The following are the best family walks in the Peak District, with links to walking guides so that you can navigate yourself following photos and route descriptions. You can also download a pdf of each walk to print out or use offline on your phone. All of these walks have been tried and tested by kids for kids, so you know that there is lots of variety to keep little ones engaged. Plus, we also provide realistic timings to allow for all those snack and play breaks. Although don’t worry if you don’t have kids, the following is also great inspiration for absolutely anyone looking for a short and easy Peak District walk.
Sandwiched between Manchester and Sheffield in the north of England, the Peak District National Park is a haven for outdoor loving families. With dramatic escarpment views and green rolling hills dotted with old farm houses and country pubs, it’s no wonder that hiking is one of the top things to do in the Peak District.
But where are the best Peak District family walks? Well the Peak District Kids team has explored every corner of the National Park to find you the best Peak District walks for kids. These walks aren’t too long, offer lots of variety, places to play, climb and explore, and every single one has been tried and tested by young kids.
For any family walk, make sure you pack LOTS of snacks and an OS Map, dress in layers (including a waterproof jacket and hiking boots), and start your walk early when the kids at their most energetic.
The Peak District family walks are detailed below in order of distance. Under each walk recommendation you will find a link to the full walking guide, which includes parking information, a map, and step-by-step directions with photos.
You can also download a pdf of each of these walks to print out. This means that you don’t need to rely on your mobile phone for our step-by-step directions. How about printing out a copy for the kids to get them involved in navigating? This is a great way to get them engaged on the walk and build their map reading skills. The printable walking guides are available for a charge of £1.50 each. If you do print these out for your walks, we recommend putting the printouts in a waterproof map case that you can carry (such as this one).
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.
Click here to join our Facebook group! We have over 24k members sharing ideas and tips for exploring the Peak District with kids.
Map of our short Peak District walks for families
Use the map below to see where our short and easy Peak District walks with kids are located.
But how to narrow these walks down?
Including our pram friendly walks, toddler walks, and Kinder Scout walks (from Edale and Hayfield), there are over 70 Peak District family walks detailed on this site with OS maps, route directions and photos. Whilst ease of location may help you decide which walks to do, you may want to narrow it down to:
Don’t leave home without your Peak District OS Map!
- For the northern half of the Peak District you will need the OS Dark Peak map. This covers Kinder Scout, Bleaklow, Black Hill and Ladybower Resevoir
- For the southern half of the Peak District you will need the OS White Peak map. This covers Buxton, Bakwell, Matlock and Dovedale.
- Ordnance Survey (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 1 Page – 02/24/2020 (Publication Date) – Ordnance Survey (Publisher)
- Ordnance Survey (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 1 Page – 06/24/2019 (Publication Date) – Ordnance Survey (Publisher)
Are these Peak District walks pram friendly?
The walks detailed below are generally not pram friendly. Some sections may be ok for buggies, but the below walks will involve stiles, or a very rocky surface.
But do not worry, head over to our pram and buggy friendly Peak District walks page. All these walks have been pram-tested!
Are these Peak District walks dog friendly?
By law, dogs must be under control on public rights of way and on a short lead on open access land from 1st March to 31st July. In fields containing farm animals and nesting birds, owners are requested to keep dogs on leads all year round. There are often signs at the start of a footpath to remind you.
Whether a walk is dog friendly or not, really depends on your dog. However, stiles are often the deciding factor. On all our walking guides we state where there are stiles or not on the walk.
However, dog owners have reported that the following Peak District walks are particularly dog friendly:
Want to tick off these family walks and keep track?
The Peak District Kids Walks Log Book is designed for kids of all ages to keep track of their amazing walks in the Peak District and beyond. It provides 100 possible walk entries (that’s a walk a week for almost two years) and kids can record their total distance by colouring in the hiking boots in the back pages.
Seeing their collection of walks logged in one place over time will bring such a sense of achievement, and what a wonderful memento for years to come.
My Walks Log Book£9.85
1. Blaze Farm Nature Trail – 1km
Entry is FREE and there are lots of farm animals to meet (cows, peacocks, donkeys, geese, ducks, sheep). If you’re visiting during the lambing season you may even be lucky enough to see a lamb being born in the lambing shed (arrive early). You can even do ceramics painting here at The Potty Shed.
There’s a lovely short 1km nature walk around the farm. Follow the footpath that leads alongside the lambing shed and follow the signs across the meadows and into the woodland. Once you’re in the woodland, there are carvings to find and dens to explore.
On return to the farm, head to the cosy tea room and treat yourselves to some Peak District ice-cream made right on the farm. Behind the tearoom you’ll find a slide and a tractor to play on. This is one of our top places to eat with kids in the Peak District.
2. Ox Stones – 1.7km
This short Ox Stones walk close to the Sheffield border is relatively flat, you can bag a trig point, the views are incredible, and there are rocks to climb. Plus there’s lots of wildlife to spot (caterpillars, butterflies, lizards, curlews and other ground nesting birds, hares and more!), and be sure to look across the landscape for deer, especially when on top of the rocks.
With the changing terrain this is a great walk for little ones to build core strength and balance. But please note that this walk is not pram friendly due to the rocky and uneven terrain.
And just around the corner is Mayfield Animal Park where you can feed llamas and alpacas, and see meerkats, reindeer and more. There’s also a small outdoor play area (with mud kitchen) and small indoor café.
3. Blacka Moor 1.7km
Blacka Moor is the largest reserve cared for by Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and is part of the Eastern Peak District Moors. It is a peaceful reserve teeming with wildlife and changing landscapes, stunning views and a perfect spot for a cuppa.
This Blacka Moor walk, starting from Stoney Ridge car park, is just the right distance for a Peak District toddler walk and there are some great trees for climbing.
