The Peak District’s BEST views and the walks to get there
A visit to the Peak District is all about taking in those expansive views and feeling like your on top of the world! But where are the Peak District’s best view and how do you get to them? For many of these walks, it’s about getting to the Peak District Edges (the gritstone escarpments), such as Baslow Edge, Stanage Edge, and The Roaches to name a few.
Here we’ve compiled the best walks in the Peak District for views from our family walks, ordered according to distance.
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. Also, please use these walks as a guide; access and stiles may change.
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This is a great little walk for Peak District views and rocks to climb!
Park in the pay and display car park next to the Robin Hood Inn (not in their actual car park, unless you’re stopping there for lunch), and walk up the road just for 20 metres, where you will see a footpath sign and gate that leads you to Birchen Edge.
We take the lower footpath first and after about 1km, before you see Nelson’s Monument on the hill top, you can climb up the rocks to the top. Or, there is a path if you don’t fancy the climb; just follow straight ahead. Once at the top, the views are fantastic and kids will love climbing up and over the big boulders.
Follow the footpath along the top of Birchen Edge to get back to the car park. There’s a steep descent right at the end, which can be quite slippy when wet. Take care.
Baslow Edge is a great place to see Highland Coos and the views are fantastic; standing on Baslow Edge on a clear day you can see Chatsworth House to the left and then Kinder Plateau in the far distance to the right.
Our short Baslow Edge walk offers an easy loop from Curbar Gap car park, perfect for little legs. There are lots of fun boulders to climb over, under and through, and our boys always love seeing the Highland cattle here (you’re almost guaranteed to spot them!) And did we mention the views?
Monsal Head is one of the most iconic beauty spots of the Peak District. This is where the impressive Headstone Viaduct, which forms part of the Monsal Trail, straddles the verdant Monsal Dale and the River Wye meanders aimlessly through.
Our short Monsal Head circular walk takes you from the main view point by the Monsal Head Hotel, down into the dale to the weir, then across the other side of the River Wye to emerge under the viaduct, with a climb back up to the view point. As this walk loops to the weir along the River Wye, we sometimes call this the ‘Monsal Head waterfall walk’. Footwear with good grip is essential as this walk can get very muddy in wet weather, and arrive early to secure parking during weekends and school holidays as this is a Peak District hot spot.
4. Mam Tor – 4.1km (or 1.1km if you’re just going to the summit and back)
Mam Tor, meaning ‘Mother Hill’, is a 517 metre high hill overlooking Castleton and is one of the most popular family walks in the Peak District. The views from the top are spectacular, although arrive early during school holidays and weekends to avoid the crowds.
You don’t actually have to endure a long hike to get to Mam Tor trig point itself. If you park at this car park it is just a short (but steep) 550 metre walk uphill. Click here to read all about the quick and easy route to Mam Tor trig point.
Our 4.1km Mam Tor walk takes in the classic loop along Great Ridge and Broken Road. Starting at the Mam Tor National Trust car park it’s a short climb to the top of Mam Tor (517m). From here, the walk leads you down to Hollins Cross, and then down through the woodlands to meet Broken Road (which is a very broken road that was abandoned due to landslides in the 1970s). Following Broken Road the walk leads you up past the entrance to Blue Johns Cavern, before returning back to the car park.
Perched high over the Victorian town of Buxton stands Solomon’s Tower proudly on the summit of Grin Low. This is a viewpoint tower built in 1896 on the site of a tumulus, which is a Neolithic burial mound. 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. The footpath is waymarked, following the yellow route up and the green one back. There is a slight incline through the woods, but kids will be distracted by woodland carvings and information boards.
This Higger Tor walk is all about the superb expansive views, so save this one for a clear day. When the clouds roll in, visibility makes navigation tricky, especially through the boggy section half way through. It’s also very exposed, so wear layers and bring appropriate clothing. And if you have kids who love climbing, there are boulders galore on this walk, so we suggest at least three hours for this walk to allow for Spiderman training.
As the Matterhorn of Cheshire, Shutlingsloe (506 metres) is a great starter hill for little legs. This linear Shutlingsloe walk, with a steady ascent of 245 metres, is a rewarding Peak District family walk that takes in forests, hills and 360 degree views.
