Please note, this is one of our trickier pram-friendly walks. During and after wet weather, the footpath along the river can be very muddy. There are also two small sets of steps leading to an uphill and slightly rocky path to the Monsal Trail. It’s doable, just be prepared.
This pram friendly Peak District walk starts at Cressbrook Mill and follows the winding River Wye through the valley to Litton Mill and back along the Monsal Trail. The first half takes you through the steep-sided dale of Water-cum-Jolly with its impressive limestone crags. Whilst the second half loops you back along the trail overlooking the breathtaking valley and river you’ve just walked along. There are also a couple of tunnels to walk through which the kids always love.
The route is buggy friendly, although there are two small sets of steps leading to an uphill and slightly rocky path to the Monsal Trail. The first section of the route by the river can also get quite muddy in wet weather. We managed fine with our Phil & Teds buggy but be prepared to get muddy wheels if it’s wet. The rest of the walk is flat with well-surfaced paths, so good for little legs.
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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.
Cressbrook Mill to Litton Mill circular 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|
This Cressbrook to Litton walk follows an anticlockwise route.
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: 5.5km (3.4 miles)
TYPE OF WALK: circular, pram/buggy friendly, easy going, muddy sections in wet weather
PARKING: Free parking at Upperdale Car Park. Click here for Google Maps location, postcode SK17 8SZ. There is also free roadside parking further along towards Cressbrook village. Please respect local residents and park considerately.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Walking along the River Wye, listening to the echoes in the deep valley, walking through the tunnels on the Monsal Trail, breathtaking scenery across the dales.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids this is a 2 hour walk. However, including a stop for a picnic lunch and time for the kids to play by the river, allow a good 3 hours.
ACCESSIBILTY: Two sets of five steps leading to a short and slightly rocky uphill path. Riverside path can get very muddy in wetter months.
TOTAL ASCENT: 221 metres
FACILITIES: There are no toilets or eateries on this walk. The closest ice cream van and café (Hobb’s Café) is at Monsal Head, a mile away from Cressbrook.
START: Upperdale Car Park
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 1766 7219
Post code: SK17 8SZ
Route follows an anticlockwise direction.
1. With the Upperdale car park on your left, continue to walk along the road towards Cressbrook village for 600 metres. If you’ve parked further along in Cressbrook village start from step 2.
2. Just after Cressbrook Mill, look for the signpost for the concession footpath to Litton Mill (below photo on left). Turn left here and follow the footpath with the stone wall on your right and railings on your left. Follow the footpath for 80 metres.
3. Soon you’ll reach the River Wye and Water-cum-Jolly dale. With the weir on your left, follow the footpath to the right over a little wooden bridge. Here, you might see rock climbers attempting to scale the impressive limestone crags. Follow the riverside footpath through the deep valley, listening to the echoes of your voice and looking out for wildlife. The beginning of the path can get very muddy in wet weather but it improves further along.
4. When you reach a wooden gate, continue along the path following it to the right over a paved bridge and then left through the old Litton Mill buildings. After 200 metres you will reach the road.
5. Walk along the road for 50 metres and turn left next to the sewage pumping station, following the footpath signposted ‘Monsal Trail to Millers Dale’. The footpath crosses the river over a bridge.
6. The route now climbs up along a slightly rocky, woodland path onto the Monsal Trail. If you have a buggy, you may need a lift up five concrete steps followed by a further set of five wooden steps. The path hairpins to the right and continues uphill for 100 metres until you reach the Monsal Trail. At the top, there’s a conveniently placed bench for a rest and even a bite to eat.
7. Turn left and follow the trail signposted to Bakewell. Stay on the trail for 2.2 km, walking through both the Litton Tunnel and the Cressbrook Tunnel. Both tunnels are about 400 metres long and well lit. In between the two tunnels, you’ll find the most stunning views across the undulating hillside and down over the valley and river where you’ve just walked from.
8. Turn right, leaving the trail at the signpost for ‘Brushfield and Upperfield’. Follow the path round to the right, passing another sign for ‘Upperdale’ and under the trail that you’ve just walked across.
9. Continue for 300 metres, crossing the bridge over the River Wye until you reach the road.
10. Turn left at the junction and follow the road back to your parking spot.
11. Once you’re in the car and on your way again, perhaps stop at Monsal Head for an ice cream with a view. Monsal Head Ices is less than 1 mile from the walk start/finish point and overlooks the Monsal Dale Viaduct.
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.