Red Deer are often spotted in this area (a good time to see them is dawn and dusk), and you may also spot birds of prey and rare migratory birds in this area (pack a bird book and some binoculars). In summer the bushes are filled with bilberries, attracting the rare Bilberry Bee.
4. Cressbrook Dale – 1.8km
An easy going, circular walk through the woodland at Cressbrook Dale. This is tucked away from main tourist hot spots in the National Park and is a particularly lovely Peak District family walk in the rain as it’s somewhat sheltered.
It isn’t altogether flat with a slight decline and incline to and from the brook, but it’s very doable for little legs. Just take care on those downward sections as they can get muddy and slippy in the rain.
5. Chatsworth Hunting Tower and Aqueduct – 2km
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.
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.
6. Snake Woodlands – 2.3km
Snake Pass is one of the most spectacular roads in England offering expansive moorland views. But tucked half way along this route between Glossop and Ladybower Reservoir is a fairytale-like forest with a babbling brook, mossy stumps, and a beautiful waterfall to explore. This is Snake Woodlands, which hugs the banks of the River Ashop.
The short circular Snake Woodlands walk is a magical place for young kids to explore. Take a picnic and enjoy the serenity of this special place. Wellies may also be a good idea for the kids if they want to play in the river.
7. Monsal Head – 2.4km
Monsal Head is one of the most iconic beauty spots of the Peak District. This is where the impressive Headstone Viaduct, which forms part of the Monsal Trail, straddles the verdant Monsal Dale and the River Wye meanders aimlessly through.
Our short Monsal Head circular walk takes you from the main view point by the Monsal Head Hotel, down into the dale to the weir, then across the other side of the River Wye to emerge under the viaduct, with a climb back up to the view point. As this walk loops to the weir along the River Wye, we sometimes call this the ‘Monsal Head waterfall walk’. Footwear with good grip is essential as this walk can get very muddy in wet weather, and arrive early to secure parking during weekends and school holidays as this is a Peak District hot spot.
8. Solomon’s Temple walk, Buxton – 2.4km
Perched high over the Victorian town of Buxton stands Solomon’s Tower proudly on the summit of Grin Low. This is a viewpoint tower built in 1896 on the site of a tumulus, which is a Neolithic burial mound. The views from the top are very impressive, and on a very clear day you can even see across to Mam Tor.
It’s an easy walk through woodland from the Poole’s Cavern car park to the summit. The footpath is waymarked, following the yellow route up and the green one back. There is a slight incline through the woods, but kids will be distracted by woodland carvings and information boards.
9. Thorpe Cloud including Dovedale Stepping Stones – 2.5km
Thorpe Cloud, in the far south of the Peak District National Park, is a fantastic starter hill for little legs. It’s a short, steep hike up there, and the views from the top are incredible. Plus you get to traverse Dovedale Stepping Stones along the way on this Thorpe Cloud walk!
There’s a bit of a scramble getting up the rocky outcrop of Thorpe Cloud; with the steep drops at the summit you will need to hold the hands of little ones, and you may want to avoid this walk on exceptionally windy days. The footpath can also get rather slippy underfoot in wet weather. But adventurous kids will absolutely love this walk! Make sure everyone is wearing hiking boots, or at least trainers with very good grip.
Please note that the footpath up to Thorpe Cloud often changes to alleviate footpath erosion. Only take the marked trails up, and don’t veer off to form your own path. Also, Dovedale car park (where this Thorpe Cloud walk starts) gets exceptionally busy over school holidays, bank holiday weekends, and sunny weekends; aim to arrive at 9am or after 4pm. Otherwise you can access Thorpe Cloud via this Dovedale walk from Thorpe.
10. Birchen Edge – 2.6km
This is a great little Peak District pub walk for views and rocks to climb, and it starts at The Robin Hood pub, where kids eat free Monday to Friday! Plus there’s also the Birchen Edge trig point to bag en route.
Park in the pay and display car park next to the Robin Hood Inn (not in their actual car park, unless you’re stopping there for lunch), and walk up the road just for 20 metres, where you will see a footpath sign and gate that leads you to Birchen Edge.
We take the lower footpath first and after about 1km, before you see Nelson’s Monument on the hill top, you can climb up the rocks to the top. Or, there is a path if you don’t fancy the climb; just follow straight ahead. Once at the top, the views are fantastic and kids will love climbing up and over the big boulders.
Follow the footpath along the top of Birchen Edge to get back to the car park. There’s a steep descent right at the end, which can be quite slippy when wet. Take care.
11. Padley Gorge and Longshaw Estate – 2.7km
This Padley Gorge walk is one of our favourite Peak District family walks, especially for young kids, as they can paddle in the stream, climb boulders and trees, and there’s even ice-cream at the end! It’s a 2.7km circular walk that takes in the National Trust’s Longshaw Estate too (which is free to walk though). And even though it may seem a short distance, do allow a good three hours for this walk as there are so many places to play!
Don’t forget your cash for the ice-cream van. They don’t take cards.
If you want a shorter walk at Longshaw, we also have a specific walk just for toddlers. Check out our Longshaw walk for toddlers. Or if you’re after a longer Padley Gorge walk that’s more challenging for your kids, check out our Grindleford walk, which starts at Grindleford Station, and leads you up through Padley Gorge, and on to Owler Tor, Surprise View, Mother Cap, and Over Owler Tor.
12. Baslow Edge – 2.7km
Baslow Edge is a great place to see Highland Coos and the views are fantastic; standing on Baslow Edge on a clear day you can see Chatsworth House to the left and then Kinder Plateau in the far distance to the right.
Our short Baslow Edge walk offers an easy loop from Curbar Gap car park, perfect for little legs. There are lots of fun boulders to climb over, under and through, and our boys always love seeing the Highland cattle here (you’re almost guaranteed to spot them!) And did we mention the views?
