Are you looking for short or easy Peak District walks with kids, or some lovely family walks in the Peak District?
Sandwiched between Manchester and Sheffield in the north of England, the Peaks is our home and we are regularly out on a family hike with our boys of a weekend. With those green rolling hills dotted with old farm houses and country pubs, it’s our happy place.
There’s nothing better than a long walk across the Dales, over drystone walls, towards a good old English pub for lunch. Pre-kids we used to grab an Ordnance Survey map and hike for a good few hours before drying off and warming up in front of a cosy log fire with a pint. When the boys came along it was fine doing these walks with them in the back carrier, but since the age of two we have wanted to encourage them to do a walk all on their own. Plus, we found our boys to be a bit too heavy for the carriers!
So here is a selection of our favourite short family walks in the Peak District. Make sure you pack LOTS of snacks and an OS Map, dress them in layers with a puddle suit and wellies (unless it’s a fine summer’s day) and start your walk early when they’re at their most energetic.
This circular walk on Stanton Moor has it all – unusual stones to explore, rocks to climb, woodland, open views and muddy puddles! It’s easily one of our favourite peak district family walks. At the start of the walk is a large rock that looks like a corkscrew – it’s begging to be climbed by the grownups if you’re up for the challenge. The walk continues round to the left, however, we often like to take a detour down the old quarry to play amongst all the boulders. A snack at the Nine Ladies Circle is standard; a Bronze Age circle used by the Druids. Enjoy the views over to Bakewell as you loop back round to the beginning.
Park down Bradford Road just a bit further on from Youlgreave Church. This circular walk takes you either side of the River Bradford. The kids will love playing with sticks and paddling in the shallow section at the end of Holywell Lane. There’s even a designated swimming area further down the river for the warmer summer months.
Post-walk enjoy a good lunch in the family-friendly George Hotel (then have a kids’ menu). If the kids still have energy to burn, there’s a good playground just past the church along Alport Lane.
Just up from the Robin Hood Inn Pub, follow the footpath sign along the base of Birchen Edge for about 1km. You may see some climbers making their way up the rock-face. However, you don’t need to rig up the ropes yourselves as the footpath follows around to the top after about 1km and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views. It can get crazy windy up here though, so shelter behind some rocks to enjoy your mid-walk snack. Post-walk, stop in the pub for a bite to eat. Well, would be rude not to!
A visit to Blaze Farm is one of our top things to do in the Peak District with kids. Entry is FREE and there are lots of farm animals to meet (cows, peacocks, donkeys, geese, ducks, sheep). If you’re visiting during the lambing season you may even be lucky enough to see a lamb being born in the lambing shed (arrive early). There is a short and long nature walk. We take the short walk that crosses the meadows, through the woodland (where you’ll come across carved animals in the wood and a den) and back up to the farm. Just follow the signs.
On return to the farm, head to the cosy tea room and treat yourselves to some ice-cream made on the farm from A2 milk. Behind the tearoom you’ll find a slide and a tractor to play on.
Blaze Farm is open 10am to 5:30pm Tuesday-Sunday all year round and Bank Holiday Mondays. Visit their website for further details.
This is a classic Peak District walk which can get rather busy at weekends and public holidays. Ensure you arrive early beat the crowds, unless you’re visiting during the week when it’s likely you’ll have the valley to yourselves. A flat gravel path follows alongside the river and is suitable for prams, until you reach a series of stepping stones that take you to the other side. Walk along as far as you wish, but just remember you have to turn around and follow the same route back. We generally go just a little bit further than the stepping stones (about 1km each way).
Click here for start point Distance: As long as you wish as the walk follows the same path out and back.
This circular walk can get very muddy, so make sure everyone is wearing wellies. Park up by Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and walk down through Gould Farm to say ‘hello’ to the cows (you’ll smell them before you see them!) Head down to the river and enjoy those open views across the dales as you walk between drystone stiles. Then treat yourself to a hearty lunch at the pub on your return.
Our favourite place to stay as a family is on a little farm, 2 miles north of Parwich. With a large double bedroom and smaller twin bedroom, the beautiful barn conversion named Bluebird Cottage comfortably sleeps a family of four. This is a home from home, so you have a lounge with TV and a fully equipped kitchen (including dining table, dishwasher and microwave). There’s a large grassy garden behind the cottage and our boys love feeding the donkeys. There are also goats and horses on the farm, and if you visit in Spring you’ll see lambs being born and perhaps get to hold one!
There is also Dover Barn next door to Bluebird Cottage, which also sleeps four. The owners of this family-run farm are such lovely people and very down-to-earth. We can’t recommend a stay with them enough.
If you’re just visiting for a night or two, or you’re looking for a more budget option, you can’t go wrong with YHA. They offer family rooms, toys for the kids, and self-catering facilities (as well as good value meals) and there are ten YHA hostels dotted around the Peak District. Our favourite for location is perhaps YHA Eyam.
Do you have any favourite family walks in the Peak District to add?
A big thank you to Ordnance Survey for supplying the mapping for this post as part of the #GetOutside program. This post contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no extra cost to you, but I receive a small commission.
Were you an intrepid backpacker in your previous life? Exploring distant and exotic lands on a budget, getting off the beaten track and feeling like you were doing something different? Now that young kids are in the picture, travel priorities may have changed. But you don’t have to get sucked into the package holiday bubble. Adventure travel with young kids is possible! Jenny x