Commonly referred to as Beeley Woods (but not to be confused with Beeley Woods near Sheffield), Beeley and Hill Bank Plantation is a quiet and sheltered place for a Peak District family walk, and arguably one of the best Peak District woodland walks. Forming part of the Chatsworth Estate, footpaths criss-cross through the woodland and a brook rushes down little waterfalls. We particularly enjoy it on a rainy day as the trees provide shelter, and the sound of the rain on the tree tops is beautiful.
This is a short 2.7km walk around the Beeley and Hill Bank Plantation, but allow for a good few hours as the kids will love paddling in the stream and playing in the woods. Wellies during the winter months are a good idea, rather than hiking boots, so they can paddle.
It is not a flat walk. The first half of the walk is downhill, and the second half is uphill. Be careful underfoot, especially in wet weather, as the footpath is slippy in places.
If you are planning a visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds, and respect social distancing. 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.
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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 OL24 (White Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.
This Beeley walk follows the below OS map in a clockwise direction.
TYPE OF WALK: An short circular walk through woodland. Not flat. First half of the walk is downhill, and then the return is uphill.
PARKING: Free road side parking on a sharp bend of Chesterfield Road. Click here for Google Map point on your phone. Post code is DE4 2NS.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Beautiful woodland, although as this is a plantation you may see some trees cut down. Kids will spend ages playing in the brook and little waterfalls.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids this would be a 1 hour walk, but our boys were walking with a friend and they spent almost 3 hours playing together in the woods!
ACCESSIBILITY: Not pram or wheelchair friendly. There is one wooden stile to cross, and a couple of stream crossings using rocks to reach the other side. In wet weather the footpath can get rather slippy. Also be wary of tree roots and branches across the footpaths.
TOTAL ASCENT: 141 metres
FACILITIES: There are no toilets or eateries on this walk. However, you may want to combine your walk with a meal at The Devonshire Arms in Beeley village afterwards.
1. This walk starts at the top of Chesterfield Road at this Google Map point and follows the above OS Map in a clockwise direction. You will notice a small stone stile on the left, just on the corner of the bend, leading off a gravel track. Climb over the stile and follow the footpath down into the woods.
2. After 100 meters, take the path to the left. Follow this for 250 metres.
3. At the next footpath junction, take the path on the right. Follow this footpath across a small, wooden footbridge, through the woodland. There are lots of places to stop and play along the stream and waterfalls.
4. You will reach a point where the footpath crosses the stream. There is no bridge, but there are a few rocks to aid you across. These can get submerged in heavy rain, but you should still be able to cross with wellies on.
5. Keep following this footpath to the wooden gate as shown in the photo below. If the gate is locked, there’s a steep stone stile to the left (quite a drop the other side). Then take the footpath on the sharp right, back up the hill again, keeping the stone wall on your right.
6. After 360 metres you will walk through a small wooden gate (to the left of a metal gate), and then a little further on (120 metres) you will reach this wooden stile.
7. Climb over the wooden stile and continue straight ahead. After a short while, a footpath will meet you on the right; ignore, and continue straight ahead, slightly uphill. You will then come to a yellow arrow pointing left up some steps.
8. Before you walk up the steps, you may want to detour to the right for a little play by the stream. Then head up the steps, continuing to climb slightly, with a drystone wall on your left. You will walk over a wooden plank, and there will be another yellow arrow to lead you into the deep dark wood.
9. The footpath will eventually lead you out to a wooden footbridge that crosses the stream. Once you’re across, take the footpath on the right, and continue uphill.
10. After 140 meters there is a footpath T-junction. Take the footpath on the left. Then 40 metres along, take the footpath on the right.
11. Continue along this footpath, crossing over another stream (careful on those rocks!) After 40 metres, follow the footpath as it veers to the left (connecting with the footpath you first walked down at the start of this walk). Then follow the footpath back up to your car.
Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is the go-to website for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District, run by Bakewell-based mum-of-two, Jenny Lynn. Find out about the best walks, bike rides, attractions, pubs, and accommodation for families in the UK's oldest National Park.