Peak District Kids writer: Gemma from Families Can Travel
On the Staffordshire edge of the Peak District not far from Leek is Tittesworth Reservoir, the perfect place for families with a range of walking trails to suit all ages and abilities.
There’s a couple of short accessible routes including this 2.8 km pram friendly loop. The walk offers beautiful views across Tittesworth Reservoir, sheltered woodland and a shallow river for paddling so don’t forget to bring the kids wellies or waterproof boots. The paths are a mixture of flat gravel terrain and wooden boardwalks, so perfect for little legs, prams and buggies.
A highlight for the kids is the fantastic playground which has two separate play areas for different ages, a zip line and sand pit. It’s one of the best playgrounds in the Peak District. There’s also plenty of picnic benches, a take-away café and the Waterview Restaurant.
If you’re looking for a longer walk, there’s also a 4.5 km trail and 7.5 km complete reservoir loop. Although please note that these options are not pram friendly. Or for something a little different, you might want to try out paddle boarding or kayaking at the Tittesworth Water Sport and Activity Centre.
If you are planning a visit to the National Park, please arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds. 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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Before you head out on your family hike this winter, please read our guide: Safe Winter Walking Tips
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.
Tittesworth Reservoirs walk map
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 OL24 (White Peak). It’s also a good opportunity to show young kids the map features and get them started with map reading.
This Tittesworth Reservoir walk is partly linear, with the small loop section clockwise.
Need to know
DISTANCE OF WALK: 2.8 km
TYPE OF WALK: Mostly flat, pram friendly paths, woodland with open sections of reservoir views.
PARKING: Visitor Centre car parking – click here for Google Maps location, postcode: ST13 8SN. £3 for up to 2 hours or £5 for the whole day. Machines take cash and card payment.
WALK HIGHLIGHTS: Beautiful views across the reservoir, woodland paths with dens, shallow river for paddling, large free playground with zipline and sand pit.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE: This walk can be done in under 1 hour, but including time for the kids to paddle and play in the playground, allow 2-3 hours.
TOTAL ASCENT: 36 metres
ACCESSIBILTY: Pram friendly, well-surfaced gravel paths and boardwalks
FACILITIES: There are public toilets at the Visitor Centre and next to the playground. There’s also lots of picnic benches and you can get take-away drinks and snacks, or sit down to eat in the Waterview Restaurant.
Starting from Tittesworth Reservoir Visitors Centre car park.
1. With the Visitor Centre behind you, cross the zebra crossing and take the right-hand path. Walk 150 metres over to the other side of the parking area towards the play area and where the walking trails start.
2. Turn left onto the path following the signpost for ‘Walking trails’ and in the opposite direction to the ‘Visitor Centre and Toilets’. The playground will be on your left, we chose to save this as something for our girls to look forward to after the walk.
3. Continue along the gravel path, taking in the views of the reservoir across to your right. After 350 metres, take the right-hand path and walk a further 50 metres down into the woods where the River Churnet feeds into the reservoir. This is the perfect spot to stop for a paddle in the shallow water.
4. Continue by walking across the bridge and following the path for a further 550 metres over another small bridge and slightly uphill. Make sure you stick to the main path, ignoring a smaller path to the right. Along this short stretch, you might spot the odd den for the kids to go and play in.
5. Where the path splits, take the left-hand path following the signpost for the Fosters Trail only. Continue to walk for 400 metres over a wooden bridge which marks the halfway point of the walk.
6. When you reach a junction in the paths, turn right and follow the signpost for the Fosters Trail, Visitor Centre and Reservoir Trail.
7. Follow the path for 300 metres until it bends around to the right and then splits again. Take the left-hand path signposted back to the Visitor Centre and Reservoir Trail. You’ll notice the right hand path is the one you took earlier.
8. Follow the path you came along for 550 metres until you reach the bridge at the spot we recommended for paddling. At this point you can walk back the way you came or take a short alternative route by taking the right-hand path.
9. After 100 metres, the path meets up with the original path you started on. Follow this for a further 300 metres back to the playground. I can guarantee the kids will find some more energy with the playground offering the excitement of a zip line and sand pit.
After your Tittesworth Reservoir walk
There’s plenty of benches to sit and enjoy a picnic at or a take-away drink or snack from the Visitor Centre. Alternatively, the Waterview Restaurant offers breakfast, sandwiches and more substantial meals with beautiful views across the reservoir.
Peak District Kids is a free online resource. If you enjoyed this walk, you can show your support by buying me a coffee. Thanks so much! You may also want to share your own photos of this walk in our Peak District Kids Facebook Group.
Or visit the Peak District Kids shop. £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.