Are you planning a trip to the fantastic Winnats Pass?
This guide provides a comprehensive overview of accessing the pass, and a step-by-step guide to walk-through and up it.
Whether you’re arriving by car or public transport, keen to understand the historical significance, or simply looking to capture the best views in the Peak District, I’ve got you covered!
Dive in to discover all that Winnats Pass has to offer and prepare for an unforgettable trip.
How to get to Winnats Pass
Winnats Pass is best accessed by car, parking next to the pass at Speedwell Cavern, or throughout the car parks in the village of Castleton.
While there are reasonably efficient public transport links, you will be required to take a train and then a bus from most major cities to reach Winnats Pass.
By Car Parking
When parking for the walk, you have a few options:
The parking price for cars are as follows:
- Upto 1 Hour: £1.60
- 1 – 2 Hours: £2.50
- 2 – 4 Hours: £4.00
- Up to 10 Hours: £6.00
- 24 Hours: £7.00
Bonus: If you arrive by car, you’ll be driving through it, which can be pretty impressive.
If you don’t mind a spoiler, watch the video below:
Note: If you want to park right at the foot of Winnats Pass for a much shorter walk, you can park at Speedwell Cavern, although there are limited spaces here.
The easiest way to access Castleton via Public transport is to get the train to Hope (Hope Valley), where trains stop between Sheffield and Manchester.
From Hope, you’ll then be able to catch a bus for 5-6 minutes to Castleton, which is just a short distance from Winnats Pass.
You can view the bus timetable here.
About Winnats Pass & What to Expect
Winnats Pass, sometimes simply referred to as “Winnats,” is a hilly pass and limestone gorge nestled in the heart of the Peak District.
The name derives from a corruption of ‘wind gates’, echoing the captivating swirling winds that the pass is known for.
Situated to the west of the quaint village of Castleton, this gorge lies within the National Trust’s High Peak Estate, boasting dramatic high limestone ridges that make it a magnet for nature enthusiasts.
What to Expect:
- Breathtaking Scenery: Prepare to be enthralled by the sheer beauty of the limestone ridges that line the pass, offering visitors a window into the ancient geological formations from the Lower Carboniferous period.
- Historical Echoes: The pass is steeped in history. In the 1930s, it was the backdrop for annual access rallies promoting greater access to the Peak District’s moorlands. There’s also a haunting local legend of a young couple, Alan and Clara, said to have been murdered here in 1758, adding an aura of mystery to the place.
- Unique Flora: Plant lovers might be lucky enough to spot the Hieracium naviense, a hawkweed species found exclusively at Winnats Pass. This native perennial plant, discovered in 1966, is a unique addition to the pass’s biodiversity.
To sum up, a visit to Winnats Pass promises a blend of natural beauty, rich history, and thrilling exploration opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, a geology buff, or just someone looking to drink in some of England’s finest landscapes, this pass is a must-visit.
Winnats Pass Walk: 4.5km (2.8mi) ~ 1.5-2hrsDownload file for GPS
You’ll head out of Castleton, with a view from the bottom of Winnats Pass, passing Speedwell Cavern and following the road to the top before heading up to the summit, overlooking the road.
Near the summit, the path challenges you with its steepness but rewards you with unmatched panoramic views from the peak.
The descent offers a tranquil walk through the fields, leading you back to the charming streets of Castleton.
Expect breathtaking views, historical touchpoints, and a moderate workout from this memorable walk.
Winnat Pass Walk – Step By Step
- Leave the car park and turn right at the roundabout, heading past the Peak Cavern car park and out of the village. A wide, well-defined pavement runs alongside the road here, which you can follow.
- Take the left fork at the roadside, signposted for Speedwell Cavern. Continue up Arthur’s Way road, from where you’ll soon glimpse the Winnats Pass valley in the distance.
- Approximately 500 metres up the road, you’ll reach Speedwell Cavern and be treated to a panoramic view of Winnats Pass from the base.
- From this point, follow the roadside path on the right, which meanders up the pass. As you ascend, you’ll pass through various gates.
- As you approach the top, there’s a gate in the wall leading back out to the road. Go through it and take the uphill path on the other side, staying close to the wall.
- The path becomes steep, but once at the summit, you’ll be rewarded with the most breathtaking views of Winnats Pass from above. It’s a perfect spot for photos during this leg of your walk!
It’s one of the most photographed places in the Peak District for a reason!
- Continue along the hillside path, keeping close to the wall. When faced with a fork, opt for the right-hand path along the wall.
- Descend until you reach a solitary tree at the base of the hill. Turn left, following the valley. Keep to the right of the wall when you encounter it, and soon enough, you’ll merge onto a clearly defined path.
- Continue on this flat path until you reach a gate.
- Go through the gate, wander down the streets of Castleton, and you’ll find yourself back at the car park!
If you want to spend more time in the village or get a bite to eat, view my best things to do in Castleton article.
Winnats Pass FAQs
Can you drive through Winnats Pass?
Yes, you can drive through Winnats Pass, but it is narrow and has a steep gradient, so caution is advised.
Can you drive to the top of Winnats Pass?
Yes, you can drive to the top; however, the road’s gradient reaches over 28%, so ensure your vehicle can handle it. You will need to walk to reach the top, where the views are best, though.
Where does Winnats Pass go?
Winnats Pass is a hill pass and limestone gorge located west of the village of Castleton. The pass is one of two roads on either side of the village, connecting it to the rest of the Peak District.
Is Winnats Pass suitable for caravans?
Due to the narrowness and steep gradient, it’s recommended that large vehicles such as caravans avoid the pass. However, I have observed many caravans driving through the pass.
Can you walk along Winnats Pass?
Yes, walking along Winnats Pass is possible and offers beautiful views of the surrounding limestone ridges and landscapes. There is a path directly next to the road, as well as above the valley.
Best time to visit Winnats Pass?
The best time to visit the Peak District is subjective. Considering its geological formation and views, it is beautiful year-round. However, like most areas in the peak district, summer will have the best chance of clear skies and picturesque views of the pass.
Winnats Pass Postcode?
The postcode for Winnats pass is S33 8WA.
The postcode is not an exact location, so I’d recommend using the full address, to ensure you get to the exact location: Winnats Pass, Castleton, Hope Valley S33 8WA.
Suggestion:If you enjoyed Winnats Pass, you’ll love Cave Dale, which is just a short distance away on the other side of Castleton.