Peak District Kids writer: Helen from Little Puddle People
The Dale Dike Reservoir walk oozes with calm and tranquillity as you amble through woodland and meadows following the water’s edge. Waves gently lap against the sandy shores, twisted old trees grow as close to the reservoir as possible, and the sky reflects upon the water; you can’t help but feel relaxed on this Peak District reservoir walk. Plus, the surrounding fields with grazing cows, geese and sheep make this a really wonderful, diverse environment for a family walk.
Dale Dike Reservoir (also sometime spelt Dale Dyke Reservoir) was the site of the Great Sheffield Flood when the Dam failed in 1864 killing over 250 people. There is signage enroute with more information about this catastrophic event. Watch the below YouTube video to find out more before your visit.
As you walk you may notice a large tower standing on a hill side named ‘Boots Folly’. It is thought that it was constructed by Charles Boot in 1927 where he could stand to see the grave of his wife at the graveyard in High Bradfield.
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If you are planning a 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.
During the winter months, it’s important to be extra prepared and safe when out walking and adventuring in the Peak District. The weather can change so quickly, especially on the exposed escarpments, and we don’t want you to get caught out.
Read our top tips for safe winter walking with the kids.
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 provided for every walk, or what3words.
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.
Download and print out our walking guides ready for your family walk. There are over 80 downloadable walk guides available, and these include all the main Peak District family walks, pram-friendly walks, and toddler walks.
Each printable download is just £1.50, whether it’s a short 1km stroll or an epic walk up Kinder Scout.
Map of Dale Dike Reservoir walk
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 Map OL 01 (Dark Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.
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This Dale Dike Reservoir walk follows the below OS Map in an anticlockwise direction.
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: 4.3km / 2.7 miles
TYPE OF WALK: circular reservoir walk
PARKING: Roadside parking on Dale Road, just 100 metres west of Walker House Farm. Click here for the Google Map point, postcode S6 6LE. Parking is on the road, so please park considerably and ensure emergency vehicles can pass through. These verges are an essential habitat for nature and must be left undisturbed.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Interesting history, peaceful ancient woodland setting.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids, this is a 1.5 hour walk. Allow about 3 hours for this walk with young kids.
ACCESSIBILITY: There are no stiles, but some narrow gates. This walk is not suitable for prams.
TOTAL ASCENT: 121 metres
FACILITIES: There are no facilities on this walk.
START: Roadside parking on Dale Road (100 metres west of Walker House Farm)
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 2457 9205
Post code: S36 4ZA
Route follows an anticlockwise direction.
1. Enter the bridleway path off the road, via the stone post and gate.
2. Follow the path as it heads down the track. On your left is an information sign worth reading about the history of Dale Dike Dam.
3. You reach a junction where the path splits in two; keep right following the top path along. Shortly afterwards, the Dam wall will come into view.
4. Keeping right, follow the path around. The footpath then leads you through a series of gates that go around the edge of the Dam wall and between farm fields. Finally you re-join the woodland trail.
5. Following the path through woodland, Dale Dike Reservoir will be on your left and a field on your right. As you continue further, there are areas where the path is low beside the reservoir. Here, low water levels expose tree roots and sandy shores for you to explore.
6. Eventually you reach the far end far Dale Dike Reservoir with a wooden bridge over a stream. Head over the bridge into a meadow and follow the path to the left.
7. Continue around the corner where the path splits again, keeping to the left.
8. Walking alongside the edge of Dale Dike Reservoir. You will approach an old pump house just in front of the reservoir wall. Continue past this through the woodland.
9. The path becomes less obvious, but keep going straight ahead to reach a set of steep steps leading downhill. Walk down these steps, then a second set. At the bottom of these steps, there is a perfectly placed bench for a snack stop. Sit on the bench and listen to the nearby water overflow, which makes a funny squeaking noise when the water is coming out fast!
10. Follow the access-track around the corner and over another bridge. This bridge is a good one for Pooh Sticks!
11. The track continues slightly uphill, then joins with the footpath at the start of this walk. Continue along this footpath back to your car.
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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
Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.