt description of peaks in this region. Think rolling hills surrounding picturesque villages and valleys rather than jagged spires ascending into the clouds.

For reference, Ben Nevis is 1345 metres and Snowdon is 1085m. Both are the highest mountains in the UK and around twice the size of the Peak District’s highest point but still tiny next to the goliath 8849m Mount Everest.

The Highest Points in the Peak District

Hills in the Peak District are ideal for walkers and hikers. While challenging cliffs, edges and boulders are available for climbing, the highest peaks mostly consist of foot trails in the Hope Valley region with stunning views across the summits. Prior fitness training shouldn’t be necessary for the average person but these journeys usually take 2-5 hours to complete so hiking sticks, walking boots, water, and rest breaks go a long way.

Kinder Scout

Kinder Scout summit

Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District. The summit, marked by a pile of stones, has an elevation of 636m or 2088ft, making it the closest thing to a mountain! The climb is rugged but well grounded for people and their furry companions to traverse. At the top you’ll arrive at the perfect picnic destination with sweeping views of Kinder reservoir and beyond. If you’re in it for the long hike, Kinder Scout boasts one of the best circular walks from Edale village so you can easily arrive on the train via Manchester or Sheffield ready for a full day of action. And if staying overnight, you’ll be well situated to head for Mam Tor the following day, which is another famous beauty spot that made this list. You can even do both at once but it’s quite an exhausting 11 miles when you’re not an experienced hiker.

Mam Tor

Mam Tor summit

Mam Tor is known as The Shivering Mountain. It’s the third highest peak at a 517m (1696 ft) elevation but, despite the intimidating name, it’s a relatively easy trek with a summit that can be reached in just over an hour. The progressive slide makes it more of a hill and the best choice for beginner hikers. This is also one of the most famous routes in the Peak District that captures those Instagrammable moments. When you open the gate at the top of Mam Tor, the stones are paved like a stairway to heaven. When catching the sunrise and surrounded by clouds the experience is borderline spiritual. The hill is packed with character including cobbled steps, mysterious stone formations, engraved symbols and roaming animals. Head to the nearby village of Castleton and you’ll quickly discover why this is a special place to visit. Rich with history, you can add Peveril castle and various caves to your adventure such as Blue Johns, Treak Cliff and Speedwell cavern.  From Castleton, venture up Winnats pass for an epic steep start to your climb. Just note that Mam Tor is busier than the other hills on this list.

Lose Hill and Win Hill

Win Hill summit

Lose hill is the fourth highest point in the peak district at 473m (1562 ft). It follows on 2 miles from Mam Tor so the landscape is familiar to the point where you may as well cover both peaks at once. We recommend going 3 miles further towards Bamford and exploring the similar sized Win hill with a summit of 463m (1516 ft). This hike is an exciting change of pace. It has much more natural diversity and the trail is rough around the edges, like you’re venturing out into the wilderness. On the way up you can discover waterfall streams, beautiful woodlands with hill banks exposing giant tree roots. As you emerge into the grasslands there’s a feeling of liberation seeing how far you’ve progressed. It’s common to find eroded rocks with naturally formed pools of water, stone walls and wandering sheep. From the summit, you can spot amazing views of woodlands and Ladybower reservoir bridge. In mid July heather starts to bloom, which turns the landscape into a purple paradise. Autumn is just as magical when the trees change the scene into a vibrant palette of warm yellows, reds and oranges.

For longer hikes, make your way to Derwent Edge, which is actually the second highest point in the Peak District at 538m (1765 ft) but too far out for many visitors to embark on.

Stanage Edge

Stanage Edge

Stanage Edge is one of the best high peaks for climbers. Situated north of Hathersage, the summit reaches 458m (1503 ft) and boasts a long formation of rock cliffs that overlook the dark peak moorlands. Organised groups are often seen scaling and abseiling so this is your chance at a vertical climb. Along the walk there’s abandoned millstones and it’s gritty appeal is particularly obvious in Autumn. Not too far away is Robin Hood’s cave and Burbage bridge for easier rock climbing and open stream walks. In the other direction, you can make your way to Bamford Edge to stay in the heart of the Peak District.

Higger Tor

Higger Tor

Higger tor feels much flatter than other high points because travelling there is a gradual uphill journey from the Peak District. Any nearby carpark is already towards the top. Still, at a 434m elevation it’s well worth a visit. It’s ideal for both walkers and climbers with a good mix of boulders and dramatic dark peak moorlands. It’s suitable for most people as the top is pretty flat and can be completed in an hour. A beautiful place to watch the world go by looking over distant windy roads and Hathersage. This is a great place to start or end because it’s quite a big village with nice cafes, a bar restaurant, outdoor gear shops, and a hotel to stay. Once you reach Higger you can then look back at how far you’ve come. Pair the route up with Carl Wark and you’ll experience a unique hike that you only find approaching the Sheffield region.