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The BEST Peak District woodland walks

The BEST Peak District woodland walks

Peak District woodland walks offer the perfect place to shelter from the rain or sun (or often both in the same day!) Depending on the season, there may be a carpet of daffodils, bluebells, or wild garlic, or perhaps blackberries to pick, and young kids will always appreciate the opportunity to find the perfect stick, build a den, or climb a tree. And towards the end of the year, these are also perfect Peak District autumn walks.

So here we’ve compiled our favourite Peak District woodland walks for you to enjoy. These have been selected from our 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. 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.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, but I receive a small commission.

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.

Map of our Peak District woodland walks

Use the map below to see where our Peak District woodland walks are located.

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

For these Peak District pub walks, you will mostly need the OS White Peak map.

1. Stand Wood at Chatsworth – 1.9km

Chatsworth Hunting Tower walk

Providing the backdrop to Chatsworth House, is Stand Wood; a magical woodland where you’ll find the Chatsworth Hunting Tower, Sowter Stone Waterfall, and the Chatsworth Aqueduct. The woodland itself can feel like a jungle in the summer months with it’s thick vegetation and abundance of bright flowers. Trees seems to gave grown to invite kids to climb on there, and now and again, you get glimpses of Chatsworth House through the trees.

It is free to walk around this section of the Chatsworth Estate, but you do need to pay for parking (£5). Parking payment is for a full day, so after this walk, you could visit the Farmyard and Adventure Playground, or the House and Gardens (tickets must be pre-booked online). Or head down to the river (which is free to do) for a picnic.

For this walk, not all the footpaths are marked on the OS Map; although Chatsworth allow visitors to walk along these footpaths. The below map is provided for guidance, but it’s probably best to follow the route description and photos below.

You can read the full details of the Stand Wood walk here (aka the Chatsworth Hunting Tower walk). This walk is NOT pram friendly. Please click here for our pram friendly Stand Wood walk at Chatsworth (circular, 5.7km).

Click here for start point
Distance: 3.6km 

Chatsworth Hunting Tower walk OS Map

2. Padley Gorge – 2.7km

Padley Gorge walk

The woodland around Padley Gorge is a fabulous natural playground for little ones, and the Padley Gorge walk is one of our favourite short Peak District walks, as kids can paddle in the stream, climb boulders and trees, and there’s even ice-cream at the end! It’s a 2.7km circular walk that takes in the National Trust’s Longshaw Estate too (which is free to walk though). And even though it may seem a short distance, do allow a good three hours for this walk as there are so many places to play!

Don’t forget your cash for the ice-cream van. They don’t take cards

You can read the full details of the Padley Gorge walk here.

Click here for start point
Distance: 2.7km 

Padley Gorge walk OS Map

3. Longshaw Estate – 3.7km

Longshaw Estate walk - pram friendly

The above Padley Gorge walk is not friendly. But if you’re looking for a pram friendly woodland walk, there’s our Longshaw Estate circular walk.

Starting and finishing at the National Trust Wooden Pole car park, the walk follows the woodland path onto the open parkland. Allow some time for the kids to explore near the pond and play in Boggart Burrow. Stop for a drink from the Croft Cabin or Longshaw Café before heading across the grassland back to the car park.

You can read the full details of the Longshaw Estate walk here.

Click here for start point
Distance: 3.7km

Longshaw Estate walk map

4. Cressbrook Dale – 1.8km

An easy going, circular walk through the woodland at Cressbrook Dale. It’s a very short walk, and perfect for when you just need to get the kids out of the house on a rainy Peak District day.

It isn’t altogether flat with a slight decline and incline to and from the brook, but it’s very doable for little legs. Just take care on those downward sections as they can get muddy and slippy in the rain.

You can read the full details of the Cressbrook Dale walk here.

Click here for start point
Distance: 1.2km from the car park to the summit and back again.  

Cressbrook Dale walk OS map

5. Grin Low woods to Solomon’s Temple – 1.8km

Grin Low woods makes up a large section of Buxton Country Park, and the footpaths through the woods lead up to Solomon’s Temple, an exposed 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.

You can read the full details of the Solomon’s Temple walk here.

Click here for start point
Distance: 1.8km 

Solomon's Temple walk OS map

6. Beeley and Hill Bank Plantation – 2.7km

Beeley woods walk, Peak District

Commonly referred to as Beeley Woods, Beeley and Hill Bank Plantation is a lovely place for a Peak District woodland walk. Forming part of the Chatsworth Estate, footpaths criss-cross through the woodland and a brook rushes down little waterfalls.

This is a short 2.7km walk around the Beeley and Hill Bank Plantation, but allow for a good few hours as the kids will love paddling in the stream and playing in the woods. Wellies during the winter months are a good idea, rather than hiking boots, so they can paddle.

You can read the full details of the Beeley and Hill Bank Plantation walk here.

Click here for start point
Distance: 2.7km 

Beeley woods walk OS Map, Peak District

Other options for Peak District woodland walks:

The following short Peak District walks include walking through woodland areas, although for only part of the walk:


You may also like to read:
Peak District river walks
Peak District pub walks
Peak District pram walks