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Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-Water walk (circular, 7km)

Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-Water walk (circular, 7km)

This pretty Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-Water walk, starts from All Saints Church in the historic market town of Bakewell, and follows the River Wye to the picture-perfect village of Ashford-in-the-Water. It then leads you up into the hills along a quiet track for superb views down into the village, to then cross open meadows back to Bakewell. This is easily one of our personal favourite circular walks from Bakewell.

It’s worth timing your walk with a pub lunch at The Bulls Head in Ashford-in-the-Water, or you may just want to pop to the Ashford village playground to let the kids run riot and enjoy a picnic at one of the picnic tables. Alternatively, you could take a little detour along the A6020 to Thornbridge Gardens, where there’s a café and play area where kids can paddle in the fountain whilst hooking rubber ducks with a net.

At the end of this Bakewell walk to Ashford-in-the-Water, there are a handful of things to do in Bakewell; including Bakewell Museum, a swimming pool, lots of pub and café choices; although grabbing a Bakewell Tart to eat is a must!

Looking for longer Bakewell walks? Perhaps combine this walk with our Ashford-in-the-Water to Monsal Head walk (circular, 6.2km). We’ve also got a 10km circular Bakewell to Chatsworth walk.

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When planning your visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds if visiting over sunny weekends or school holidays. Please also take all litter home with you, don’t bring BBQs, and park your car in designated parking areas. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.


PARKING INFORMATION: Please do not rely solely on the postcode for parking directions. In the National Park, a postcode can cover a large area. Postcodes are only provided as guidance. Please either use the Google Maps point or what3words, which are provided on every walk guide.

Do check out our top tips for hiking with young kids, as well as our essential items to take on a family hike in the Peak District.

Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-Water walk map

On all Peak District family walks it’s a good idea to have an Ordnance Survey paper map with you, even if you have your phone on you. For this walk you need the OS Explorer Active Map OL 24 (White Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.

This Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-Water walk follows the below OS Map in an anti-clockwise direction.

Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-Water walk OS map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS AC0000861980

Get a printable download of this walk

Want to print off this walk guide rather than rely on your mobile? Then click here to download the PDF to print out at home. Perhaps print out a copy for the kids to follow the step-by-step directions and/or photos? It’s a great way to get them engaged with the walk and gives them a sense of responsibility.

All printable downloads are £1.50 each. Click here for the full list of Peak District Kids printable downloads.

Please note that your download link expires 72 hours from order, so make sure you save your PDF somewhere where you’ll remember it. If you are unsure where your download folder is on your mobile device, we recommend you download the PDF on your laptop or desktop.

Need to know

DISTANCE OF WALK: 7km / 4.3 miles

TYPE OF WALK: Circular villages walk, along a river and through farmland.

PARKING: There are lots of parking options in Bakewell. Please respect local residents and only park in designated car parks, and be mindful that this small market town is a tourist hotspot and gets busy at weekends and school holidays. The easiest place to park is the car park next to the Agricultural Business Centre (click here for location on Google Maps). A short footpath leads you back into town. 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The Bakewell-Castleton bus (173), Bakewell-Chesterfield bus (170) and the Transpeak (TP2) Matlock-Buxton bus stop at Bakewell.

WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Bakewell All Saints Church, Bakewell Museum, walking along the River Wye and seeing the weirs, the pub and playground in Ashford-in-the-Water, feeding the ducks, stunning views on the second half of the walk.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE:  Without kids this is a 2.5 hour walk. Allow for 3.5 hours with young kids (longer if you’re stopping for lunch and/or the playground).

ACCESSIBILTY: Not pram or wheelchair friendly. A couple of busy crossings over the A6. Lots of stiles.

TOTAL ASCENT: 207 metres

FACILITIES: There are public toilets in both Bakewell and Ashford-in-the-Water, as well as lots of choices for cafés and pubs (more so in Bakewell).

The route

START: All Saints Church, Bakewell
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 2155 6845
Post code: DE45 1FD
what3words: ///online.rates.strongman

Route follows an anticlockwise direction.

1. Starting at the church, walk through the arch at the top of the hill (behind the church). Take a right, and follow the road straight ahead. You may want to take a detour to Bakewell Museum here (or leave that to the end of the walk). The road then bends left along Stanedge Road. 

