Errwood Reservoir walk (circular 7.4k)

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 so not suitable for prams (we really struggled and had to carry ours in places).

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. 

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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.

Errwood Reservoir walk

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 OL24 (White Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.

Errwood Reservoir walk OS Map

Need to know


TYPE OF WALK: circular, mostly unsuitable for prams (step 1-6 is pram friendly, although there is the odd step which you may need a lift up or bump down), woodland and riverside paths, narrow, rocky moorland paths that can get very muddy in wet weather

PARKING: There is free parking available in the Errwood Hall Car Park. Click here for the Google Map location on your phone. The postcode is: SK17 6GJ.

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 walk can be done in 2 hours but with a detour to Errwood Hall, a picnic stop and time for the kids to play, it took us nearly 5 hours.  

ACCESSIBILTY:  Mostly unsuitable for prams (we struggled and had to carry it in some parts), narrow and rocky moorland paths that can get very muddy in wet weather so appropriate footwear is a must, some steps.

TOTAL ASCENT: 281 metres

PUBLIC TOILETS: 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.

The route

The following directions follow the OS Map above in am 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 will add 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.

Errwood Reservoir walk

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. 

Errwood Reservoir walk

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.

Errwood Reservoir walk

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 sight. After 1.45k, the path splits. Take the left-hand path signposted to Errwood.

Errwood Reservoir walk

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 the 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 either continue straight ahead or bear left slightly, taking the downhill path to walk alongside the water edge. We chose to continue straight ahead for a further 1km across the grassy path. Both routes bring you out on the 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.

Errwood Reservoir walk

Peak District Kids is a free online resource. If you enjoyed this walk, you can show your support by buying me a coffee. Thanks so much!

Want more ideas for family walks?
Check out our Best Family Walks in the Peak District
or come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group

You may also like to read:
Top things to do in Buxton with kids
Three Shires Head walk: NOT from Gradbach (6.2km)
Shutlingsloe walk (4.6km)

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