Peak District Kids writer: Gemma from Families Can Travel
Over in the western part of the Peak District lies the beautiful Goyt Valley, a popular hiking destination with moorland paths and two large reservoirs fed by the River Goyt. This Errwood Reservoir walk starts on the west side of the reservoir with an optional detour to the ruins of the once magnificent Errwood Hall.
The route takes the woodland path down to the bottom of the reservoir and then follows the River Goyt upstream to the Packhorse Bridge. Crossing the bridge over the river, you then head back towards Errwood Reservoir across the moorland. From this point, the path is narrow, rocky and muddy in wet weather and not suitable for prams.
This is a pram friendly walk ONLY up to step 6 where you can turn around at the end of the riverside path and go back the way you came.
The final part of the walk continues to follow the reservoir anti-clockwise, walking along the valley hillside to the dam wall and back to the car park. There’s plenty of picturesque spots along the way to stop for a picnic.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, but I receive a small commission.
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.
Errwood Reservoir 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.
|The Peak District: White Peak Area Map | Weatherproof | Peak…||£14.75||Buy on Amazon|
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: 7.4km / 4.6 miles
TYPE OF WALK: circular reservoir walk
PARKING: Free parking at Errwood Hall Parking. Click here for Google Maps point, postcode SK11 0AR.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Panoramic views across the valley and Errwood Reservoir, walking along the River Goyt, open moorland paths, crossing the packhorse bridge.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: This is a 3 hour walk without kids. But with a detour to Errwood Hall, a picnic stop and time for the kids to play, allow for 5 hours with young kids, or make a whole day of it.
ACCESSIBILTY: Mostly unsuitable for prams, narrow and rocky moorland paths that can get very muddy in wet weather so appropriate footwear is a must, some steps.
TOTAL ASCENT: 173 metres
FACILITIES: There are no public toilets or eateries on this walk. The closest public toilets are located at the Derbyshire Bridge Car Park (2.3 miles away). In summer you may find an ice cream van parked near the car park. Alternatively, you could head to Buxton for food and drink which is just under 5 miles away.
START: Errwood Hall Parking
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 0122 7483
Post code: SK11 0AR
Route follows an anticlockwise direction.
1. From the car park leaving the road behind you, head up the path towards the information board. Follow the path for 140m until it passes through a gap in a stone wall.
2. OPTIONAL DETOUR: Follow the path straight ahead to visit the ruins of Errwood Hall. It’s sad to see how little is left of this once magnificent country house, which was demolished in 1934. For more information on the history of Errwood Hall, click here. This detour adds an extra 800 metres onto the walk.
3. After passing through the gap in the stone wall, follow the path to the left keeping both the stone wall and reservoir on your left-hand side.
4. After 180 metres, you’ll reach a crossroad in the paths. Continue straight ahead following the path for 600 metres until you reach the road.
5. Cross the road and walk through the wooden gate and follow the riverside path, overlooking the River Goyt at the bottom of the valley. There are benches along the way to stop and enjoy the scenic views.
6. The path continues for 650 metres. Near the end, you’ll cross over a small wooden bridge and up a steep, short bank to the road. This uphill section is uneven ground with some steps so not suitable for prams/buggies (we had to carry ours – for a pram friendly route, you will need to turn around and go back the way you came).
7. At the top, turn left and walk along the road for 300 metres. The road is one way with the traffic coming from behind you.
8. Bear left down the path 50 metres to the packhorse bridge. Just before the bridge, you’ll notice the waterfall on your left-hand side feeding down into the River Goyt.
9. Cross over the bridge and follow the path to the left for 130 metres up onto the moorland.
10. Where the path splits, bear left and follow the sign for Errwood. The moorland path is narrow, rocky and gets very muddy in wet weather. This is not suitable for prams/buggies and although we made it with ours, it was very difficult and we had to carry it in places.
11. Eventually, the beautiful panoramic views of Errwood Reservoir will come into view. After about 1.5km, the path splits. Take the left-hand path signposted to Errwood.
12. Continue on this path for 1.2km as it drops down into the valley, over a bridge and bears left back towards the top end of Errwood Reservoir. This section of the walk is really picturesque and the path is wider and more easy going.
13. Where the path splits again, ignore the route to your right and continue straight ahead for a further 1km across the grassy path. This leads you out onto a road.
14. Turn right and walk along the road for 800 metres, crossing the dam wall and uphill to the junction. There is a pavement across the dam wall where you can stop to take photos.
15. Turn left at the junction and continue along the one-way road for a further 900 metres back to the car park. This section of the walk is also great for photos across the reservoir.
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!
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.