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Hartington walk to Beresford Dale caves (4.3km)

Hartington walk to Beresford Dale caves (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’ (created this century). Although do note that the tunnel is very narrow and really only for small children.

Also, if you love exploring caves, you must try out our Thor’s Cave walk too!

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When planning your 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.

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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 or what3words, which are provided on every walk guide.

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.

Hartington 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.

Hartington walk map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS AC0000861980

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: An easy circular walk. Some of the footpaths can get very muddy in the wetter months.

PARKING: Pay and display car park at Parson’s Field Car Park. Click here for Google Map point on your phone. Postcode is: SK17 0BE.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The Buxton-Ashbourne bus (442) stops in Hartington.

WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Walk along the River Dove, explore inside a cave, lovely views of green rolling hills typical of the White Peak, and enjoy one of the best hot chocolates in the Peak District after your walk at Hartington Farm Shop and Café.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE:  Without kids this would be a 1.5 hour walk, but allow 2.5 hours with young kids. Make sure you add on extra time for playing at the cave (at least 20 minutes).

STILES: yes.

TOTAL ASCENT: 105 metres

PUBLIC TOILETS: There are public toilets next to the Hartington Farm Shop and Café (at the start of this walk). There are no other toilet facilities on the walk. Before or after your walk, there are a handful of pubs and cafes in the village of Hartington.

Hartington car park
Pay and display car park in Hartington

The route

START: Parson’s Field Car Park
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 1276 6033
Post code: SK17 0BE
what3words: ///reduction.suggested.village

Route follows an anticlockwise direction.

1. Turn left out of the car park and walk for 50 metres along the pavement until you reach Hartington Farm Shop and Café. To the right of the café are the public toilets, and in between the toilet block and the café is a public footpath.

2. Walk up the concrete steps, through the little gate, and follow the footpath to the right.

Hartington walk

3. Follow along this footpath, always keeping straight ahead. You will cross a lane, then through a squeeze stile, then another squeeze stile, before walking into woodland.

4. From the edge of the woodland, continue along the footpath and cross over a wooden footbridge. Then continue along the flat gravel footpath with the River Dove to your left.

Hartington walk

5. You will then arrive at a little lane with a wooden footbridge leading back over the other side of the River Dove. Cross the footbridge and continue along the footpath on the other side.

6. As you approach the wooden gate in the drystone wall, you will notice a cave straight ahead. This is where you can take a little detour to explore some caves! Cross through the next gate and walk up the hill to the left. Make sure you have a torch with you to walk through the tunnel.

7. When you have finished playing in the caves, retrace your steps back to the gate and take the footpath leading up the hill, which is now on your right. This footpath is a little steep, but it’s only 300 metres long.

Hartington walk

8. Once you reach the top with a lane on your right, you will see a steep stone stile ahead of you. Climb over the stile and cross the field to the right to meet another steep stone stile which leads you out on to the lane. If you want to skip the stiles, you can just walk along the lane to the right, then take a left at the T-junction.

Hartington walk

9. Follow the lane to the left for 200 metres from the stile, until you reach this sign post for a footpath (see below photo); it’s the second footpath sign on the left. Continue along this footpath (there’s a sharp right turn at the start of the footpath).

10. This then brings you out to another lane. Take a left and continue along the lane for 560 metres, past some old farmhouse buildings.

11. Just 15 metres after these buildings is a footpath on the left. Take this footpath and cross the field. This leads down to the footpath you started on at the very beginning.

Hartington walk

12. Turn right and follow this back to Hartington Farm Shop and Café for some well deserved cake. If there is no table space at the café, continue into the village where there is a handful of other quaint eateries to choose from.

Hartington walk

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!

Also, feel free to share your walk photos in our Peak District Kids Facebook Group or on Instagram using by tagging @peakdistrictkids in your caption so we can share with our wider community.

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


Or, use the search walks page to find your perfect family walk.

Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.

You may also like to read:
Monsal Head circular walk (2.4km)
Tissington to Parwich walk (6.3km)
Lathkill Dale walk from Monyash (6.6km)