13. Beeley and Hill Bank Plantation – 2.7km
Commonly referred to as Beeley Woods, Beeley and Hill Bank Plantation is a lovely place for a Peak District family walk. 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 some 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.
14. Alport to Youlgreave – 3km
Our Alport to Youlgreave walk is an easy circular stroll along either side of the River Bradford. The views on the last section are particularly beautiful as you take a short climb up to a hill top. We recommend that kids wear wellies on this walk so they can paddle in the river, and if you’re doing this walk in the warmer summer months, bring the kids’ wetsuits and towels as there is a small designated swimming area.
Youlgreave is a very pretty village and worth a detour from the walk for lunch at one of the three pubs (you’re spoilt for choice, although do book a table at weekends and school holidays).
15. Stanton Moor (aka ‘The Cork Walk’ or ‘Nine Ladies Circle’) – 3.1 km
This short circular Stanton Moor walk has it all – unusual stones to explore, rocks to climb, woodland, open moorland views, muddy puddles, and Stanton Moor trig point! It’s easily one of our favourite family walks, and it’s a flat Peak District walk, which makes it easier on little legs and a good option for those with mobility issues (there are no stiles too).
At the start of the walk is a large rock that looks like a corkscrew; it’s begging to be climbed by the grownups if you’re up for the challenge. And half way around is a Bronze Age circle (the ‘Nine Ladies’) that was used by the Druids.
16. Robin Hood’s Stride – 3.1km
Robin Hood’s Stride, close to Birchover and Elton, is one of the best locations in the Peak District to bring kids who love to climb boulders. This large rock formation offers little caves, nooks and crannies, as well as an easy climbing route to the top for fantastic views. This is one of Mother Nature’s best playgrounds. So parents, bring a picnic blanket and a flask of tea/coffee, and let your little ones explore.
Very nearby is Cratcliffe Tor, another rock formation, with a small cave at the base know as a ‘Hemit’s Cave’. Here you will find a stone crucifix, which has ben dated back to the 13th-14th centuries.
By combining Robin Hood’s Stride, Hermit’s Cave, and the Stone Circle, you have a great little 3km walk for kids who love exploring. However, as this is not a circular route and the points of interest all backtrack to/from the same point, you can pick and chose which order you visit these places in, or miss one or two out, should you wish.
17. Longnor – 3.3 km
This relatively flat, circular Longnor walk is away from the tourist hotspots, across classic White Peak farmland, and takes you right through working farms. It’s one of our quieter Peak District walks with kids and we rarely see others on this walk (although you’re guaranteed to see lots of sheep and cows!)
As you walk through the farmyards, please stick to the footpaths and pass through quietly; these are working farms, with machinery, farming products, and livestock around. There are obvious safety hazards, but it goes without saying, stick to the path and don’t let your kids play on the machinery. Also, the footpaths can get muddy around the farms when it’s been raining.
This Longnor walk is very easy-going and takes around 1.5 hours with kids (longer if they want to play at the River Manifold). Reward your efforts with a stop at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese afterwards (there is a small beer garden, kids and dogs are welcome), or a hot chocolate and one of the cafes around the market square.
18. Stanage Pole – 3.4km
Channel your inner pirate as you explore Stanage Pole; a large wooden pole that has stood for hundred of years, marking the border between South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, Hathersage and Sheffield, and probably the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. Incredible views and rare wildlife come as standard on this hill conquering hike, and kids will love clambering on the nearby rocks too.
The Stanage Pole walk is all uphill, but don’t be put off! The changing terrain, flagstone paths, rocky track, open moorland and pine plantation will keep the interest going with kids, and don’t forget it’s downhill all the way back.
There is an option to extend the walk by continuing on to Stanage Edge too.
19. Middleton to Youlgreave – 3.6km
This incredibly pretty Middleton to Youlgreave walk takes you across farmland and along the River Bradford. There are paddling spots along the way, and some interesting rock carvings and notations to find along the walk (including the stone books at Middleton), plus a small playground at the start/end of this walk.
You can extend this walk by combining it with our Alport to Youlgreave walk (number 5 above) to make a 6.6km loop.
20. Broomhead Reservoir – 3.6km
The Broomhead Reservoir walk sits within the South Yorkshire and Sheffield area of the Peak District National Park. With waves gently lapping at the shore and sandy secluded beaches to enjoy a picnic, this is a peaceful walk where you are gently reminded of the sea. It is one of the quieter Peak District reservoir walks, and the area commonly referred to as the ‘Mangrove’ (a tangle of knotted trees growing from within and beside the water) is an interesting places to climb and find fungi.
With it’s changing terrain, this is a fun walk for kids, but it’s also one of the best flat walks in the Peak District.
21. Valehouse Reservoir – 3.7km
Situated on the Manchester edge of the Peak District National Park, this is an easy-going circular walk around Valehouse Reservoir that takes you over both Valehouse Reservoir Dam and Rhodeswood Reservoir Dam. There are interesting weirs and plug holes to spot enroute that help manage the flow of water along the reservoirs; Valehouse Reservoir is just one reservoir along a string of five in this region of the Peak District.
Much of the route is along paved lanes (some of which are accessed by very infrequent cars or tractors). This walk would be added to our list of Peak District pram-friendly walks, except the last section is along a very rocky path.
Please note that there is no direct access to the water along this Valehouse Reservoir walk, and swimming or paddling in the reservoir is strictly prohibited.
22. River Derwent walk from Curbar to Froggatt – 4km
This easy-going and flat River Derwent walk begins by the The Bridge Inn, Curbar, and leads along one side of the river to Frogatt Bridge, returning on the other side of the river, following a clockwise loop. It’s a very pretty walk; on a clear day the imposing boulders along Curbar and Frogatt Edges are in view, and in spring the river banks are covered in daffodils and wild garlic. Half way is Calver Weir, a Grade 2 listed structure, built in the 19th century to provide water to power cotton spinning at Calver Mill.
