When people think of Peak District stepping stones, they automatically think of the iconic Dovedale Stepping Stones. But did you know that there are also stepping stones at Chee Dale, Hathersage and also Bamford?
We have four lovely walks on Peak District Kids that takes in each of these Peak District stepping stones. In fact they all feature in our top Peak District walks with kids.
Please bare in mind that after heavy rain, these stepping stones in the Peak District are often submerged and impassable. Save these walks for when the weather has been dry, or even better, a warm summers day when little ones can have a paddle or wild swim.
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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.
Don’t leave home without your Peak District OS Map!
- For the northern half of the Peak District you will need the OS Dark Peak map. This covers Kinder Scout, Bleaklow, Black Hill and Ladybower Resevoir
- For the southern half of the Peak District you will need the OS White Peak map. This covers Buxton, Bakwell, Matlock and Dovedale.
- Ordnance Survey (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 1 Page – 02/24/2020 (Publication Date) – Ordnance Survey (Publisher)
- Ordnance Survey (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 1 Page – 06/24/2019 (Publication Date) – Ordnance Survey (Publisher)
Locations of the Peak District Stepping Stones
1. Dovedale Stepping Stones walk – 5.3km
Where are Dovedale Stepping Stones located? Click here to view on Google Maps.
Unsurprisingly, due to it’s stunning beauty and iconic stepping stones across the River Dove, Dovedale is one of the most popular hotspots in the Peak District National Park, and Dovedale car park (£3.50 cash only, free for National Trust members) is often exceptionally busy. However, our Dovedale circular walk starts from the much quieter village of Thorpe, and leads you around Thorpe Cloud, across Dovedale Stepping Stones. It’s easily one of our favourite Peak District family walks.
This is a much quieter route. But to avoid crowds at Dovedale Stepping Stones, plan to start this Dovedale circular walk either early or late in the day, especially on sunny weekends.
This route also includes an optional detour up Thorpe Cloud from Dovedale Stepping Stones. This is a steep 15 minute climb with superb views. Or perhaps just leave that to another day; it’s up to you.
2. Chee Dale Stepping Stones walk – 5km
Sheltered beneath the Monsal Trail, is the peaceful nature reserve of Chee Dale where the River Wye meanders through a deep limestone gorge, and two sets of stepping stones provide access to walkers through the dale.
Our Chee Dale Stepping Stones walk starts from Millers Dale and leads you down into the verdant gorge where you need to navigate two sets of stepping stones along the limestone walls, before climbing back up to the Monsal Trail and walking through the long tunnels.
In heavy rain, the Chee Dale Stepping Stones are often submerged in water, so plan this walk for when the weather has been dry and perhaps check in our Facebook group for an update. Also, the footpath along the river is rocky and very uneven in places (with a couple of spots where you may need to slide on your bum), so those with little ones in a carrier may find it tricky in places.
3. Hathersage Stepping Stones walk – 5.3km
Where are Hathersage Stepping Stones located? Click here to view on Google Maps.
This almost-5km circular Hathersage Stepping Stones walk is easy and relatively flat. It mostly follows the footpaths along the River Derwent, through shady trees backed by open fields. The Hathersage stepping stones themselves are a little trickier than the Dovedale and Chee Dale ones, so take care if you’re unsteady on your feet; kids under 5 will need a helping hand as their legs aren’t quite long enough to reach across to each stone.
4. Bamford Mill Stepping Stones walk – 7.9km
Where are Bamford Stepping Stones located? Click here to view on Google Maps.
The stepping stone in Bamford are over the River Derwent by Bamford Mill. These stepping are different from the other Peak District stepping stones in that they aren’t big boulders placed strategically across. Instead, the Bamford Mill stepping stones are small towers made from local brick, with a couple of stepping stones bridged with a wooden plank. These are the easiest stepping stones in the Peak District to cross.
To get to them, you can walk down to Bamford Mill from the village of Bamford. Alternatively, visit the Bamford stepping stones as part of our longer Bamford Edge walk, which is a circular route to take in the epic views from Bamford Edge, as well as Ladybower Reservoir (you’ll get to see the plug holes here too), and then following the gentle footpath of the Thornhill Trail with the beautiful wood carvings of ‘missing’ animals to find.
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.