Chatsworth House and Gardens are a truly magnificent sight and whilst you have to pay to enter these areas, there’s a magical woodland hidden behind that is completely free to explore. This pram friendly Stand Wood walk at Chatsworth follows a circular route all the way around the woods and The Stand at the top where the lakes are located that feed the water features on the estate.
There’s plenty to see on your way round including the impressive Aqueduct and waterfall which cascades off the end and the Hunting Tower which stands proud, overlooking the estate. There’s plenty of opportunities for the kids to venture off, explore and climb whilst remaining in sight from the pram friendly path. If you visit in the summer months the rhododendrons put on a spectacular show too.
Whilst Chatsworth is a popular tourist destination, Stand Wood is less well known which makes it the perfect place to go at Chatsworth to avoid the crowds.
You may want to combine this walk with a picnic and paddle down by the river which is also free (you just need to pay £5 to park). Or you can pay to visit the Farmyard & Playground, House and/or Gardens and parking is included in the entrance fee (pre-book tickets online).
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. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.
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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 OL24 (White Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.
Our route follows a clockwise direction starting from the House Car Park.
TYPE OF WALK: well-surfaced paths, pram friendly woodland walk, first half is slightly uphill
PARKING: Parking at Chatsworth House car park. Flat fee of £5 for the day. Car park tickets can now be purchased on arrival rather than in advance. Click here for Google Maps location, postcode DE45 1PP.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: You can catch a bus to the start of this walk from Bakewell, Matlock, Buxton, Chesterfield, Sheffield, and Manchester. Click here for further details.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Beautiful woodland, Aquadeduct and waterfalls, Hunting Tower, little woodland paths for the kids to explore.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE:
This walk can be done in 1.5 hours but allowing time for the kids to explore, allow 2-3 hours. Or if you plan on going to the river for a picnic and paddle or visit the Farmyard & Playground, House and/or Gardens, you might want to make a whole day of it.
TOTAL ASCENT: 162 metres
ACCESSIBILTY: Pram friendly, well-surfaced paths
FACILITIES: Public toilets can be found next to the car park and in the Stables Courtyard, where you’ll find plenty of options for food ranging from hot drinks, snacks and ice creams to more substantial dining and luxurious afternoon tea.
1. Head to the top of the car park, following the signs for the Farmyard & Playground. After approximately 100 metres, you’ll walk through a black metal gate and soon after notice a small black gate, which is the entrance to Stand Wood. Walk through the gate and take the smooth tarmac path to the left.
2. Follow the path around to the right, and continue slightly uphill for 600 metres. Notice the side view of the aqueduct in the distance on your left (you’ll get the opportunity for a closer look at this soon). Where the road continues, take the left hand turn signposted to the Hunting Tower.
3. After 200 metres, you’ll reach the Aqueduct with its impressive waterfall cascading off the end. It’s just a short climb up to the Aqueduct and a little further to the Sowter Stone waterfall that feeds it. The path is not pram friendly but it’s short enough for the kids to run up so far and remain in sight.
4. Continue on the path, past the aqueduct for a further 550 metres until you reach the Hunting Tower standing proud on the hillside. If you are doing this walk with a pram or buggy, ignore the steps and walk a further 150 metres and turn right for pram friendly access to the Hunting Tower. It’s worth a quick look to see the impressive tower up close and the kids will love the cannons on the front. To continue the walk, return back to the path and carry straight on, ignoring the left turn signposted to Robin Hood.
5. Continue on the gravel path, ignoring another path leading off to the right. After 400 metres, you’ll reach the Emperor Lake on your right, which was created to feed the great Emperor Fountain in the gardens. Follow the path around to the right and continue for a further 1.8 km.
6. When you reach a crossroads in the paths, turn right in the opposite direction to Park Farm House. Follow the path which snakes downhill and then straightens out for 1.2 km.
7. Continue downhill on the left hand path, ignoring the right path which you took at the start of the walk. Walk back the final 700 metres along the path you started on.
After your walk
After your Stand Wood walk, there’s plenty of choice for food and drink at the Stables Courtyard. The Carriage House Café offers everything from breakfast, lunch to Sunday roast dinners. They also do a children’s lunch bag.
For something a bit more special, book a table at The Cavendish restaurant or you could treat yourself to a luxurious afternoon tea at the Flying Childers restaurant.
If it’s a nice day you might just want to grab a picnic bench outside the house or head down to the river to enjoy a picnic and paddle in the weir.
Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is the go-to website for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District, run by Bakewell-based mum-of-two, Jenny Lynn. Find out about the best walks, bike rides, attractions, pubs, and accommodation for families in the UK's oldest National Park.