You can shorten this walk by just doing the loop from Curbar to the A625 road crossing, just after the weir. This is a 2.4km loop.
Unfortunately, despite the even, flat footpaths, this River Derwent walk is not pram friendly. There are very narrow gates to pass through, and a steep stone steps at one of the bridges. Instead, take little ones in a carrier. Click here to check out our pram friendly walks.
23. Mam Tor – 4.1km (or 1.1km if you’re just going to the summit and back)
Mam Tor, meaning ‘Mother Hill’, is a 517 metre high hill overlooking Castleton and is one of the most popular family walks in the Peak District and the trig point is perhaps the most photographed trig point in the Peak District. The views from the top are spectacular, although arrive early during school holidays and weekends to avoid the crowds.
You don’t actually have to endure a long hike to get to Mam Tor trig point itself. If you park at this car park it is just a short (but steep) 550 metre walk uphill. Click here to read all about the quick and easy route to Mam Tor trig point.
Our 4.1km Mam Tor walk takes in the classic loop along Great Ridge and Broken Road. Starting at the Mam Tor National Trust car park it’s a short climb to the top of Mam Tor (517m). From here, the walk leads you down to Hollins Cross, and then down through the woodlands to meet Broken Road (which is a very broken road that was abandoned due to landslides in the 1970s). Following Broken Road the walk leads you up past the entrance to Blue Johns Cavern, before returning back to the car park.
24. Ramsden Reservoir walk – 4.2km
In the far north-eastern tip of Yorkshire’s Peak District, this circular Ramsden Reservoir walk offers lots of variety to keep all family members happy; there’s the beautiful views over the reservoir itself, woodland and streams to play in, open pastures, and even a pub-stop enroute.
This is quite a hilly route with lots of ups and downs as you pass between streams, but it never feels a slog due to all the natural play distractions and gorgeous views. Indeed, allow a good 3-4 hours for this walk, even though it’s only 4km.
25. Hartington to Beresford Dale – 4.3km
Starting from the Hartington Farm Shop and Café (one of the best cafes for a hot chocolate in the Peak District) this short and picturesque Hartington walk leads you down to Beresford Dale where the River Dove meanders through. Make sure you pack a torch, as half way along this walk there is a cave to explore, which includes a short walk through tunnel! You may even find some ‘Ice Age cave paintings’ (which is what our 6 year old called them). Although do note that the tunnel through is very narrow and really only for small children.
26. Dale Dike Reservoir – 4.3km
The Dale Dike Reservoir walk is another not-well-known Peak District reservoir walk. It 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 here. Plus, the surrounding fields with grazing cows, geese and sheep make this a really wonderful, diverse environment for a Peak District 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.
27. Shillito Woods and Ramsley Moor – 4.4km
This easy-going Peak District family walk is a real hidden gem away from the tourist hotspots, offering picnic and paddle spots aplenty. Walk through the tall pine trees of Shillito Woods, take in the open views from Ramsley Moor, and play in the bubbling Blackleach Brook.
Be warned that even in the summer months sections of footpaths are muddy along here. So wear appropriate footwear. There are also no facilities at all on or near this walk, so bring everything you need.
28. Higger Tor – 4.5km
This Higger Tor walk is all about the superb expansive views, so save this one for a clear day. When the clouds roll in, visibility makes navigation tricky, especially through the boggy section half way through. It’s also very exposed, so wear layers and bring appropriate clothing. And if you have kids who love climbing, there are boulders galore on this walk, so we suggest at least three hours for this walk to allow for Spiderman training.
29. Shutlingsloe – 4.8km
Nicknamed the ‘Matterhorn of Cheshire‘ due to its similar shape to the Matterhorn in Switzerland, Shutlingsloe (506 metres) is a great starter hill for little legs and one of the best Peak District trig walks.
This linear Shutlingsloe walk, right on the edge of the Peak District border in Cheshire, with a steady ascent of 245 metres, is a rewarding Peak District family walk that takes in forests, a trig point, and incredible 360 degree views.
This is a walk that enables little ones to to feel like they have climbed a mountain to stand on top of the world! From the top of Shutlingsloe, you will see The Roaches, Shining Tor (the highest hill in Cheshire), Macclesfield, and even across to Wales on a very clear day.
But this Shutlingsloe walk isn’t just about the views. The start of this walk takes you through Macclesfield Forest, which is home to the native broad-leaved tree, but mostly contains pine trees. Lately, work has been ongoing to fell sections of the forest to replant the broad-leaved tree, to retain its natural heritage.
Also, the largest heronry (breeding ground for herons) in the Peak District can be found in Macclesfield Forest and it is also home to a number of other animals. If you are in the forest early in the morning, you may be able to spot badgers, weasels or even red deer.
30. Foolow via Great Hucklow – 4.9km
Tucked away from the tourist honeypots of the National Park, our circular Foolow walk via Great Hucklow starts and ends at the Bulls Head in Foolow, one of our favourite Peak District pubs, and leads you across open meadows. Whilst this leisurely Peak District kids walk is relatively flat, be warned that there are A LOT of stiles to cross; from steep stone stiles, to squeeze stiles (which you made need the help of someone pushing you through). For young kids, these stiles break up the walk with climbing fun. But if you have a child in a carrier, this walk may feel like quite a workout, and many dogs will struggle.
There are two pubs along this walk. The Bulls Head in Foolow serves excellent meals (fantastic veggie burgers!) and are very kid friendly, plus it’s oozing with character. Then two thirds around the walk, when everyone may need a little refuel, there’s the Queen Anne in Great Hucklow, equally as characterful.
