GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Winnats Pass Walk

5 miles (7.5 km)

This challenging circular walk in the Peak District takes you through this spectacular hill pass. The walk starts at the village of Castleton and climbs through Winnats Pass with its toweringlimestonepinnacles. It's a wonderful geological feature and worth the steep climb. On the way you'll pass Speedwell Cavern where you can take an amazing underground boat trip 450m under the Hills of Castleton.
The walk makes use of the Limestone Way to return to Castleton, passing Cave Dale, Mam Tor and the fascinating Peveril Castle. This ruined medieval castle has an amazing history stretching back to the Norman Conquestof 1066.
The walk can be extended to visit the nearby Mam Tor.
The steep pass is also popular with cyclists with the challenging climb featuring in the Tour of the Peak cycle race each autumn.

Postcode

S33 8WA - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Winnats Pass OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Winnats Pass Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby

Photos

Winnats Pass from Speedwell Cavern car park - geograph.org.uk - 229319

Winnats Pass from Speedwell Cavern car park. The name is a corruption of 'wind gates' due to the swirling winds through the pass. Speedwell is a tourist attraction with an underground boat trip to the cavern.

Winnats Pass - geograph.org.uk - 924061

Photographed from rocks high above, Winnats Pass is the only westerly road out of Castleton since the closure of the A625 in the seventies due to subsidence. The pass cuts steeply down throughLower Carboniferouslimestone rocks formed about 340 million years ago.

Above Winnats Pass - geograph.org.uk - 924079

Above Winnats Pass. Weather eroded limestone rock formation. This is the northern edge of the white peak as you travel further north you arrive at the millstone grit of the dark peak.

Winnats Pass from Mam Tor - geograph.org.uk - 217515

Winnats Pass from Mam Tor. The formation of Winnats Pass was previously attributed to a massive collapsed cavern, but this theory has been replaced by newer understanding. Instead, Winnats Pass is recognised as a steep gorge carved through Lower Carboniferous limestone rocks. These limestone formations date back around 340 million years ago when they were part of a reef bordering a shallow lagoon, surrounded by deeper waters. Evidence of fossil-rich rock layers, known as 'beach beds,' at the foot of Winnats Pass near Speedwell Cavern suggests the presence of an ancient underwater cleft or canyon within the active reef. This underwater feature likely accumulated shell and crinoid remains over time. Subsequently, these sediments were buried under Namurian sandstones and shales during the Upper Carboniferous period. Geological uplift later exposed these formations, with periglacial erosion during the late Pleistocene epoch revealing the gorge we see today. As melting water followed natural weaknesses in the limestone, such as those created by the original underwater cleft, it gradually carved out Winnats Pass.

Top rocks of Winnats Pass - geograph.org.uk - 3049902

Top rocks

Fields below Winnat's Pass - geograph.org.uk - 2153350

Fields below the Pass

Cave Dale at Castleton - geograph.org.uk - 1960009

Cave Dale at Castleton

Peveril Castle Keep - geograph.org.uk - 1343464

Peveril Castle Keep

Elevation Profile

Video

GPS Files

GPX File

Winnats Pass.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Winnats Pass.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)