5 of the Best Family Walks in the Peak District

Written by Shayle Follows

There are so many lovely family-friendly walks in the Peak District that are perfect for kids to get outside and explore. We have chosen 5 of the best family walks in the Peak District for you to try.

We live close to the Peak District and love to venture there for family days out/hikes. We know how important it is to find suitable trails for your family’s abilities therefore we have chosen 5 of the best family walks in the Peak District for you to consider. We love them all!

Peak District Family Walks

When heading out try and start your walk early when children are usually at their most energetic. Remember to pack lots of snacks and water. Packing an OS Map is a must, dress in layers with a waterproof coat and wear hiking boots. Last but not least, check the weather!

1. Dovedale Stepping Stones – 3.3 Miles

When I think of the Peak District I automatically think of the Dovedale Stepping Stones. The stepping stones across the River Dove are certainly a hotspot in the Peak District National Park. We always suggest leaving early or later in the day to avoid busy crowds, this is especially true for even this quieter walk to Dovedale Stepping Stones.

Dovedale Stepping Stones
Enjoy the Dovedale Stepping Stones as part of a family walk in the Peak District

This Dovedale circular walk from Peak District Kids starts from the sleepy village of Thorpe, and tours you around Thorpe Cloud, then across Dovedale Stepping Stones. It’s a really fun and easy family walk.

Dovedale Stepping Stones in the Peak District
Dovedale Stepping Stones in the Peak District

We love that this route includes an optional detour up Thorpe Cloud from Dovedale Stepping Stones. This is a steep 15-minute climb that will reward you with the most stunning views.

This walk with kids takes us approximately 2/3 hours. On a sunny day, it’s nice to take your time though, have a picnic play, and even a paddle.

Dovedale car park (£3 cash only) is often very busy.

You can read the full details of the Dovedale circular walk here.

2. Robin Hood’s Stride – 2.7 miles

This Robin Hood’s Stride walk is a collection of rocks high on a hill, it’s a great one for the adventurous children out there. There are lots of things to explore on this walk from Lets Go Peak District, including a hermits cave. We find this walk perfect for climbing and scrambling, and the views from the top are not to be missed.

Robin Hood's Stride in the Peak District
Robin Hood’s Stride in the Peak District

It takes us around 2-3 hours to complete this walk. There are gates, stiles, and squeeze stiles. The terrain is uneven and can be muddy in places, and there are moderate uphill and downhill sections so it’s recommended for children around 8 years and upwards.

There is free street parking in the village of Elton at the start of the walk.

You can read the full details of this Robin Hood’s Stride walk here.

3. Mam Tor – 3 Miles

Mam Tor its name meaning “Mother Hill” because of frequent landslips on its eastern face have resulted in a multitude of “mini-hills” beneath it, is a perfect hill climb in the Peak District for young children to get moving those little legs! Children will feel a great sense of achievement. The viewpoint at Mam Tor is stunning and stretches north over the Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Moors. It was quite windy at the top so bear this in mind when preparing for the walk.

Mam Tor family walk in the Peak District
Mam Tor is a popular family walk in the Peak District.

For adults and older children, this route is great if you want to take your bikes for a spin. It is full of jumps and winding roads offering a natural route for any keen cyclist.

This circular route from the National Trust takes you around Mam Tor and will take around 3 hours.

There is a National Trust car park at Mam Tor (no toilets) and non-NT pay and display car parks with toilets at Edale and Castleton

You can read the full details of this Mam Tor walk here.

You can follow another Castleton to Mam Tor circular walk here.

4. Thor’s cave – 2 Miles

Thor’s Cave is a natural cavern from limestone rock. It’s certainly impressive to look at, offers some spectacular views across Manifold Valley and there’s a bit of a scramble in the cave for even young children to feel like thereon an adventure, the cave can be very slippery when wet. My child loves to explore the caverns, he’ll shout to hear his echo and search for bones or fossils that may have been left behind.

Thors Cave in the Peak District
Thors Cave is a beautiful spot you can enjoy on your family walk in the Peak District.

We found it took us 1.5/2 hours from start to finish. However, we took it steady with a toddler and allowed time for playing at the cave.

There is a car park on Carr Lane, Wetton, Ashbourne. There are toilets are here too.

You can read the full details of the Thor’s Cave walk here.

5.  Stanton Moor – 2.2 Miles

This Stanton Moor walk has so much to offer! Woodland to explore, rocks to climb, beautiful views, and muddy puddles! It’s a perfect walk for a family day out as it’s quite flat so suitable for varying abilities.

Stanton Moor

We love to wander down the old quarry to play amongst all the boulders whilst enjoying this walk. You can stop for a snack at the Nine Ladies Circle whilst you’re here, a Bronze Age circle used by the Druids. Finally admire the views over to Darley Dale as you head back to the start.

This walk takes us about 2 hours with stops to play or picnic.

There is roadside parking here but spaces can be limited. If there is no parking available, head to the small car park 300 metres down the road opposite Birchover Stone.

You can read the full details of the Stanton Moor walk here.

Let us know if you have tried any of these family-friendly Peak District walks in the comments! Which is your favourite?

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