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10 EASY Peak District Walks! Short, Flat, Beginner & Child Friendly!

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The Peak District is full of footpaths and walking is one of the top things to do in Peak District, but don’t worry, you don’t have to be a pro hiker and super fit to enjoy walking in the Peak District because there are easy Peak District walks to do!

The Peak District is one of England’s National parks well located in the Mid to North of England with Sheffield, Manchester, Stoke on Trent, Huddersfield, Derby and Nottingham surrounding it. There are many activities to do in the Peak District and many of these activities revolve around seeing the famous Peak District Caves and walking the hills, reservoirs and rivers of the Peak District.

Walking in the Peak District is by far the best way to experience this area of natural beauty but you don’t need to be climbing steep hills to enjoy and appreciate it.

In this Peak District travel blog, I’m going to give you a variety of easy Peak District walks which include Peak District circular walks, flat walks in the Peak District and reservoir walks in the Peak District perfect if you’re looking for Peak District family walks with small children or a pushchair, or you want to get into walking without exterting yourself with steep hills and long distances.

Easy Walks Peak District

Easy Walks Peak District
Keep Reading for Easy Walks in the Peak District!

Preparing for an Easy Walk in the Peak District

The best way to prepare for a walk, even if it’s an ‘easy walk’ is to make sure you have a map to look at. This will help reduce the worry of not knowing the way.

I like to look at a map when I’m at home, find the trail I’ll do and find where to park on the map, then I can follow it once I’m on the walk too.

Personally, I prefer maps on my phone and for these beginner-friendly Peak District walks, that’s all you’ll need.

For a Peak District map on your phone, I recommend downloading and downloading the Peak District area, this way you’ll be able to see the footpaths offline if your signal goes. I love because it shows footpaths MUCH better than Google Maps!

AllTrails is a good app to search and follow the exact route of these low-level walks in the Peak District too. I have linked the AllTrails route to each of the below easy walks in the Peak District.

Ellie in Thor's Cave in the Peak District, easy peak district walks
Yes, this is one of the easy and short Peak District walks in this list!

What To Wear for a Peak District Easy Walk

Even if you’re doing one of the flat walks in the Peak District or easy hill walks in the Peak District from the list below, you still want to wear appropriate clothing and footwear to help you on the walk.

Walking boots are the best footwear, but if you don’t have them, sports trainers are the next best thing and will be ok for many of these short walks in the Peak District.

High heels, flip flops or fashion sandals where you’re feet slip should be avoided.

The weather can change dramatically in the Peak District, so wear different layers. You might start off on a sunny walk but the wind can pick up quickly meaning it will get colder and if it looks like it might rain, bring a waterproof jacket with a hood as it probably will rain a bit during your walk.

Ellie in hiking outfit in Peak District, what to wear walking in the Peak District, easy Peak District walks,
What to wear walking in the Peak District!

Map of Easy Lake District Walks

Below is a Peak District National Park map of where all of the easy walks in the Peak District are so you can plan what the best walk for you will be depending on where you are visiting in the Peak District.

Easy Walks in the Peak District

Here are some of the best walks in the Peak District which just happen to be easy Peak District walks too, or ways you can make them easier, shorter and flatter!

1. Dovestone Reservoir

side view of Dovestone Reservoir, Easy Walks Peak District,
Dovestone Reservoir is top of the list of my easy Peak District walks for a great circular walk!
Dovestone Reservoir map walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Map of Dovestone Reservoir Easy Walk

For easy Peak District walks, reservoir walks are great options because generally, they are flat, and easy to navigate as they are a long walk so there’s no worrying that you’ll stray on the wrong path, and many of the reservoir walks in the Peak District are pushchair accessible.

Dovestone Reservoir is one of my top Peak District walks and the kids loved it too!

This flat Peak District walk took us 2 hours but we let the kids explore on the way so we could have done it in 1 – 1.5 hours if we’d gone quicker.

Dovstone Reservoir offers an easy and flat circular walk on gravel around the reservoir. Dovestone Car Park, although a bit small and tight, offers parking right by the reservoir and toilets.

I know that having toilets nearby is one of the things that creates an ‘easy walk’ with or without children!

view of Dovestone Reservoir, Easy Walks Peak District,
The car park and toilets are not far from the reservoir at all!

What’s great about Dovestone Reservoir Walk is that you can easily make it a bit harder and walk further once you get there if you fancy it. You can extend your flat walk by walking around Yeoman Hay Reservoir which is literally right next to Dovestone Reservoir.

For part of the way, you can take the forest route instead of the reservoir pathway giving you a bit of an incline and different scenery.

