The accessibility of Mam Tor blew me away. My Dad is 77 years old and he's been climbing mountains for as long as he's been able to walk, but things like that get harder when you've got two replacement hips and a dodgy ankle, and it was wonderful to be able to walk to a mountain top with him.
As I said - we really couldn't have wished for better weather. The Hope Valley was spread out before us, and I'm a sucker for a route where you can see the whole of the walk before you walk into it. When I picked this walk for us, I'll be honest, I wanted to show off the Peak District. I wanted something simple, which we could walk together without having to worry over much about navigating or losing the path or any actual hiking stuff, just somewhere where we could be together and appreciate the landscape. Great Ridge, you delivered in spades.
It was a Saturday, and the ridge was full. Sometimes I hate it when routes are busy, but this wasn't one of those days; people were making themselves at home and drinking tea from thermos', everyone was greeting everyone, dogs were absolutely everywhere. The whole walk was just full of people simply there to enjoy the landscape, together.
If I had one complaint about the entire walk, it's that I got incredibly muddy on the walk down, from lifting my dog over stiles. As complaints go, it's a very tiny one, and honestly unless your dog is about 30kg and loves mud, like mine, I'd say you're pretty safe.
So then, advice for the day: wait for a crisp Winter afternoon, and go walk the Great Ridge. Get someone to drop you off at the top of Winnat's Pass and pick you up in Hope, or just lengthen your route a bit and go on a round trip from Castleton or Hope. You'll have a brilliant time, I promise.