The Peak District is well known for it’s rolling dales and dramatic escarpments and not surprisingly, many of our Peak District family walks involve a bit of a climb. But if you’re looking for flat walks in the Peak District – do not fear, we have found some for you! Here we have compiled the best Peak District flat walks (in order of distance)!
There are also the old railway track trails to walk along that are relatively flat (Monsal Trail, Tissington Trail, High Peak Trail, etc.), but these form some of the very popular Peak District cycle routes; these trails are often very busy over weekends and school holidays, and keeping an ear and eye out for bikes coming up from behind you doesn’t make for a relaxing walk. So we haven’t included them, although they may form part of a suggested circular flat Peak District walks detailed below.
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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A lovely leisurely walk in the beautiful setting of Ilam Park and picturesque Dovedale. The walk starts by crossing the parkland and dropping down towards the River Manifold. It then follows the ‘Paradise Walk’ path along the river to St. Bertram’s Bridge, which used to be the main route into Ilam. This attractive section of the walk was known for its carriage rides for visitors during Victorian times. Finish off by heading back to the hall and formal Italian Gardens, enjoying the stunning and iconic views of Thorpe Cloud and Bunster Hill.
Kids will love this walk as there’s plenty of fun places to run around and explore including the wavy ‘ridge and furrow’ fields created by medieval ploughing. There’s also a small natural play trail and on the way, they can spot the boil holes where the river has travelled through caves and bubbles up out of the rocks.
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.
This is a flat Peak District walk AND you get some of the best views in the National Park! 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. Plus, Baslow Edge is a great place to see Highland Coos!
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?
On the Staffordshire edge of the Peak District not far from Leek is Tittesworth Reservoir, the perfect place for families with a range of walking trails to suit all ages and abilities.
There’s a couple of short accessible routes including this 2.8 km pram friendly loop. The walk offers beautiful views across Tittesworth Reservoir, sheltered woodland and a shallow river for paddling so don’t forget to bring the kids wellies or waterproof boots. The paths are a mixture of flat gravel terrain and wooden boardwalks, so perfect for little legs, prams and buggies.
A highlight for the kids is the fantastic playground which has two separate play areas for different ages, a zip line and sand pit. It’s one of the best playgrounds in the Peak District. There’s also plenty of picnic benches, a take-away café and the Waterview Restaurant.
If you’re looking for a longer walk, there’s also a 4.5 km trail and 7.5 km complete reservoir loop. Although please note that these options are not pram friendly. Or for something a little different, you might want to try out paddle boarding or kayaking at the Tittesworth Water Sport and Activity Centre.
5. Stanton Moor (aka ‘The Cork Walk’ or ‘Nine Ladies Circle’) – 3.1 km
This circular Stanton Moor walk has it all – unusual stones to explore, rocks to climb, woodland, open views and muddy puddles! It’s easily one of our favourite peak district family walks. 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. The walk continues round to the left, however, we often like to take a detour down the old quarry to play amongst all the boulders. A snack at the Nine Ladies Circle is standard; a Bronze Age circle used by the Druids. Enjoy the views over to Darley Dale as you loop back round to the beginning.
Longshaw Estate is a beautiful expanse of parkland, moors and ancient woodland, close to Padley Gorge. You’ll find yourself wanting to return again and again with so many different routes to try out. It’s great for kids with dens to play in, tree stumps to jump on, logs to balance on, and plenty of open space for them to burn some energy.
The flat, well-surfaced paths make for a perfect Peak District pram friendly walk. This is also a good walk option for the wetter months if you want to avoid the muddier walks.
Starting and finishing at the National Trust Wooden Pole car park, the walk follows the woodland path onto the open parkland. Allow some time for the kids to explore near the pond and play in Boggart Burrow. Stop for a drink from the Croft Cabin or Longshaw Café before heading across the grassland back to the car park.
The High Peak Trail in the Derbyshire Peak District follows the old railway trackbed from Dowlow, near Buxton to Cromford. This circular Minninglow walk starts by following the trail at Minninglow, high up on the embankment before cutting through the hillside. Kids will love playing in the old quarry and finding leftover sections of the railway track. There’s also an old rusty crane to admire too, which would have been used to load limestone onto the trains.
From here, you can leave the trail to take an optional and worthwhile detour up to Minninglow Hill. At the top, you’ll find an ancient neolithic burial site surrounded by a distinctive ring of trees. You can reach the site with a pram or buggy but you may need a little help over a small rocky section near the top.
The second half of the walk takes you back to where you started, along another gentle track with stone walls and fields either side. Apart from the small rocky climb up to Minninglow Hill (which can be missed out), the rest of the route is flat with well-surfaced paths so perfect for a Peak District pram friendly walk.
8. River Derwent walk from Curbar to Froggatt – 4km
This easy-going and flat Peak District 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 steep stone steps at one of the bridges. Instead, take little ones in a carrier. Click here to check out our pram friendly walks.
Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is the go-to website for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District, run by Bakewell-based mum-of-two, Jenny Lynn. Find out about the best walks, bike rides, attractions, pubs, and accommodation for families in the UK's oldest National Park.