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Snake Woodlands walk (circular, 2.3km)

Snake Woodlands walk (circular, 2.3km)

Snake Pass is one of the most spectacular roads in England offering expansive moorland views. But tucked half way along this route between Glossop and Ladybower Reservoir is a fairytale-like forest with a babbling brook, moss-carpeted rocks, and a beautiful waterfall to explore. This is Snake Woodlands, which hugs the banks of the River Ashop.

The short circular Snake Woodlands walk is a magical place for young kids to explore. Take a picnic and enjoy the serenity of this special place. Wellies may also be a good idea for the kids if they want to play in the river.

I have seen that there are a couple of Snake Woodlands circular walks online that follow a path around to the right after the waterfall to meet the trail higher on the hillside. Please note that there is no footpath here and would involve a steep scramble up the hillside. This circular walk is the much better option for families.

Unfortunately a fair bit of litter was spotted on our recent visit to this walk, more so than we have seen on any other Peak District walk. There were also signs of campfires, despite there being a strict ban on fires in the National Park. I just wanted to mention this, in case you thought this was standard for the National Park. It’s really not, and we very much appreciate those visitors who abide to the rules and take care care of the environment they walk through.

Finally, please take care crossing Snake Pass. This walk cross the road twice and cars travel very fast along here.

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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 the Snake Woodlands 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 Map OL 01 (Dark Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.

This Snake Woodlands walk follows the below map in an anticlockwise direction.

Snake Woodlands 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: 2.3km / 1.4 miles

TYPE OF WALK: circular woodland walk

PARKING: Hope Woodland Car Park. Click here for Google Maps location. Postcode is S33 0BJ. Parking here is free, but limited. This is a very popular walking spot, so plan to arrive early in the day if visiting during the weekend or school holidays.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Unfortunately the X57 Hulleys of Baslow bus service that runs between Manchester and Sheffield was withdrawn in 2022. There are currently no public transport options to get to this walk.

WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Beautiful woodland, River Ashop, a waterfall.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids, this is a 1 hour walk. However, allow a good 2+ hours to do this walk with younger kids as there are so many spots to play.

ACCESSIBILTY: This is NOT a pram-friendly walk. No stiles. Footpath is rocky and uneven underfoot, so take care.

TOTAL ASCENT: 75 metres

PUBLIC TOILETS: There are no facilities at the car park or along this walk.

Hope Woodland Car Park
Hope Woodland Car Park, Snake Pass

The route

START: Hope Woodland Car Park along Snake Pass
Click here for Google Map point
Grid reference: SK 1090 9143
Post code: S33 0BJ
what3words: ///

Route follows an anti-clockwise direction.

1. The footpath into Snake Woodlands is straight across the road from the parking area. Carefully cross the road and follow the footpath down to the right, with a switch back shortly to the left. 

2. Walk through the wooden kissing gate and follow the path to straight ahead. This leads you across a wooden footbridge to the left. Cross the stream via the footbridge, although kids will probably want to step across the stones!

3. Once you’re across the stream, continue straight ahead. There’s a fork in the footpath, but the two options lead to the same place. Continue straight ahead keeping the River Ashop on your immediate right. Don’t take the large footbridge to the right and don’t take the wide lane to the left up the hill.

4. Continue along this footpath for 600 metres with the river on your immediate right. There are lots of places to play along here with fallen tree trunks and stones across the river. The footpath leads to a wooden gate at the edge of the forest. Walk through the gate and across the wooden footbridge. Then follow the footpath keeping the wire fence on your immediate right. 

5. The landscape opens up and there is now a different tributary to the River Ashop on your left. Keep walking until you reach a waterfall. Time for a picnic (please take all rubbish home with you).

6. After a picnic at the waterfall, turn back around and retrace your steps back to the wooden footbridge. Once across, take a right before the gate, with the stream immediately on your right. Ignore the first stile on your left and continue to the wooden gate. This leads up to the main road (Snake Pass).

7. Walk to the left slight and then carefully cross the road (cars really speed along Snake Pass). Walk through the wooden gate to the right of the metal gates. Then follow the track up to the left.

Snake woodlands walk

8. Just before the mast, take the footpath on the left. It can be rather muddy along here.

Snake Woodlands walk

9. This joins another footpath. Continue straight ahead following the sign to Birchen Clough. Follow this all the way back to the car park. On OS Maps the last section of the footpath down to the car park isn’t shown. However, it is definitely there in real life, and very obvious.

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 the #peakdistrictkids hashtag 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:
Ladybower Reservoir walk (circular, 9.1km)
Derwent Dam walk to Pike Low (circular, 6.8km)
Best Peak District woodland walks