Whilst we believe that nature is the best playground, and that there is no end of fun to be had dipping toes into streams, bounding off boulders, or running down hills on a Peak District family walk, sometimes a good playground just makes parenting life easier.
The best playgrounds in the Peak District are found at Heights of Abraham and Chatsworth House. However, you have to pay to enter these. If you’re looking for a free Peak District playground, then read on…
A full afternoon can be spent at the fantastic playgrounds at Buxton Pavilions as there is so much to keep them busy. There’s a zip wire and huge wooden climbing frame in one area, a basketball court, swings, and a separate toddler area that is enclosed. Take a stroll around the 23 acres of landscape gardens and feed the ducks. There is also a miniature train that kids can ride around the gardens (weekends and school holidays, bring cash).
Buxton Pavilions is also a good place for the kids to bring their scooter. We often scoot from the play area over to St. Anne’s Well to fill up our water bottle with fresh underground spring water. Check out our guide of things to do in Buxton with kids for more ideas, including the walk to Solomon’s Temple for fantastic views over the old spa town.
Set on the large village green behind the Bulls Inn pub. Worth combining your visit with feeding the ducks by the bridge over the River Wye.
Parking is very limited in Ashford in the Water, but there is a car park here, right next to the village green where the playground is. Postcode is DE45 1QG.
6. Tittesworth Resevoir
Just on the very edge of the Peak District on the Cheshire side is Tittesworth Resevoir. Here you’ll find a big playground, as well as a Visitors Centre with cafe, toilets and baby changing facilities. There’s also a 1.5 mile buggy-friendly walk, which is mostly flat with only one short hill.
Bakewell has a huge recreation ground for kicking a ball around and generally letting off some steam. It’s a fab place to bring a picnic. At the far end is the play area, which also features an outdoor splash area. The splash play area is open 1 April to 1 September and available 7 days a week 10 am to 5 pm with a one hour break (12.30 – 1.30).
Park at the car park next to the Agricultural Business Centre, along Agricultural Way (click here for Google Map location on your phone).
Hidden behind Hathersage swimming pool and residential area, you would never know about the Hathersage playground unless you had inside knowledge. There’s a small toddler area, wooden train, and large play area, as well as a small skateboard area.
Park at the car park opposite Hathersage Swimming Pool on Oddfellows Road (click here). Postcode is S32 1DU.
11. Youlgreave playground
Park in the village carpark next to the green and walk down across the football and cricket pitch. At the bottom of the slope is the playground with a separate toddler area. There is a basketball court here too.
Parking at this small car park on Alport Lane (click here for Google Map location on your phone). Postcode is DE45 1WP.
12. Eyam playground
With it’s dark history, Eyam is a fascinating place to explore. Check out our guide for things to do in Eyam. But if all the talk of the bubonic plague and death becomes a bit too much, head to the lovely play area opposite Eyam Museum. There’s lots of space to run around here and the views are beautiful.
Park at Eyam car park, and it’s just a 100 metre stroll to the play area. There are public toilets here. Click here for Google Maps location on your phone. Postcode is S32 5QW.
13. Longnor Playground
Sat behind Longnor Primary School and Fire Station, is Longnor Playground. This is a lovely spot with gorgeous views. There’s a zip wire here, and older kids will love the climbing cube. For a small village, this really is a great little playground.
Parking near the playground in Longnor is tricky. There is road side parking along Church Stree or Buxton Road.
14. Hall Leys Park, Matlock
Whilst not technically the Peak District, so many visitors to the National Park base themselves in Matlock, it only felt right to include the playground at award winning Hall Leys Park.
With its boating lake, riverside walks, tennis courts and skateboard park, it makes for a perfect afternoon stroll or picnic spot. The playground even has a splash area and there’s also a miniature railway. Do note that whilst the park stays open all year round, some facilities such as the cafe and miniature railway are seasonal. An outdoor market is also held every Wednesday in the park from April to October selling local produce and crafts.
You could fill a full weekend and more with all there is to do in Matlock. Check out our post – things to do in Matlock – for more ideas.
Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is the go-to website for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District run by Bakewell-based Mum, Jenny. Find out about the best walks, bike rides, attractions and events for families in the UK's oldest National Park.