10 More Ethels

Published 2 October 2022

View of the Peak District from Win Hill
What a view from Win Hill

As I recently explained, I have now walked up twenty Ethels. You can read my original post explaining what Ethels are, and the first ten of the twenty I’ve visited so far. But if you’ve done that already, let’s get cracking with Ethels 11-20. In alphabetical order…

11. Kinder Scout

Kinder Scout – a must visit Ethel.

636m above sea level. Grid reference SK085875.

The observant will notice a couple of things if you’ve read my first piece. 1). There’s quite a few Ethels on the Pennine Way. 2) I have done the Pennine Way. 3) I have therefore done quite a few Ethels because they’re on the Pennine Way.

That said, it would be difficult to live near the Peak District and be a walker and not have done Kinder Scout. It’s a walking icon, is the county top of Derbyshire, and is the highest of all the Ethels. It has legendary status due to its prominence in the Kinder Trespass. And features in the Ewan Macoll song, The Manchester Rambler. And I’ve walked it several times in my life. It’s a popular fell – go at weekends and it can be quite crowded – and that’s taken a toll on the place. But like Black Hill, it’s also been restored in recent years and is far removed from the boggy peaty blackness it used to be. Consider it a must visit for any trip to the Dark Peak.

12. Lantern Pike

Lantern Pike, seen from Middle Moor near Kinder Scout.

373m above sea level. Grid reference SK026881

From one of the big stars, to one of the smaller fells. In fact almost two thirds of the Ethels are under 400m in height, which is quite something for a list of fells where they’re supposed to be over 400m. Whatevs.

Lantern Pike isn’t that far from Kinder Scout, and both are regularly accessed from the village of Hayfield. It’s a lovely little hill, owned by the National Trust, and only a few miles inside the National Park boundary. Another good one for the children too, who seem to love running around its top.

13. Lose Hill

The ridge path heading to Lose Hill
Lose Hill – the end of the Great Ridge

476m above sea level. Grid reference SK153854.

Overlooking Castleton, Lose Hill is at the end of a ridge that includes the mighty Mam Tor. A great day walk is to get at the train to Edale, climb up to Mam Tor, follow the ridge over Hollins Cross to Mam Tor, then drop down to Hope or Castleton. You won’t regret it because it’s some of the best scenery the Dark Peak can offer.

14. Mam Tor

Walkers stand near the Mam Tor trig point, with a paraglider viewable in the background
Walkers – and others – congregate at the top of Mam Tor.

517m above sea level. Grid reference SJ994737.

With its prominent location near Edale and Castleton, and a car park not that far from the summit, Mam Tor is a popular fell. So it should be of no surprise that this particular Ethel has been visited by me several times. As well as being a popular spot for paragliders, it features on a popular ridge walk that ends at Lose Hill. And it also has a particularly child friendly circular walk. From the Mam Tor car park, head to the summit, then along to Hollins Cross where you want to take the path to the South West. This will take you to the Mam Tor “New Road”, although this is no road you’ll want to drive over.

First opened in 1819, and later designated as part of the A625,it suffered regular landslips requiring major building work to be completed on it in 1912, 1933, 1946, 1952 and (pauses for breathe) in 1966. Then in 1974 part of the road collapsed during a massive landslide. More works continued but so did the problems and in 1979 the road was abandoned.

What remains is open to cyclists and pedestrians and it’s a chance to walk around and see the damage that can be done when a hill really doesn’t want a road to be there. Where once everything was flat and paved, now the ground is all over the place. In parts you can sit and dangle your legs over the side where huge chunks of tarmac and headed down the hillside. It’s weird. It’s fascinating. And children in particular love it. Yes you can get a great view from the top of Mam Tor. But what’s on the side of the hill is equally fascinating.

15. Shinning Tor

Near Shinning Tor, in the Goyt Valley

559m above sea level. Grid reference SJ994737.