There’s also the option to walk up to The Trinnacle which is a fascinating gritstone Pilar that can be seen up on the hill from Dovestone Reservoir. And the best thing about this is if 2 people in your group want to go and the others don’t, they can head up here whilst the others enjoy the reservoir and its seating areas before meeting back up!

Here’s my full guide to How To Do Dovestone Reservoir Walk, Easy Circular Walk in Peak District.

Do note that in 2023, the bridge separating Dovestone Reservoir and Yeoman Hay Reservoir has been shut due to works meaning you may not be able to complete the full circle, however, you can easily walk in both directions along the reservoir and this shouldn’t stop you enjoying your walk.

top view of Dovestone Reservoir, Easy Walks Peak District,
Dovestone Reservoir is the perfect easy circular walk in the Peak District!

2. Thor’s Cave

  • Closest City: Stoke on Trent, Derby, Nottingham
  • Length: From 1 Mile / 1.6 KM
  • Route Type: Flat Footpath & Short Forest Walk
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Where to Park: Leek Road
Entrance to Thor's Cave from inside, Easy Walks Peak District,
It’s not as hard to reach Thor’s Cave as you might think!
Thors Cave map walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for Thor’s Cave Easy Walk

Thor’s Cave is one of the really cool places to visit in the Peak District and you may have seen photos of it on Instagram before!

The best thing about doing the Thors Cave walk is that there are a few options to choose from.

The EASIEST and shortest way is indeed very easy and short. Park on Leek Road (google maps location here) right where the footpath leading to Thor’s Cave meets the road (you can easily see the footpath on Google Maps after searching for Thor’s Cave)then, it’s a 0.5-mile walk along a flat footpath plus a small uphill walk through the forest to take you to the base of Thor’s Cave.

You can also see the cave well from the bottom of the footpath and still appreciate its uniqueness if you don’t fancy going up the hill and into the cave.

Read my full guide on How To Do Thor’s Cave Walk! An Easy Walk In The Peak District.

There’s also the option to do a Thor’s Cave Circular Walk which is longer at 5.6 miles / 9 km, you can see the route on AllTrails here.

To get inside Thor’s Cave you do have to step up quite high and once inside it can be quite slippy because of the rock. It can also get quite busy meaning you need to be even more careful, but overall as long as you are cautious, it is a safe place to visit.

I went at sunset on a weeknight and no one else was there so I recommend going super early or later if you can.

This is one of the best easy walks for children in the Peak District because the name is cool and the cave is really fun and unique, it’s bound to keep them interested!

Footpath to Thor's Cave, Easy Walks Peak District,
This short, flat footpath leads to the base of Thor’s Cave, then it’s a short incline!

READ AFTER: 23+ Fun Family Days Out NEAR Manchester!

3. Bamford Edge

  • Closest City: Sheffield
  • Length: From 1 Mile / 1.6 KM
  • Route Type: Short Hill Incline
  • Difficulty: Fairly Easy
  • Where to Park: New Road
Ellie on the edge of Bombard Edge, Easy Walks Peak District,
Bamford Edge isn’t as high as you may think and it’s one of the short Peak District walks!
Bamford Edge map walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for Bamford Edge Easy Walk

The Peak District is known for its Edges which are not only cool to visit but they make great photo opportunities too.

These edges make you look really high up because you are, BUT thankfully, not all of them require you to walk that far and high to them.

Bamford Edge is one of the short walks in the Peak District because you can park along New Road (google maps link here), take the footpath straight away up through the field to the top of the ridge and then it’s a short walk to the actual ‘Edge’.

Bamford Edge provides amazing views over Ladybower Dam and Reservoir and is a cool place to walk on relatively flat ground around even once you have got your Instagram photo on the edge before heading back down to the car.

You can also easily extend your walk and visit Stanage Edge too or do the Three Edges Walk although this does take a few hours and is not considered an easy Peak District walk.

4. Ilam Park National Trust

  • Closest City: Derby, Stoke on Trent, Nottingham
  • Length: 3 Miles / 5 KM
  • Route Type: Footpaths and Fields
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Where to Park: Ilam Park National Trust
  • National Trust Route Link
Forest Path at Ilam Park Peak District, Easy Walks Peak District,
Ilam Park offers nice flat walks in the Peak District like this!
Ilam Park national trust map easy walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for Ilam Park Easy Walk

Visiting National Trust sites is one of the best ways to get an easy walk because there is designated parking, toilets and cafe facilities in most which before you even start all, helps create an easy day out.

Ilam Park is the National Trust site in the Peak District located close to Derby, Stoke on Trent and Nottingham and it’s great for doing easy walks in the Peak District because it has its own gardens and woodlands as well as being in walking distance to the popular areas of Dovedale and the White Peak.

