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Stepping stones in the Peak District: Dovedale, Chee Dale, Hathersage and Bamford

Stepping stones in the Peak District: Dovedale, Chee Dale, Hathersage and Bamford

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 bear 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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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.

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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.

Don’t leave home without your Peak District OS Map!

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The Peak District: White Peak Area Map | Weatherproof | Peak…
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The Peak District: Dark Peak Area | Weatherproof | Peak…
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Locations of the Peak District Stepping Stones

1. Dovedale Stepping Stones walk – 5.3km

Dovedale circular walk guide
Click here for start point

Printable download

Where are Dovedale Stepping Stones located? Click here to view on Google Maps.

Dovedale Stepping Stones

Unsurprisingly, due to its 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.

Dovedale circular walk map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS AC0000861980

2. Chee Dale Stepping Stones walk – 5km

Chee Dale stepping stones walk guide
Click here for start point
Printable download

Where are Chee Dale Stepping Stones located? There are two sets along Chee Dale – click here for set 1 and click here for set 2 to view on Google Maps.

Chee Dale stepping stones walk

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.

Chee Dale walk OS Map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS AC0000861980

3. Hathersage Stepping Stones walk – 5.3km

Please note that the footpath across Hathersage Stepping Stone is currently CLOSED and impassable due to storm damage dislodging boulders and all stepping stones being submerged.

Read: Hathersage Stepping Stones walk
Click here for start point
Printable download

Where are Hathersage Stepping Stones located? Click here to view on Google Maps.

Hathersage stepping stones walk

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.

It’s a very pretty walk, and the reward at the end is a hot chocolate in one of Hathersage’s cafes! Or perhaps head to Hathersage Outdoor swimming pool for a swim.

Hathersage Stepping Stones walk map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS AC0000861980

4. Bamford Mill Stepping Stones walk – 7.9km

Read: Bamford Edge walk
Click here for start point
Printable download

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.

Bamford Edge circular walk OS Map
© Crown copyright 2024 OS AC0000861980

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:
Mam Tor walk
Padley Gorge walk
Stanage Edge walk