31. Little Barbrook – 5km
This Little Barbrook walk offers a ‘there and back’ route, which includes some fantastic views, an ancient standing stone circle, a Bronze Age cairn, plus a great picnic spot at the furthest point with opportunities to paddle, play poo sticks and feed ducks. You may even spot deer, kestrel and butterflies here!
A very simple walk following one main track, and very easy going. In fact this walk to Little Barbrook is one of our favourite flat walks in the Peak District.
32. Over Haddon to Lathkill Dale – 5km
Lathkill Dale is arguably one of the prettiest dales in the Peak District. Considering the heavily industrialised lead mining history of this dale in the nineteenth century, it’s remarkable to see how Mother Nature has healed the scars and restored it to such beauty.
This walk also takes you to Lathkill Dale, but starts from the picturesque village of Over Haddon and leads you gently downhill across open meadows to explore the dale further downstream, crossing a packhorse bridge (Coalpit Bridge) and a medieval sheepwash bridge (Conksbury Bridge). This walk then follows the River Lathkill upstream along weirs that the Victorians built for trout fishing, and then leads back up into the village of Over Haddon.
Please note that Lathkill Dale is a SSSI and there are Natural England signs along the river asking you not to go in to the water for a paddle.
33. Chee Dale – 5km
Sheltered beneath the Monsal Trail, is the peaceful nature reserve of Chee Dale where the River Wye meanders through a deep limestone gorge, and two sets of stepping stones provide access to walkers through the dale.
Our Chee Dale Stepping Stones walk starts from Millers Dale and leads you down into the verdant gorge where you need to navigate stepping stones along the limestone walls, before climbing back up to the Monsal Trail and walking through the long tunnels.
In heavy rain, the Chee Dale Stepping Stones are often submerged in water, so plan this walk for when the weather has been dry. Also, the footpath along the river is rocky and very uneven in places (with a couple of spots where you may need to slide on your bum), so those with little ones in a carrier may find it tricky in places.
34. Dovedale stepping stones – 5.3km
Unsurprisingly, due to it’s stunning beauty and iconic stepping stones across the River Dove, Dovedale is one of the most popular hotspots in the Peak District National Park, and Dovedale car park (£3 cash only) is often exceptionally busy. However, this Dovedale circular walk starts from the much quieter village of Thorpe, and leads you around Thorpe Cloud, across Dovedale Stepping Stones. It’s easily one of our favourite Peak District family walks.
This is a much quieter route. But to avoid crowds at Dovedale Stepping Stones, plan to start this Dovedale circular walk either early or late in the day, especially on sunny weekends.
This route also includes an optional detour up Thorpe Cloud from Dovedale Stepping Stones. This is a steep 15 minute climb with superb views. Or perhaps just leave that to another day; it’s up to you.
35. Hathersage Stepping Stones – 5.3km
A much quieter alternative to Dovedale Stepping Stones, is Hathersage Stepping Stones.
This almost-5km circular Peak District family walk from Hathersage is easy and relatively flat. It mostly follows the footpaths along the River Derwent, through shady trees backed by open fields. The stepping stone themselves are a little trickier than the Dovedale ones, so take care if you’re unsteady on your feet; kids under 5 will need a helping hand as their legs aren’t quite long enough to reach across to each stone.
It’s a very pretty walk, and the reward at the end is a hot chocolate in one of Hathersage’s cafes!
36. Lud’s Church – 5.4km
As you descend into the rocky depths of Lud’s Church, it feels like you’ve entered another world, away from the typical green rolling dales and farming land of the Peak District. Parents – this Lud’s Church walk is your opportunity to release your inner Indiana Jones… in Staffordshire. Created by a giant land-slip, this deep, moss-covered chasm is full of history and myths and makes for a fantastic family walk.
Lud’s Church is 18 metres deep and 100 metres long. Somehow trees have found a home on the dark, narrow cliff face and reach up for the light. And even though there is no steeple in site, it was used as a secret place for worship for people who would have otherwise been prosecuted in the fifteenth century. It’s also believed that Robin Hood and Friar Tuck once used it as a hiding place from the authorities.
Most visitors park at Gradbach car park and follow the 2.2km route to Lud’s Church and back (4.4km total). However, this route gets very busy on weekends and holidays, and the car park is often full by 9:30am (it’s also a good starting point for the Three Shires Head walk). Plus this route is mainly through woodland, and we always prefer a bit of variety on our walks with little ones.
Peak District Kid’s circular Lud’s Church walk begins at this road side parking near to the Roaches and quickly descends into forest to reach Lud’s Church. It then leads you back up on a gradual ascent with fantastic views over the Staffordshire countryside. You may want to combine this walk with our Roaches walk, detailed below.
37. Thor’s Cave walk from Wetton – 5.6km
Thor’s Cave is an iconic natural cavern perched on the side of the Manifold Valley. Don’t forget to pack your torch on this Peak District walk as the kids will love climbing and exploring deep into the dark chamber at the back of the cave (and gloves are a good idea for scrambling).
Please note that the walk up to Thor’s Cave gets extremely muddy and slippy in wet weather, and may be impassable. We suggest attempting this walk in dry weather. Also, this is a popular tourist attraction so we recommend visiting at the beginning or end of the day to avoid waiting to enter Thor’s cave.
This is a circular Thor’s Cave walk with the cave visit being close to the start, so if you were visiting later on in the day, you could even do the walk in reverse and visit the cave near the end.
Be sure to wear appropriate footwear as parts of the route are rocky and can get muddy in wet weather. Take care when entering and exiting the cave as the smooth surface can get very slippy. Be prepared for muddy hands and bottoms if it’s wet!
