Chatsworth Hunting Tower and Aqueduct walk (circular, 1.9km)
Standing proud over the Chatsworth Estate and on the edge of Stand Wood is the Chatsworth Hunting Tower, built in the 1570s. This high prospect tower can be seen for miles, and if your pockets are deep enough, you can even book to stay here! Then further along this walk is Sowter Stone Waterfall, which feeds down to the Chatsworth Aqueduct where four tall arches finish with another waterfall. It’s an impressive sight, especially in wet weather.
This really is a magical Peak District walk for kids (and adults!) as you weave through Stand Wood to visit these landmarks. The woodland itself can feel like a jungle in the summer months with it’s thick vegetation and abundance of bright flowers. And there are of course trees to climb! Plus, now and again, you get glimpses of Chatsworth House along the way.
It is free to walk around this section of the Chatsworth Estate, but you do need to pay for parking (£5). Parking payment is for a full day, so after this short Chatsworth Hunting Tower walk, you could visit the Farmyard and Adventure Playground, or the House and Gardens (tickets must be pre-booked online). Or head down to the river (which is free to do) for a picnic.
You could also combine this with our Baslow to Chatsworth walk, although bear in mind that this Chatsworth Hunting Tower walk is not pram friendly.
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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For this walk, not all the footpaths are marked on the OS Map; although Chatsworth allow visitors to walk along these footpaths. The below map is provided for guidance, but it’s probably best to follow the route description and photos below.
Our route follows a clockwise direction starting from the House Car Park.
PARKING: Parking at Chatsworth House car park. Flat fee of £5 for the day. Parking must be pre-booked online (click here) – you can book on the day if there is availability.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: You can catch a bus to the start of this walk from Bakewell, Matlock, Buxton, Chesterfield, Sheffield, and Manchester. Click here for further details.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Chatsworth Hunting Tower, Sowter Stone Waterfall, Aqueduct, climbing trees and woodlands.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids, this is a 40 minute walk, but allow about 1.5 hours for exploring with kids.
TOTAL ASCENT: 104 metres
ACCESSIBILTY: Not pram or wheelchair friendly. Steep climb at the beginning of the walk. Rocky and uneven underfoot in places.
FACILITIES: Public toilets can be found by the entrance to Chatsworth House, but there are no facilities on the actual walk. For food options, there’s often a food cart by the entrance to Chatsworth House, or walk over to the tea rooms at Edensor. Alternatively, head to The Wheatsheaf in nearby Baslow, which has a playground in the beer garden.
1. Walk to the back of the car park (opposite end to the car park entrance) and follow signs for the Farmyard and Adventure Playground. Before you get to the entrance to the Farmyard, walk through the gate on the right to Stand Wood and climb the footpath straight ahead.
2. At the road, go straight across to the footpath opposite, and then straight ahead and the next junction too. You then cross a little stream. This next section is a bit of a steep climb up the steps, but in the warmer months it feels like you’re trekking through the jungle! Keep climbing straight ahead, and eventually you’ll come out to Chatsworth Hunting Tower. This is a good picnic stop to take in the views.
3. To the right of Chatsworth Hunting Tower is a footpath that leads through the woods. Follow this path. There are lots of places to climb trees through here. Continue past a turning on the right with steep steps down.
4. You will eventually meet a waterfall (Sowter Stone Waterfall). Follow the footpath the the left of the waterfall and round the back, to come down the other side.
5. Follow the switchbacks down the hill towards the aqueduct.
6. Cross the road in front of the aqueduct and follow the footpath immediately opposite. This leads down to another road with views of Chatsworth House in front of you. Take a right and follow this very quiet road back to the car park (only Chatsworth official vehicles allowed on here).
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Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is the go-to website for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District run by Bakewell-based Mum, Jenny. Find out about the best walks, bike rides, attractions and events for families in the UK's oldest National Park.