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Middleton to Youlgreave walk (3.6km, circular)

Middleton to Youlgreave walk (3.6km, circular)

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 to make a 6.6km loop. Or maybe pop into one of the three pubs in Youlgreave for lunch along the way.

For the purposes of this walk, we are using the Ordnance Survey spelling of Youlgreave. However, you will also see it spelt Youlegreave and Youlgrave, and there are in fact many more spellings throughout history of this quaint Peak District village.

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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.


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.

Map of the Middleton to Youlgreave walk

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.

This Middleton to Youlgreave walk follows the below map in an anticlockwise direction.

Middleton to Youlgreave walk OS 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: 3.6km / 2.2 milea

TYPE OF WALK: circular walk through farmland and along the River Bradford

PARKING: There is no car park at Middleton. Instead, the parking is roadside in the centre of the village, near to the public toilets and small playground. Please be respectful of local residents and park with care. Click here for Google Maps location. Postcode is DE45 1LS.

WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Unusual stone carvings and markings (including the Middleton stone books), paddling in the River Bradford, finding hidden caves, pretty views. There’s also a playground at the start/end of this walk.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids this walk can be done in 1.5-2 hours, but we recommend 3 hours with young kids.

ACCESSIBILITY: This walk is not pram friendly. There are no stiles, but you will pass through a couple of squeeze stiles.

TOTAL ASCENT: 107 metres

FACILITIES: There are public toilets at the start of this walk in Middleton (open seasonally). There is no pub in Middleton, but you will find a few in Youlgreave (as well as another public toilet) if you walk into Youlgreave village half way round this walk.

The route

START: Middleton-by-Youlgreave roadside parking
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 1956 6318
Post code: DE45 1LS
what3words: ///horses.chap.afflicted

Route follows an anticlockwise direction.

1. Opposite the entrance to the toilets, next to the playground, is a lane. Walk down this lane, past the entrance to Tor Farm on your left. 

Middleton to Youlgreave walk

2. Just after the bend to the left in the lane, the footpath splits in two. Take the higher footpath on the right, through the wooden gate, following the yellow arrow. Follow the footpath across the field, then along the edge of the woodland (the woodland is on your left), and through another wooden gate. On the OS Map the footpath goes through the woodland; ignore this. 

Middleton to Youlgreave walk

3. Continue down to the stream, keeping the drystone wall (and then the wire fencing) immediately on your left. 

Middleton to Youlgreave walk

4. Cross the stone footbridge on the left and continue the footpath to the right. Note the writing on the bridge as you walk across. There is a fork in the path through the trees; take the lower path on the right.

5. Once you come out of the trees, the path splits in two. Take the path straight ahead to a gate (following the line of the electricity pylons), ignoring the footpath leading to a different gate on the right. 

Middleton to Youlgreave walk

6. Walk through the metal gate and continue straight ahead, walking past a ruined barn on your left. Follow the yellow arrows across the fields walking through two gates, a squeeze stile, another five gates. The village of Youlgreave comes into view after the first gate. 

7. After the last gate, which is just after the horse paddock, take a left. Walk through the metal gate and down the hill. There’s a small cave to play in on the left on the way down. 

8. When you get down to the river Bradford, don’t cross over. Instead take the footpath to the left. The river will be on your right. Do stop at the bridge for a little play though. It’s a great little paddling spot. And if you cross over and follow the footpath to the right, you will get to the designated Youlgreave river swimming spot. You could also lengthen this walk by continuing along our Youlgreave walk from Alport (from point 9 is where the two walks cross over). 

Middleton to Youlgreave walk

9. From the stone bridge where you have turned left, continue along the river for 1.4 km. 350 metres along this path, you pass the first weir on your right. On the other side of the footpath is a narrow cave to explore. As you continue upstream, the river dips through tunnels and weaves around weirs. This section is flat and easy going. Don’t cross over the stone arch bridge; continue along the footpath. 

Middleton to Youlgreave walk

10. When the footpath leads over the river, spot the stone books in the wall on your left. Pass the ‘Middleton Dale’ information sign on you right and continue straight ahead up the track (do not take the footpath on the left). 

Middleton to Youlgreave walk

11. At the top of the track, follow the lane slightly to the right and back to your car. Maybe there’s time for a quick play in the playground before you all jump in the car.

Middleton to Youlgreave 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:
Alport to Youlgreave walk (3km, circular)
Youlgreave swimming area
Robin Hood’s Stride walk (3km)