After you’ve explored the cave, the route takes you down through woodland and then along the flat Manifold Way before climbing up and across the fields back to Wetton village.
There are some steep uphill sections but they’re only short and the views across the Manifold Valley are a good excuse to stop and catch your breath.
You can also shorten this to a 2.6 km walk just walking to Thor’s Cave and back.
38. The Roaches – 5.5km
The Roaches walk is iconic to Staffordshire’s Peak District. Standing on the top of The Roaches on a clear day, the views spreading out across Tittesworth Reservoir, Leek, and far beyond are very impressive. Plus, there are boulders galore for kids who love to climb, and is a popular spot for organised climbing clubs.
The footpath along the top of The Roaches to the trig point can get busy, but the second half of this short circular Roaches walk is much quieter. The terrain is rock and uneven underfoot, and there’s also a boggy section too, so wear appropriate footwear. Also, as this is a Peak District tourist hot spot (and understandably so), aim to arrive by 9am to secure a parking space (and only park in designated parking areas).
You could also combine this walk with our Lud’s Church walk. Combining the two walks into a Roaches and Lud’s Church walk makes a total distance of 12.6km.
39. Langsett Reservoir walk – 5.8km
Langsett Reservoir is a really special place bursting full of rare wildlife and offers one of the best Peak District reservoir walks. Indeed, this circular Langsett Reservoir walk takes you right around the entire reservoir.
Boasting stunning views across the moorlands and down to the glistening water of the reservoir, there is something really soul-filling about this place. Interesting history of the area weaves it’s way through the land as it was once used to practice the Normandy invasion, with old tracks and bullet scars to show for it, offering interesting imaginary conversation with kids along the route.
The changing terrain and environments on this Langsett Reservoir walk keeps everyone interested; from pretty ancient woodland with twisting tree roots and muddy paths, to open moorland between the heather and bilberry, to tall towering pine forest with cones to fill your pockets.
40. Grindleford Station to Padley Gorge, Owler Tor, and Mother Cap – 5.8km
Direct from Grindleford train station, this classic Peak District family walk shows off the fantastic natural diversity of the National Park; from the magical mossy woodland of Padley Gorge, to the sweeping views of Surprise View and Mother Cap with boulders beckoning to be scrambled on. With so many natural play areas, this circular Grindleford walk will easily fill a whole day despite this only being 5.8km.
This Grindleford walk starts by leading you through the twisted mossy trees of Padley Gorge with the sound of rushing water as your soundtrack. It’s a magical setting with mushrooms to find and trees to climb, plus the water to play in. Then walking away from Padley Gorge you are led past Owler Tor, with views back down to Longshaw Estate, and onto the rocky outcrops of Surprise View and the domineering Mother Cap; this section is boulder climbing galore! A rocky path then leads you down to Millstone Edge with superb views over to Hathersage, Stanage Edge, Mam Tor, and beyond, before heading back down into Padley Gorge and returning to the train station for hot chips from Grindleford Station Café.
This is one of our more challenging Peak District family walks as the terrain is rarely flat and most paths are uneven underfoot. But take your time and embrace the stops for play, as this walk really does show off some of the best bits of the Peak District.
41. Cave Dale – 6km
Perched high above Castleton, on the opposite side to Mam Tor, are the ruins and singular standing tower of Peveril Castle. Built by Henry II in 1176, it is now owned by English Heritage, and you can pay to go inside to explore what’s left of the tower and walls. Alternatively, you can get some pretty good views of Peveril Castle on our Cave Dale walk.
Starting in the picturesque village of Castleton, our circular Cave Dale walk takes you past Peveril Castle and up through the rocky, steep path of Cave Dale to meet the Limestone Way at the top. The views on a clear day here are beautiful. The walk then circles round back into the village, past Peak Cavern (aka “Devil’s Arse”).
It’s a steady climb to the top of Cave Dale and the footpath is rocky and uneven underfoot. Plus after wet weather, a small waterfall flows down the footpath, so waterproof hiking boots are recommended. The last section of this walk is very steep downhill and you may need to do some ‘bum sliding’ (this is obviously a technical hiking term), so it’s also a good idea to have waterproof trousers with you.
42. B29 ‘Overexposed’ crash site walk, Bleaklow – 6km
On 3rd November 1948, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress (American bomber) called Overexposed crashed into the Peak District moorlands, near Higher Shelf Stones on Bleaklow. Part of the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, used for military photography, the plane crashed due to a fatal navigation error in poor visibility. All thirteen crew members lost their lives. Much of the wreckage remains on the moors as a memorial and an official plaque has been erected.
Only attempt this walk on a clear day. Many of the footpaths over the moor between the Pennine Way and Higher Shelf Stones are unclear and there are multiple options. It can be rather disorientating and in poor visibility it is very easy to get lost. The boggy tracks add to the difficulty.
It is extremely exposed on this walk. On hot, sunny days there is no shade, in the winter months the temperature drops, and you can often experience four seasons in one day. Wear appropriate clothing, including sturdy footwear, and bring enough water.
This is also a very popular Peak District walk and parking is limited. Aim to arrive before 9:30am on weekend and holiday days to secure a parking spot. Do not park behind the double yellow lines, you will be ticketed.
43. Ashford-in-the-Water walk to Monsal Head – 6.2km
Ashford-in-the-Water is a picture-postcard village in the heart of the Peak District and this circular walk leads you up to Monsal Head and back. This is a longer walk that the Monsal Head walk detailed above.
Combine this walk with a pub lunch half way round at The Stables Bar at Monsal Head, or at the Bulls Head in Ashford-in-the-Water afterwards. Kids will love walking through the 400 metre long Headstone Tunnel, and the views from Monsal Head are fantastic. There’s also a playground at the end of the walk, if your little ones still have energy to burn.
