Perched high over the Victorian town of Buxton stands Solomon’s Tower proudly on the summit of Grin Low. The views from the top are very impressive, and on a very clear day you can even see across to Mam Tor. It’s an easy walk through woodland from the Poole’s Cavern car park to the summit. There is a slight incline to the top, but kids will be distracted by woodland carvings, information boards, and even a Gruffalo characters to spot (download this Amazon app before your walk). It’s another one of our favourite Peak District family walks.
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.
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Solomon’s Temple is a viewpoint tower built in 1896 on the site of a tumulus, which is a Neolithic burial mound. It replaced an earlier structure and probably takes its name from Solomon Mycock, who rented the land in the early 1800s.
Grin Low, which Solomon’s Temple is built on, was the main location for the early Buxton lime industry. The large, oddly shaped mounds, you will notice on the walk are widespread remains of over 100 large ‘pudding’ lime kilns, built of earth and rock, which date from the 17th–19th centuries, as well as spoil heaps of waste material from these times.
PARKING: There is paid parking at Poole’s Cavern car park here.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Views over Buxton and beyond from the summit of Grin Low, climb the staircase to the top of Solomon’s Temple, woodland carvings, and a Gruffalo trail from your phone to follow.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: Without kids, this is a 45 minute walk. However, with so many places to stop and play along the way, allow for a good couple of hours.
TOTAL ASCENT: 114 metres
PUBLIC TOILETS: Public toilets can be found next to the entrance for Poole’s Cavern.
The Gruffalo Spotter app
On our most recent visit, a handful of Gruffalo signs had been attached to trees for kids to find. Using this app, hover your phone over the images and a Gruffalo character will appear! Superb fun for little ones! I’m not sure how long this will be here for though as it didn’t seem very permanent.
1. From the car park, take the path that leads upwards behind the information board which shows the walking routes on a map. You can take the steps or the slope to the left, they both meet at the same point.
2. From here, turn left and follow the signpost to Solomon’s Temple and continue following the yellow marked signposts. This takes you through dense woodland. Spot the interesting wood carvings and information boards. You will also spot the Gruffalo signs along here too!
3. The woodland the opens out to clear views. As you approach this stile photographed below, you should be able to spot Solomon’s Temple. Follow the path towards it. The boys love running down and climbing up all the unusual depressions and rock formations left from the days of limestone mining.
4. Once you reach Solomon’s Temple you can go inside and climb the spiral staircase to the top. Be careful, it’s narrow and slippy!
5. You could continue back down the way you came up, or alternatively return via the green route. Take the footpath immediately opposite the front door of Solomon’s Temple and climb through the stile overlooking Buxton.
6. Follow the path downwards. This is a really fun way down and I allow the boys to take detours to play.
7. You will notice a footpath that leads you back into the woods. Take this path on the left, shown in below photo.
8. Retrace your footsteps back to the car park.
After your walk
A visit to Solomon’s Temple can be combined with a visit to Poole’s Cavern as the Solomon’s Temple walk starts from the same car park. On the other side of the car park is one of the highest Go Ape courses in the UK, although there is a minimum age restriction of 10 years and a minimum height restriction of 1.4 metres.
Otherwise, head in to Buxton to the Pavillion Gardens. Let the kids go wild in the playground, grab an ice-cream from the Pavillions, or top up your water bottles with fresh spring water from St. Anne’s Well. Check out our top things to do in Buxton with kids for more information and ideas.
Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is a central resource for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District run by local Mum, Jenny. Find out the top things to do, where to go, and up coming events for families in the area.