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 cicular 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 are looking for a longer Padley Gorge walk that is a bit more challenging for your kids, check out our Grindleford walk that takes you through Padley Gorge from Grindleford Station, and up to Owler Tor, Surprise View, Mother Cap, and Over Owler Tor. You may also want to check out our other Peak District river walks.
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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.
Is this Padley Gorge walk pram friendly?
The first half of this walk through Padley Gorge is not pram friendly. However, once you enter Longshaw Estate, the footpaths are great for pushchairs and buggies. If you are looking for a Peak District pram friendly walk, check out our Longshaw Estate pram friendly walk which is a lovely 3.7km circular route.
Padley Gorge 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.
|The Peak District: White Peak Area Map | Weatherproof | Peak…||£14.75||Buy on Amazon|
Our Padley Gorge walk follows the below OS Map in a clockwise direction.
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.
Need to know
DISTANCE OF WALK: 2.7km (1.7 miles)
TYPE OF WALK: circular, easy going, rocky in places.
PARKING: There is free roadside parking here, which also marks the start point. Please only park in the designated areas. Police are strict here and there is a very good chance you will be ticketed if you park illegally. On a weekend or hots summer’s day, aim to arrive by 9:30am to secure a space. If there are no car parking spaces, you can park at the Longshaw Estate car park. This is free for National Trust members, otherwise it is £4.50 for three hours. You can pay using an app on your phone.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Paddling in the river, shady woodland, boulders to climb, natural playgrounds and Longshaw Estate.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids, this is a 1 hour walk. However, with so many places to stop and play along the way (and there are a lot!), allow for three hours, especially if it’s a hot day and you want to paddle.
TOTAL ASCENT: 53 metres
FACILITIES: Public toilets can be found at Longshaw Estate. There is also often an ice-cream van at the roadside parking area (cash only).
START: Padley Gorge Ice Cream Van
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 2581 7996
Post code: S11 7TZ
Route follows a clockwise direction.
1. Head through the gate on the parking side of the road, and take the short walk down to the Burbage Brook. Cross the wooden footbridge.
2. Once over the other side, follow the footpath along to your right. Burbage Brook will be on your right. There are lots of little places to stop for a paddle and play along here.
3. Follow this footpath along for 600 metres, until you come to another footbridge that takes you back to the other side of Burbage Brook.
4. Cross the bridge and follow the flagstone path up into the woods.
5. Just 100 metres along, you will come to a footpath T-junction. Take the footpath to the right. Although this is a good spot for a play on the boulders. Snack time perhaps?
6. Continue along the footpath through the trees for 500 metres, until you meet a gate that leads out on to the road. Along the way here, you’ll find lots more boulders to climb up and jump off.
7. Walk through the wooden gate on the left, and carefully cross the road. To the right of the big house is the pathway into DLongshaw Estate. Walk down this path.
8. Just before reaching the grand Longshaw Lodge, you will notice a footpath to the right. Follow this footpath. This leads you in front of the Lodge, with fabulous views over to Shining View and Mother Cap.
9. This then leads you to another gate. Walk through the gate. There are two footpaths here. Take the one on the right, past the millstone.
10. This section through the woods is really lovely for kids. There are natural dens to play in, trees to climb, and a little assault course under the trees.
11. After a short while, this will lead you to a large pond / small lake. Follow the footpath along the waters edge and back through the trees.
12. This footpath leads to a barn with displays inside. From here, you will spot your car. Follow the footpath down and be careful crossing the road. Time for an ice-cream to reward your efforts!
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!
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
Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.