44. Win Hill – 6.2km
The views from Win Hill (462m) over Ladybower Reservoir and the Great Ridge in the Dark Peak are superb on a clear day. Whilst the direct route up to the summit is rather steep, this circular Win Hill walk allows for a steadier incline through the pine forest, more suitable young families. There is, however, a steep decline from the summit; whilst kids will probably bound down, parents may want to use walking poles, and it may be tricky for those with little ones in carriers.
This Win Hill walk is super fun, with woodland explorations, incredible views, boulders to scramble up to the summit, and a family snap at the Win Hill Trig point is a must! Starting from Heatherdene car park, this walk crosses over Ladybower Dam, meaning that you will also pass the Ladybower plugholes (technically known as shaft spillways), which drain water when the reservoir becomes full after heavy rains.
Make sure you have change for parking at Heatherdene car park (the machine doesn’t take cards). And on weekends and school holidays, arrive before 10am to get a parking space, as this car park does get exceptionally busy.
45. Three Shires Head – 6.2km
Three Shires Head is where the counties of Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire meet at a waterfall and collection of pools on the River Dane. It’s a stunning spot and one of our favourite Peak District wild swimming locations.
Even on a cloudy day it’s perfect for a picnic and paddle; our boys spend ages walking over the boulders and dipping their toes into the icy cold waters. The waterfalls mark exactly half way around this Three Shires walk, so it makes for a perfect lunch stop.
46. Tissington to Parwich – 6.3km
The village of Tissington, where this beautiful Peak District family walk begins and ends, is one of the prettiest in the National Park. Centred around the grand Tissington Hall are a collection of limestone cottages, no less than six ancient wells, a Church that dates back to Saxon times, a tea shop selling vegan treats, and a duck pond. This is also where the Tissington Trail passes through; a popular Peak District cycle route for families.
This circular Tissington walk to Parwich follows along the Tissington Trail for a short while, but then leads out to open farmland as you head to Parwich, another pretty Peak District village. The views along the way are beautiful. It’s worth timing your walk to arrive in Parwich in time for lunch at the Sycamore Inn, before continuing your walk back to Tissington. There’s also a good playground in Parwich.
47. Eyam Moor walk – 6.3km
This Eyam Moor walk boasts stunning moorland views, and then descends into woodland along Highlow Brook and climbs up again through open pastures. It’s a lovely walk for families with kids age 5+ (not suitable for prams).
It can get rather gusty on the moorland, yet it is sheltered in the valley, so wear layers, and can be muddy underfoot, so ensure everyone is wearing hiking boots with good grip and put kids in waterproof trousers.
48. Shining Tor walk – 6.3km
Shining Tor is the highest hill in the Cheshire Peak District at 559 metres, yet this 6.3km linear walk allows you to feel on top of the world without too much of an uphill challenge. Indeed, this is one of the best view walks in the Peak District.
You can extend this walk and increase the ascent by starting lower down at Errwood Reservoir. However, this walk starts from the beautifully located Pym Chair car park at 461 metres, meaning you can reach the summit of Shining Tor fairly easily.
Completing the full Shining Tor walk rewards you with a trig point at summit along with fantastic views from the rocky outcrops along the ridge. You’ll be able to see the distinctive Shutlingsloe peak in the distance and on a clear day, you may even be able to make out the Wrekin in Shropshire, the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales and Jodrell Bank.
49. Lathkill Dale from Monyash – 6.6km
Lathkill Dale is one of the prettiest dales in the Peak District National Park. This circular walk takes you to the the cave where the River Lathkill emerges (feel the cold air seeping from underground) and along the river to a waterfall. It then leads back along the top of the dales across a series of open pastures connected by stone stiles.
This Lathkill Dale walk is a moderately difficult Peak District family walk aimed at kids aged 6+. If you want a shorter version, you could just walk down to the cave (the start of the River Lathkill) and back, which is 3km return.
50. Derwent Dam up to Pike Low – 6.8km
This is one of our more challenging Peak District family walks as it is steep, muddy and rocky in places. But the views from Pike Low down on to the reservoirs on this Derwent Dam walk are simply stunning and make it all the worthwhile.
Starting from Fairholmes car park, this walk takes you right up to Derwent Dam, then along the shores of Derwent Reservoir, climbs steeply up to Pike Low and across the open moors of the Dark Peak, to then descend back down to Ladybower Reservoir with an easy walk back to the start.
51. Bakewell to Ashford in the Water – 7km
This pretty Peak District family walk, starts from All Saints Church in the historical market town of Bakewell, and follows the River Wye to the picture-perfect village of Ashford-in-the-Water. It then leads you up into the hills along a quiet track for superb views down into the village, to then cross open meadows back to Bakewell.
It’s worth timing your walk with a pub lunch at The Bulls Head in Ashford-in-the-Water, or grabbing a tea and cake at Aisseford Tea Room. Or you may just want to pop to the Ashford village playground to let the kids run riot and enjoy a picnic at one of the picnic tables. At the end of this Bakewell to Ashford-in-the-Water walk, there are then lots of things to do in Bakewell; including Bakewell Museum, a swimming pool, lots of pub and café choices, and grabbing a Bakewell Tart to eat is a must!
52. Errwood Reservoir – 7.4km
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.
53. Stanage Edge – 7.7km
The Stanage Edge walk that takes in High Nebb trig point is all about taking in the superb views from arguably the most impressive gritstone escarpment in the Peak District. On a clear day, you can see across to Kinder Plateau and Mam Tor, with the angular summit of Win Hill protruding from the foreground, and further along this walk, you will get a glimpse of Ladybower Reservoir. Hathersage can also be easily spotted as Stanage Edge stands over this picturesque village. And for kids, there are LOTS of opportunities to play on the boulders (just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t go too close to the edge!)