Although the easiest walk you can do will be around the Italian Gardens and Woodland at Ilam Park, it’s worth going a bit further and visiting the famous Dovedale Stepping Stones from Ilam Park.

Here is a step-by-step guide provided by the National Trust, it is an easy route to follow as it follows one main path from the National Trust site to the Stepping Stones and back the same way taking about 30 minutes each way

Note that this route is not wheelchair-accessible or pushchair friendly as it involves fields and some paths that can get muddy.

To make this walk even easier and short, you can do purely the Dovedale Stepping Stones Walk starting at Dovedale Car Park and then it’s a 10-minute walk along the river to the stepping stones.

5. Lud’s Church

  • Closest City: Stoke on Trent & Manchester
  • Length: 2 Miles / 3.2 KM
  • Route Type: Forest, Fields and Footpath
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Where to Park: Gradbach Car Park
Lud's Church Rock Formation, Easy Walks Peak District,
Play in the cool rock formation of Lud’s Church, one of the easy walks for kids in the Peak District,
Lud's Church map easy walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for Lud’s Church Easy Walk

This walk is a family favourite of ours because unlike many of the good walks in the Peak District, the end point is not just a view!

I mean there’s nothing wrong with wanting to find the best viewpoints in the Peak District but kids don’t find them as interesting so heading to Lud’s Church, a mysterious, natural formation is a great destination!

Again, like most of these easy Peak District walks the walk can be extended into a circular walk covering 6 miles like this but you can do it much easier by parking at Gradbach Car Park, walking along the road, through Gradbach where you’ll find a cafe and bathrooms and take the footpath all the way to Lud’s Church and back the same way.

Lud’s Church is not an actual Church by the way, it’s an 18-metre-deep chasm created in the area’s gritstone caused by a giant landslip and is called a Church because myths say people did use it to worship in secret.

This is a great place for kids to play and explore and is definitely one of the best walks for children in the Peak District because of this!

Expect it to take you 30 minutes up and down plus time exploring at the top. You will need to walk through various terrains, mainly the forest after passing Gradbach which gets very muddy so appropriate footwear is needed.

If you want to extend the walk without adding too much on, follow the footpath to the Hanging Stone afterwards.

6. The Roaches

  • Closest City: Stoke on Trent & Manchester
  • Length: From 1 Mile / 1.6 KM
  • Route Type: Field Footpath and some Rock Climbing
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Where to Park: On road near The Roaches Tearoom
Top of the Roaches, Easy Walks Peak District,
The Roaches is one of my easy Peak District walks because you can walk as far as you want!
The Roaches map easy walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for The Roaches Easy Walk

I love this walk in the Peak District because you park on the road right next to the Roaches and the Roaches cover a large area so there’s no one place to go and you can’t go wrong!

But what is ‘The Roaches’? It is a prominent Rocky Ridge that you can walk along and explore with various viewpoints and rocks to climb.

For parking, I suggest heading to The Roaches Tearoom and as you get closer you’ll likely see lots of cars parked on the verge and you can park on here too. Note, you can’t actually park inside the tearooms to do this walk, you need to park on the road in the designated parking verges.

This makes it one of the great easy walks in the Peak District because you take the nearest footpath which is clearly signed off the road and head uphill to the ridge.

This walk is not easy in terms of it being wheelchair or pushchair friendly as there are rocks to navigate but the length isn’t far and you can really determine how far you walk yourself making it one of the best easy walks in the Peak District.

READ AFTER: 22+ GREAT Day Trips From Manchester & Day Tours from Manchester!

7. Soloman’s Temple

  • Closest City: Manchester
  • Length: 1.5 Miles / 2.4 KM
  • Route Type: Woodland & Field
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Where to Park: Pooles Cavern Car Park
Field and Solomon's Temple at the top, Easy Walks Peak District,
Soloman’s Temple is one of the easy walks near Buxton to enjoy!
Soloman's Temple map easy walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for Soloman’s Temple Easy Walk

If you’re looking for easy walks near Buxton, head to Soloman’s Temple. I did this recently with my mum who struggles walking a bit and my 2 young stepchildren but we loved it and got on well.

Soloman’s Temple is a structure located in a lovely meadow overlooking Buxton and it’s just a 15-20 minute walk through the woodland to get there.

We visited Poole’s Cavern first, taking their cave tour which is one of the best things to do in the Peak District and I really recommend teaming it with this walk. I recommend it as one of the great days out with kids near Manchester!

Go Ape Buxton is also located here so if you wanted to add in one of the good Peak District activities as well as a walk you could take on the Tree Tops Challenge at Go Ape!

