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, 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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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.