Start your walk at Trentabeck car park and walk through forest, marvelling the height of the trees. Once you hit a junction at the top of the trees, follow the signs up to the Shutlingsloe Trig Point. At 506m, it may not be the highest hill, but the views across Cheshire are 360 degrees (in good weather!)
The Roaches walk is iconic to Staffordshire’s Peak District. Standing on the top of The Roaches on a clear day, the views spreading out across Tittesworth Reservoir, Leek, and far beyond are very impressive. Plus, there are boulders galore for kids who love to climb, and is a popular spot for organised climbing clubs.
The footpath along the top of The Roaches to the trig point can get busy, but the second half of this short circular Roaches walk is much quieter. The terrain is rock and uneven underfoot, and there’s also a boggy section too, so wear appropriate footwear. Also, as this is a Peak District tourist hot spot (and understandably so), aim to arrive by 9am to secure a parking space (and only park in designated parking areas).
You could also combine this walk with our Lud’s Church walk. Combining the two walks into a Roaches and Lud’s Church walk makes a total distance of 12.6km.
The Peak District views from Win Hill (462m) over Ladybower Reservoir and the Great Ridge in the Dark Peak are superb on a clear day. Whilst the direct route up to the summit is rather steep, this circular Win Hill walk allows for a steadier incline through the pine forest, more suitable young families. There is, however, a steep decline from the summit; whilst kids will probably bound down, parents may want to use walking poles, and it may be tricky for those with little ones in carriers.
This Win Hill walk is super fun, with woodland explorations, incredible views, boulders to scramble up to the summit, and a family snap at the Win Hill Trig point is a must! Starting from Heatherdene car park, this walk crosses over Ladybower Dam, meaning that you will also pass the Ladybower plugholes (technically known as shaft spillways), which drain water when the reservoir becomes full after heavy rains.
Make sure you have change for parking at Heatherdene car park (the machine doesn’t take cards). And on weekends and school holidays, arrive before 10am to get a parking space, as this car park does get exceptionally busy.
This is one of our more challenging Peak District family walks as it is steep, muddy and rocky in places. But the views from Pike Low down on to the reservoirs on this Derwent Dam walk are simply stunning and make it all the worthwhile.
Starting from Fairholmes car park, this walk takes you right up to Derwent Dam, then along the shores of Derwent Reservoir, climbs steeply up to Pike Low and across the open moors of the Dark Peak, to then descend back down to Ladybower Reservoir with an easy walk back to the start.
The Stanage Edge walk is all about taking in the superb views from arguably the most impressive gritstone escarpment in the Peak District. On a clear day, you can see across to Kinder Plateau and Mam Tor, with the angular summit of Win Hill protruding from the foreground, and further along this walk, you will get a glimpse of Ladybower Reservoir. Hathersage can also be easily spotted as Stanage Edge stands over this picturesque village. And for kids, there are LOTS of opportunities to play on the boulders (just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t go too close to the edge!)
This Peak District family walk starts from the Hollins Bank car park (at the base of Stanage Edge), which is just a short, steady climb to the top. You then follow the footpath along the top, passing High Nebb trig point, right to the end of the escarpment (aptly named Stanage End), before descending to the footpath below and following it all the way back to the car park.
Even on a warm summers day, it gets very blustery up on Stanage Edge, so take an extra layer with you. The footpath is also very uneven underfoot, so take care; kids will love playing ‘the floor is lava’.
Standage Edge features in the latest BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice (where Keira Knightly stood windswept and pensive over the landscape). And whilst we can’t guarantee you’ll find Mr Darcy on this walk, you will see lots of discarded millstones on the latter half of this walk, many still in tact from their industrial heyday.
The expansive moorland plateau of Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District, and on a clear day you can see across to Manchester. This is where 500 walkers trespassed en masse and walked from Hayfield to Kinder Scout to secure access right to open country for all to enjoy forever in 1932. It is an iconic hike, which is remote and technical in places.
This Kinder Scout walk takes a gradual ascent up to Edale Rocks, then across the Kinder Plateau to Kinder Low trig point and Kinder Downfall (the waterfall and the halfway point). A little further on, you descend down William Clough towards Kinder Reservoir
Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is the go-to website for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District, run by Bakewell-based mum-of-two, Jenny Lynn. Find out about the best walks, bike rides, attractions, pubs, and accommodation for families in the UK's oldest National Park.