Padley Gorge walk including Longshaw Estate (2.7 km)

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 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.

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Make sure you check out our top tips for hiking with kids!

Padley Gorge walk map

It’s a good idea to have the OS Explorer Active Map OL24 with you. The paths are obvious, but it’s always a handy thing to have should your phone battery die, and it’s a nice idea to point out features on the maps to the kids as you go along your way.

Padley Gorge walk OS Map

Need to know


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 £3.50 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 45 minute 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: 59 metres

PUBLIC TOILETS: Public toilets can be found at Longshaw Estate. There is also often an ice-cream van at the roadside parking area.

road side parking for Padley Gorge walk
There is free roadside parking here. Please only park in the designated areas.

The route

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 meters, until you come to another footbridge that takes you back to the other side of Burbage Brook.

Padley Gorge walk

4. Cross the bridge and follow the flagstone path up into the woods.

Padley Gorge walk

5. Just 100 metres along, you will come to a T-juction of footpaths. Take the footpath to the right. Although we always stop here for a bit to play on the boulders and have a snack.

Padley Gorge walk

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.

Padley Gorge walk
Padley Gorge walk

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 the Longshaw Estate. Walk down this path.

Padley Gorge walk
Padley Gorge walk

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.

Padley Gorge walk
Padley Gorge walk

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.

Padley Gorge walk
Padley Gorge walk

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.

Padley Gorge walk

12. This footpath eventually leads you to a barn with displays inside. From here, you will spot your car. Follow the footpath down and be careful crossing the road. The ice-cream van is usually there on weekends and holidays, so make sure you have some coins with you to buy an ice-cream and reward you efforts.

Want more ideas for family walks?
Check out our Best Family Walks in the Peak District
or come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group

You may also like to read:
Stanton Moor walk (3.1km)
Hathersage stepping stones walk (4.9km)
Lathkill Dale walk from Monyash (6.6km)

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