Cressbrook Peak District Information Website - accommodation, holiday cottages, attractions, towns villages, walking climbing cycling

Winnats Pass, Castleton, is a collapsed limestone cavern

The Peak District covers much of Derbyshire and parts of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Yorkshire. There are numerous interesting towns such as Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton, Leek, Matlock and Wirksworth, plus many enchanting villages

Winnats Pass

opportunities for exercisespectacular scenery

Winnats Pass
Winnats Pass
Winnats Pass, Castleton, is a long collapsed limestone cave system. The name Winnats is short for 'Windygates' and on a windy day you will see why it came by that name, for the wind seems to swirl around everywhere.

The 'pass' part of the name is something of a misnomer - Winnats is a steep-sided limestone valley with cliffs on all sides, which climbs out of the Hope Valley onto the limestone plateau area above. The valley was created by the action of water eating away at the limestone rock - water gradually dissolves the limestone and the streams tend to find their way underground by gradually enlarging the natural cracks and fissures in the rock.

View of Winnats Pass
View of Winnats Pass
There are numerous underground stream systems in this area and one of these created a large cave system beneath the edge of the cliff overlooking Castleton. Eventually the rock underground was worn away until the whole cave system collapsed, leaving the steep-sided valley you can see now.

The sides of the valley contain a number of known pot-holes and Speedwell Cavern (one of the area's many show caves) has its entrance at the foot of Winnats Pass.

There are numerous footpaths around Winnats Pass and a short walk up the pass and down by another route is recommended.

Winnats Pass
0 - Winnats Pass
Winnats Pass view
1 - Winnats Pass view
Winnats Pass from Mam Tor
2 - Winnats Pass from Mam Tor
Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: SK136826 Click here for Google Maps

See location on

How to get there

By Road:
from the A6 Manchester-Buxton road at Chapel-en-le-Frith branch off on the minor road (formerly A625) to Mam Tor. Either park there and walk down or take the steep narrow road down Winnats Pass to reach Castleton. From the A6 at Bakewell take the B6001 to Calver and Grindleford, then fork left to follow the River Derwent to Hathersage, where you turn left again and follow the A6187 to Castleton. Winnats Pass is through the other side of the village and a short walk is necessary. From Shefffield, take the A621 to Fox House, continue to Hathersage and then pick up the A6187 as above.

By Bus: the 200 bus from Chapel-en-le-Frith goes to Castleton via the Winnats Pass. From Sheffield take the 272 bus to Castleton and walk from the village. From Bakewell, take the 173 bus to Tideswell or Litton and there pick up the 174 Baslow-Castleton bus.
When is it open?

National Trust access land. No restrictions.

All material © Cressbrook Multimedia 1997-2017