This Peak District family walk starts from Hollins Bank car park (at the base of Stanage Edge), which is just a short, steady climb to the top. You then follow the footpath along the top, passing High Nebb trig point, right to the end of the escarpment (aptly named Stanage End), before descending to the footpath below and following it all the way back to the car park.
Even on a warm summers day, it gets very blustery up on Stanage Edge, so take an extra layer with you. The footpath is also very uneven underfoot, so take care; kids will love playing ‘the floor is lava’.
Standage Edge features in the latest BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice (where Keira Knightly stood windswept and pensive over the landscape). And whilst we can’t guarantee you’ll find Mr Darcy on this walk, you will see lots of discarded millstones on the latter half of this walk, many still in tact from their industrial heyday.
54. Bamford Edge – 7.9km
Bamford Edge is one of the most iconic spots in the Peak District. You may have see a fair few posts on Instagram of someone stood on that rock overlooking Ladybower Reservoir, more often than not at sunset?
Many people head up to this spot, grab a photo, and then head back down again (check out our guide: How to get to Bamford Edge). But here we offer a lovely Bamford Edge circular walk, which includes epic views, Ladybower Reservoir (and plug holes), wood carvings for kids to find, Bamford stepping stones, and The Anglers Rest (which is the village pub, café, and post office).
There’s a steep climb at the end of this walk, but doing this walk anticlockwise will be easier for little legs. We’ve also provided an alternative gentler route back from the pub at the end, which adds 1.1km to the walk.
55. Magpie Mine from Sheldon to Monyash – 8km
This pretty Magpie Mine walk takes you from the sleepy village of Sheldon, across gently rolling meadows, to the Bulls Head pub in Monyash (where there’s a fantastic playground), and back through Magpie Mine (the best preserved 19th century lead mine in the whole of Britain and free to explore). Plus there are lots of fossils to be found in the stiles close to Monyash! But the main reason we love this Peak District Kids walk is that it’s always so quiet as it’s away from the main hotspots of the National Park.
Do be warned that there are A LOT of stiles on this walk, so this may not be suitable for those with dogs, or parents with a little one in a carrier. Plus, it’s very likely that you will have to walk through at least one field of cows; walk carefully and quietly, and give them lots of space.
If you’re looking for a Magpie Mine walk, this is a great loop walk. But if you just want to visit Magpie Mine, you can just visit directly from Sheldon, following the footpaths at the end of this walk.
56. Bakewell to Haddon Hall – 8.4km
A picturesque circular walk from the historic market town of Bakewell along the River Wye to the grand Haddon Hall estate, returning via open farmland and through Bakewell cemetery. Despite the town being a tourist hotspot, this circular Bakewell to Haddon Hall walk leads you away from the hustle and bustle, along quiet footpaths.
Kids will enjoy paddling and playing around the streams and river, and the views towards Haddon Hall as you climb up towards Over Haddon are very pretty.
Haddon Hall is a fortified medieval manor house dating from the 12th century, and is the home of Lord and Lady Edward Manners whose family have owned it since 1567. If you would like to go into Haddon Hall and have a look around, you need to purchase a ticket (visit the Haddon Hall website). Children under 16 are free, but adult tickets are £23.90. There’s a 30% discount for Derbyshire residents.
There’s also a trig to bag on this walk – Noton Barn Farm trigpoint. However, it is on private land and you need the landowner’s permission to access it. But you can (just about) touch it from the other side of the wall (be careful of the double-barbed wire); we just use a stick to bag this trig.
57. Curbar Edge, including White Edge and Froggatt Edge – 9.4km
The circular Curbar Edge walk, which also takes in Froggatt Edge and White Edge, is a classic Peak District walk offering epic views, a trig point to bag, and a half-way pub stop. It’s one of our longer Peak District family walks, but kids will love the clambering on the boulders, which we save for the end of the walk (just watch out for those drops).
Although you don’t need to do the full loop to appreciate the views. Curbar Edge is just a short walk from Curbar Gap car park (the starting point of this Curbar Edge walk). It’s a very accessible view point and particularly special at sunset.
Please note that you are very exposed on this walk, and the weather can be wilder along these edges than down in the valley, so bring an extra layer of clothing with you.
58. Bakewell to Chatsworth – 10km
Our picturesque Bakewell to Chatsworth walk is one of our longer family walks in the Peak District. It will lead you through pretty woodland to the sweeping open pastures of the Chatsworth Estate, where you’ll perhaps spot deer and sheep, then along the River Derwent, before heading to Edensor for cake at the tea room, and back over to Bakewell where you can perhaps finish with a Bakewell Tart or a pint of local ale in one of Bakewell’s (no less than) nine pubs.
The walk can be muddy and slippy through the woodland, so please wear appropriate footwear, and there are steep climbs in places. Allow a good five hours to enjoy the walk with kids, but in the summer months, this walk can easily fill a whole day.
If you’re based in Bakewell for a Peak District holiday, this is definitely one of the top things to do in Bakewell.
Looking for slightly longer walks?
If you’re looking for an epic, iconic walk, how about taking on Kinder Scout with kids?
Kinder Scout is arguably the most impressive place to walk in the Peak District and many people have this on their bucket list. The views from the plateau on a clear day are incredible and the landscape feels wild and untouched.
There are two main options to climb Kinder Scout:
For either route, be prepared for a bit of a climb; your efforts will be rewarded with incredible views on a clear day!
Or if your kids are loving the hiking, why not try a multiday family hike? Check out our 3-day Edale to Grindleford walk, staying at YHAs enroute. It’s a stunning long walk that takes in Mam Tor, The Great Ridge, Lose Hill, Win Hill, The River Derwent, Hathersage Stepping Stones and the woodlands around Grindleford.