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Shining Tor walk from Pym Chair (6.6km, linear)

Shining Tor walk from Pym Chair (6.6km, linear)

Peak District Kids writer: Gemma from Families Can Travel

Shining Tor is the highest hill in Cheshire’s Peak District at 559 metres, yet this walk allows you to feel on top of the world without too much of an uphill challenge. Indeed, this Shining Tor walk is one of the best view walks in the Peak District and a great Peak District trig point walk. Just make sure you check the weather forecast before you go, as this is one you want to save for a clear day.

You can extend this walk and increase the ascent by starting lower down at Errwood Reservoir. However, this walk starts from the beautifully located Pym Chair car park at 461 metres, meaning you can reach the summit of Shining Tor fairly easily.

If the little legs you have in tow still aren’t up to the full 6.6km to Shining Tor trig point and back, you can choose to walk just as far as the first peak, called Cats Tor. This is 1.1 km each way from the car park but still provides spectacular views across the Goyt Valley and ahead to Shining Tor. 

Completing the full Shining Tor walk rewards you with a trig point at a summit along with fantastic views from the rocky outcrops along the ridge. You’ll be able to see the distinctive Shutlingsloe peak in the distance and on a clear day, you may even be able to make out the Wrekin in Shropshire, the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales, and Jodrell Bank.

There is a short, moderate incline at the beginning but most of the walk has a gentle ascent with a lovely large flagstone path that the kids will love bounding along. It’s quite exposed and can get windy so make sure you wrap up warm.

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When planning your 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.


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 or what3words, which are provided on every walk guide.

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.

Map of Shining Tor walk

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.

This Shining Tor walk follows the below OS Map in linear direction, north to south.

Shining Tor walk OS Map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS AC0000861980

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:  6.6km / 4.1 miles

TYPE OF WALK: linear trig point walk with views

PARKING: Free parking at Pym Chair Car Park. Click here for Google Maps location, postcode SK10 5XL.

WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Cats Tor, Shining Tor trig point, incredible 360-degree views of the Goyt Valley and Shutlingsloe.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Adults will do this walk in 2 to 2.5 hours. Allow at least 3 hours for young kids.

ACCESSIBILITY: Some grass/dirt tracks but mostly large flagstone paths. Short, moderate incline at the start followed by flat sections and gentle ascents. Small parts of the path may get boggy in wet weather and the walk is not suitable for prams or buggies.

TOTAL ASCENT: 164 metres

FACILITIES: There are no public toilets available at the car park or along the route. If you want to stop for a drink and something to eat before or after the walk, try Peak View Tea Rooms, which is a 5-mile drive from Pym Chair car park and has customer toilets.

Pym Chair car park

The route

START: Pym Chair Car Park
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SJ 9954 7671
Post code: SK10 5XL
what3words: ///rainfall.cured.exploring

Route follows a clockwise direction.

1. Walk left out of the car park entrance. Continue 100 metres along the grass verge until you reach the road junction.

Shining Tor walk

2. Turn left at the junction following the signposts towards the Goyt Valley and Buxton. You’ll notice an information board telling you about the legend of Pym, leaving you to decide who he might have been and what extraordinary events he might have been involved in at this location.

3. Walk through the wooden gate to the left-hand side of the cattle grid.

4. Continue on the path alongside the road for 150 metres until you see the wooden gate and footpath on the opposite side of the road. Cross over the road and climb up the steep rocky path on the grass bank and through the wooden gate signposted to Shining Tor.

5. Follow the footpath up the hillside keeping the drystone wall on your left. After 850 metres, the path will level off. There are no signs to inform you, but at the point where the footpath changes from a grassy path to large flagstone slabs, you have reached Cats Tor. This is the first peak at 519 metres before you reach Shining Tor trig point.

6. Continue along the flagstone path which follows the ridge of the hill for a further 2.3 km all the way to the Shining Tor trig point. In between Cats Tor and Shining Tor, there is a slight downhill section before a gentle incline up to Shining Tor which you will see straight ahead in the distance. 

Shining Tor walk

7. Keep going and you’ll know when you’ve reached Shining Tor trig point as you’ll see it standing proudly on your right behind the drystone wall. Walk through the wooden gate to get your obligatory photo. Make sure you walk a little past the trig point to see the stunning view from the rocky outcrops. From here you get a great view of the peak of Shutlingsloe in the distance.

8. Once you’re done, turn around and follow your steps all the way back to the car park. 

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!

Also, feel free to share your walk photos in our Peak District Kids Facebook Group or on Instagram using by tagging @peakdistrictkids in your caption so we can share with our wider community.

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

Or, use the search walks page to find your perfect family walk.

Also, come and join our friendly Peak District Kids Facebook Group for any questions or to share photos of your walks.

You may also like to read:
Errwood Reservoir walk (circular, 7.4km)
Lud’s Church walk (circular, 5.4km)
Shutlingsloe walk (linear, 4.8km)