From the Pooles Cavern car park, you follow the signs along a well-maintained woodland footpath up a bit of a hill before reaching the meadow at the top.

From here, it is a 5 minute walk or so through the meadow to Soloman’s Temple which you can then climb to see an amazing view over Buxton and the surrounding area.

It was a lovely day when we went so we took a picnic and my mum decided to wait in the meadow rather than walk to the temple so this is an option for you too if you have members that can’t walk as far in your group.

The best thing is that walking down is much easier and the kids loved exploring the woodland and all its smaller paths as we walked down the main path.

Another reason why I’ve classed this as one of the easier walks in the Peak District is that Pooles Cavern offers toilets and a cafe which often helps people find walks easier, especially with kids.

You can also do this walk from Grin Low Car Park which is a 10-minute walk to Soloman’s Temple so even more accessible and quicker.

Soloman's Temple view, Easy Walks Peak District,
And it’s one of the best walks for kids in the Peak District!

8. Combs Reservoir

Comb's Reservoir map easy walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for Comb’s Reservoir Easy Walk

For the best reservoir walks in the Peak District and the best easy walks in the Peak District, Combs Reservoir falls under this because of its easy-to-follow circular route which is pretty much flat all the way.

This is a great walk for kids in the Peak District because of its length, it should only take around 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes to complete unless you stop more and is flat all the way.

What makes this reservoir walk different from other reservoir walks in the Peak District is that the path takes you away from the reservoir halfway through and through the village of Combs which is a nice way to see a small village and you can stop at the Beehive Inn for some lunch or a drink on the walk making it an even easier walk in the Peak District!

9. Padley Gorge

Burbage Brook on the Padley Gorge walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
You’ll pass the pretty Burbage Brook on the Padley Gorge Circular walk in the Peak District
Padley Gorge walking map, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for Padley Gorge Easy Walk

Padley Gorge is always recommended on lists of easy Peak District walking routes because there are many paths to choose from and they lead up a river meaning the walk isn’t strenuous, you can’t get lost and kids will enjoy the walk too!

Although there are many easy Padley Gorge walking routes, I recommend parking in the National Trust Longshaw Estate, this will mean you’ll find designated parking and have facilities such as a cafe and toilets nearby, really helpful if you are doing this walk with young children.

As I said, there are many walks to walk Padley Gorge but I like the easy circular Padley Gorge walk that the National Trust recommend as it is all signposted with pink arrows from the cafe in Longshaw Estate.

From the cafe you’ll visit a few places first such as Longshaw Pond, Granby Wood, and Burbage Brook and then reach Padley Gorge where you can continue along the river upstream back to the entrance of the Longshaw Estate or spend time around Padley Gorge playing, maybe having a swim as it’s one of the Peak District wild swimming spots and finding wildlife.

Children will love this walk as the scenery keeps changing and they can play on the banks of the river getting muddy and messy!

10. Quick Route up Mam Tor

Mam Tor walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
The easy walk up Mam Tor is great for kids!
Mam Tor map easy walk, Easy Walks Peak District,
Route for Mam Tor Easy Walk

Mam Tor is one of the highest peaks in the Peak District. Many people think it is the highest but it’s just short of the highest at 517 m (1696 ft).

With it being the highest you may think it’s the hardest but this isn’t correct because there is a road and a car park that sits just below the summit meaning you can walk from this car park to the summit stone of Mam Tor in about 10 minutes as the car park is already pretty high up.

For the Mam Tor easy walk, park at the National Trust Dark Peak car park along the road Rushup Edge, using this link because the car park is just called ‘car park’ on Google Maps which isn’t easy to find!

The easy walking route for Mam Tor follows 2 separate footpaths leading out of the car park that take you 0.4 miles to the top of Mam Tor.

Now, this walk isn’t super easy as there is quite an incline, some big steps and even at my fittest it leaves me out of breath, but it’s on this list of easy Peak District walks because of how short it is!

I did a Mam Tor hike with a group of people last year, many of whom hadn’t hiked before and many did struggle with the hill but they kept stopping, taking breathers and all managed it because it really isn’t long despite the incline!

The great thing about doing this easy Mam Tor walk is once you are at the top, the hard work is done! From here, you can walk back down if you were only looking for a quick Peak District walk, or you can continue along the ridge as far as you want before turning back on yourself. The ridge for the most part is pretty flat and you can’t get lost as it’s one footpath and you can see the footpath stretching ahead of you along the ridge.

Or, you can follow this Mam Tor Circular Walk by the National Trust.

summit of Mam Tor, Easy Walks Peak District,
Enjoy reaching the summit stone whilst doing a short and easy Peak District walk!

I hope you enjoyed these easy Peak District walks and you’ve found a walk for you!