The Ethels are 95 hills located in the Peak District, mostly over 400m above sea level but the number also includes a few prominent lower hills. The Ethels were created in tribute to Ethel Haythornwaithe, the forerunner in the creation and establishment of the Peak District as the first national park in Britain in 1951.
MAP OF THE ETHELS
My new year's resolution for 2022 is to climb all 95 Ethels. At the time of writing, I am on 9/95. Not quite at the number, I wanted to be for this time of the year, however, there have been a few storms in the way of my progress. In just 9 Ethels climbed I have already been introduced to parts of the Peak District I had no knowledge of. One of these Ethels was Ecton Hill. Ecton Hill is a point of historical importance within the Peak District, within the hill lies the Ecton Mines. The Ecton Mines are unusual for the Peak District as they predominantly produced copper as opposed to lead, and at one point it was the deepest mine in Britain. The walk itself was absolutely stunning, an initial steep incline is rewarded with amazing views over the rolling hills. The day I climbed was a beautiful sunny day, however, there was a pretty strong wind. The nearer I got to the trig point the more I was having to put my head down to keep my hat.
A more well known Ethel I have ticked off the list is Mam Tor. Translated to mean ‘mother hill’, named because of numerous landslides that have resulted in a number of smaller hills around it. From the summit of Mam Tor, you can see the whole of Hope Valley to one side and Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors to the other. A useful commodity of Mam Tor is the car park, which has a direct path up Mam Tor. The path can get pretty busy during the school holidays so I would recommend you avoid it.
FLASK AT THE READY
Whenever I go out for a walk I make sure to take my Stanley bottle with me to reward myself with a cuppa about halfway through my walks. Sometimes a cup of tea is all you need to give you the little boost to keep going on a day with rubbish weather. I also use the ProTrek dual skin anti-blister socks when I’m going on a walk which will require my boots. I always make sure I’ve got them washed and ready to go. The most important piece of gear you can take on any walk is socks, in my opinion, a bad pair of socks ruin even the best walk. That's why I always go for the ProTreks, I guarantee you won’t find a better pair of socks for hiking. Warm, durable and double-lined to protect you from blisters.
SHOP STANLEY FLASKS AND EQUIPMENT
SHOP PROTREK SOCKS
I’ll be keeping you up to date with how my Ethel challenge is going and any stand out walks along the way!