Back to overlooking the Goyt Valley, and despite its close proximity to Cats Torr, the County Top of Cheshire is one I only first visited in May 2022. You get a grand view up here, mostly of the valley, but also of many more of Cheshire’s hills. You also get to see remote The Cat and Fiddle pub, which I always felt should have been Cheshire’s answer to the Tan Hill Inn. The Tan Hill Inn has proved a pub in the middle of nowhere doesn’t need to be quiet and deserted, and can be a destination in its own right. But despite several attempts, sadly the second highest pub in England closed its doors in 2016. Thankfully the Robinsons Brewery, who had owned it for over 100 years, weren’t quite ready to let it go, and began the process of trying to find a new operator who could take on this iconic venue. Step forward the Forest Distillery who realised the pub’s cellars would be ideal for storing their whisky so it could mature. So now the Cat and Fiddle has a distillery bar, a shop, lots of maturing whisky, and hopefully a bright future. Not that I have been there yet. But I saw it all from Shinning Tor.

16. Sir William Hill

The mound to the right is the top of Sir William Hill. You can just make out the trig point.

429m above sea level. Grid reference SK215778

My most recent Ethel, visited on 19 June 2022, sits on Eyam Moor, above the village of Eyam in Derbyshire. No one’s particularly sure which Sir William it’s named after. It could be one of four Dukes of Devonshire who went by the name of Sir William Cavendish. Or maybe Sir William Bagshaw who was High Sheriff for Derbyshire in 1805. For my money the best claim seems to be Sir William Saville who was Lord of the Manor of Eyam. But which it was, and quite why they got a small hill near a radio mast and with a trig point on it, named after them, we’ll probably never know. It’s nice enough, but the large boulders nearby on Eyam Moor are more interesting.

17. Sponds Hill

Sheep being herded on Sponds Hill.

413m above sea level. Grid reference SJ970802.

Sitting in Cheshire, not far from the village of Kettleshulme, Sponds Hill sits on the Gritstone Trail which is why I visited it. I mostly remember it for a large number of sheep and a farmer’s incredibly noisy approach of trying to round them up. Well why use sheepdogs when you can drive towards them in an off-road vehicle, beeping your horn constantly?

18. Stanton Moor

The Cork Stone on Stanton Moor.

323m above sea level. Grid reference SK246529.

I had to have an incredibly long think to work out how I’d come to tick Stanton Moor off in the Ethel Ready app. I got there in the end. In 2021 we had a family holiday staying in a wooden lodge in Darwen Forest, not far from Matlock. On one of the days we headed out for a walk on Stanton Moor, which features some moorland, a giant stone you can climb (the Cork Stone), and a stone circle known as the Nine Ladies. IT was the day of a solar eclipse, and there were quite a few people trying to see the sun and the moon in a safe fashion. Many of them were thwarted due to the cloud. Still, we had a nice walk.

19. The Cloud

The Trig Point on top of The Cloud – an Ethel on the Gritstone Trail

343m above sea level. Grid reference SJ904636.

Sir William Hill’s a pretty good name for a hill. It’s up there with my favourite names of all the Ethels. But it’s pipped at the post by this one. The Cloud.

What’s not to love about a name that’s been stolen for use for a public Wi-Fi provider?

The Cloud (not that one) is a 343m hill that’s another I visited whilst walking the Gritstone Trail. The hilltop is full of big chunks of gritstone, and also some fantastic panoramic views. Definitely one to check out if you’re in the area.

20. Win Hill

The trig point at the top of Win Hill
The trig point at the top of Win Hill

462m above sea level. Grid reference SK186850.

Finally we get to number 20, and it’s a Peak District classic, overlooking the Hope Valley. From the top, you get a great view of Ladybower Reservoir. And also of it’s neighbour, on the other side of the valley. Cross over the road and the railway line and you’ll see Ethel number 13. Lose Hill. Yes, there’s a Win Hill and a Lose Hill. Sadly through, there’s no Draw Hill nearby. Someone really didn’t think that through.

Like Lose Hill, I’ve been on top of Win Hill many a time. One thing I have noticed is that it’s always windy when I get up there. Last time I was up I was with the family. We had to hold onto the trig point to stop ourselves blowing a way. Perhaps take rope if you’re going to.

So there we are. Another ten Ethels, hereby listing all twenty I’ve been too. Only another 75 to go then.

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