2. Continue along Stanedge Road for 300 metres. Just after St Anselm’s school, there is a footpath sign on the right to Ashford. Go over the stile and continue along the footpath, which leads into the woods. 

3. This brings you out onto the A6 opposite ALDI. Cross the road and take a left, walking on the pavement for 80 metres. Then take the footpath on the right. Admittedly this isn’t the prettiest section of the walk, but bear with us, you will soon be out in open fields.

4. Keep following the footpath signs straight ahead, walking between the houses and then out into open fields, passing two weirs, then alongside the river. This is a very picturesque Peak District river walk.

5. The footpath along the river then leads you back onto the A6. Take a right and walk on the pavement for 70 metres, to then walk over the bridge on the right. This leads you over the river and past Ashford-in-the-Water cricket ground. 

6. Cross the road and walk straight ahead to enter the village of Ashford-in-the-Water. We recommend making a beeline to The Bulls Head to quench your thirst (follow the road round to the left). The village playground is right behind The Bulls Head and you can get there from the beer garden. If you’re not going to the pub and want to get to the playground, follow the signs to the public toilets, just a little past the pub; there are picnic benches at the playground too.

To make this walk longer, you can connect this with our Ashford-in-the-Water to Monsal Head walk, which starts from the car park next to the playground.

7. After the pub/playground, return to the main road through Ashford-in-the-Water (the road that the entrance to The Bulls Head is on). Continue along the road to the shelter shown in the photo below. Behind this is The Sheepwash Bridge, which dates from the 17th century; a great spot for playing Pooh Sticks and feeding the ducks. Walk over the bridge and cross the A6 again, taking the footpath immediately opposite.

8. Walk through the wooden gate and keep to the left, walking up the lane and past the house on the left. Then continue straight ahead into the field, heading to the mast. This section is all uphill, so make sure you stop to check out the view back to Ashford-in-the-Water behind you and take a breather.

9. Just 140 metres past the mast is a wooden gate that leads out onto a lane. Take a left along the lane. Cars do come down here occasionally, but it’s very quiet.

10. After 1.1km along the road is a footpath on your left. Climb over the wooden stile and walk diagonally across the field to a yellow footpath sign. Keep following the yellow arrows that eventually lead you out onto a road. 

11. Cross the road and take the public footpath opposite, climbing over a stone stile. Continue uphill, keeping the drystone wall on your right.

12. Continue through the wooden gate, following the dip down and up again. Please be mindful of the horses that are often in this field. 

Bakwell to Asford in the Water walk

13. After walking through the squeeze stile, climb over the stone stile on the left of the next field. Continue back to Bakewell with the drystone wall immediately on your right, soon crossing a very high wooden stile (be careful of the barbed wire!)

Bakwell to Asford in the Water walk

14. This footpath leads you out onto Stanedge Road through a wooden gate and stone stile, to the right of farm buildings. Cross the road and take the footpath on the opposite side (just a little to the left). 

15. At the next squeeze stile, the church spire of Bakewell comes into view. Continue along this footpath towards the church. The footpath eventually leads between two houses (as in photo below) and along a narrow path with stone walls either side. 

16. Continue walking straight ahead, and you will soon reach the arch behind the church, where this Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-water walk began.

Bakwell to Asford in the Water walk

Peak District Kids is a free online resource. If you have found this website useful for planning your family adventures, you can show your support by buying me a coffee. Thanks so much!

Also, feel free to share your walk photos in our Peak District Kids Facebook Group or on Instagram using the #peakdistrictkids hashtag so we can share with our wider community.

Or perhaps purchase a Peak District Kids iron-on patch. £1 from every sale of the iron-on patches goes towards the Peak District National Park Foundation, a registered charity established to raise funds to care for the Peak District National Park.

Want more ideas for family walks?
Best Family Walks in the Peak District
Pram Friendly Peak District walks
Toddler walks in the Peak District

Or, use the search walks page to find your perfect family walk.

Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.

You may also like to read:
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Ashford-in-the-Water walk to Monsal Head (circular, 6.2km)
Dovedale walk from Thorpe (circular, 5.3km)