Padley Gorge walk from the Longshaw Estate

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The Peak District National Park is a wonderful place for an energising hike. One of my favourites is this Padley Gorge walk from the Longshaw Estate. As you can see from the photos we’ve completed it many times in varying weathers and it never fails to impress.

girl climbing on rocks

The Longshaw Estate

This walk begins at the Longshaw Estate. You’ll be looking for the main car park where there’s a cafe and toilets. There are several short walks where you stay on the estate with brilliant natural play areas, dens and even a boggart trail. If you’re visiting with kids make sure you add on a bit of extra time to play. The National Trust own the Estate and look after it meaning paths and trails are well cared for.

sign post at the longshaw estate

The Padley Gorge Walk route

From Longshaw car park walk down past the toilets to the cafe. You’ll be following the orange route to start the walk down to Padley Gorge. There is a simple trail map in the car park so you can take a photo of it before you head off.

padley gorge walk map

Follow the well maintained path across fields which often have sheep grazing in them. Little ones will love spotting the bird signs as you go. And of course having a little paddle in the muddy streams.

man in blue hooded coat and three kids dressed for winter going into a little stream
wooden bird sign at the longshaw estate

You’re unlikely to miss the path as it is well signposted but essentially you’re doing a loop round to the right. You’ll pass through some beautiful trees and spot some amazing Hope Valley views.

well maintained path at the longshaw estate in the peak district

Eventually the path will bring you to Granby Discovery Barn. It’s worth popping in here to learn a bit more about the area, its history and its local wildlife.

granby barn with educational posters on the walls

Leave the barn and cross over the main road which will take you down to Padley Gorge. Although it’s not that busy, this is a main road so keep kids and dogs very close. There are often loads of cars park along he side of the road which can make it tricky to cross. Please be careful.

family crossing a road with car parked on the side to padley gorge

Most times we’ve visited (at all times of the year) there’s been an ice cream van parked up here. Treat yourselves or the kids to a sweet treat before heading on.

ice cream van parked on the side of the road at Padley Gorge

Follow the path down to the river and cross over the wooden bridge. This is a good spot for a paddle on a sunny day. Follow the path round to the right.

padley gorge signpost by a wooden bridge

For another brilliant walk with an option for a paddle in the Peak District, check out this Dovedale Stepping stones walk.

You have a couple of options here. you can keep going along the lower path, keeping the river on your left. This is probably the kids favourite route as they can splash in the water.

family about to cross a wooden bridge at padley gorge

If you keep going, the views of the Gorge are stunning. Once you’ve walked as far as you like along the river, just turn round and head back to the main road, returning through the Estate.

river with a few large rocks at padley gorge

Or follow the path up to the right. Climbing higher. This is my favourite as you’ll pass through typical Peak district scenery, moss covered tree stumps and gnarly looking branches and rocks.

spooky looking trees covered in moss

Eventually you’ll get to a rocky area with some huge, ancient milstones, famous in the Peak District. Climb up the rocky path to get out of the gorge. I probably wouldn’t attempt this one on a wet day as it gets pretty slippy. Then head through the heather and bracken towards Owler Tor.

padley gorge milestones from above
group of kids climbing up mossy rocks
man in blue coat looking up at a pile of rocks

The top of the Tor offers some of the best views in the area being so high up. I love just stopping here and taking in the amazing Peak District. This is the perfect spot to stop for a flask of tea or a picnic.

owler tor in the peak district
girl looking at camera standing on a big stack of rocks
beautiful views of the peak district

Once you’ve had your fill of the views head back down towards the river and cross back over the wooden bridge, over the road and back into the Longshaw Estate.

man in big grey jacket about to walk across a wooden bridge

You’ll be taking a slightly different route to the car park. Head through the Longshaw Gate then follow the path round to the left. You’ll pass a lovely lake which you can follow round back towards the Longshaw Cafe.

longshaw estate duck pond

This is where you’ll find some of the natural play areas with trees for climbing and stumps for jumping on.

kids walking across spaced out tree stumps
kids swinging in trees
kids sitting on a fallen down tree

Keep going along here until you make it back to the carpark.

Route Details

Walk Duration: This walk took us around two hours with a stop for ice cream and play at the Tor.

two men walking down a path through fields

Walk Length: The route we took was around three and a half miles but could be shortened to under two miles by just completing the Longshaw loop. If you want to extend the route you could explore further along Padley Gorge to Grindleford Station.

three kids walking along a path at padley gorge

Walk Difficulty: This one isn’t too difficult but it does have a few steep inclines to navigate. I wouldn’t try the Padley Gorge side with a pushchair. The Longshaw Estate is pretty accessible and the trails make it very easy.

a couple dressed for cold weather on a hike in the peak district

Facilities: You’ll find toilets and a lovely cafe at the Longshaw Estate Carpark. There’s also the ice cream van halfway round if you need a pick me up. The toilets at the car park are the only ones on this route.

inside of the cafe at the longshaw estate

Parking for the Padley Gorge Walk

There are several National Trust car parks around Padley Gorge. For this walk your looking for the one with the cafe signposted. Use the postcode S11 7TS and look for the signs. Parking is free for National Trust members, charges apply for everyone else. You don’t currently have to book a time slot to visit.

the longshaw estate car park

The Padley Gorge Walk with dogs.

This is a great walk for dogs in the Peak District but there are a few things to remember. When you’re in the Longshaw Estate you’ll need to keep them on a lead as there are often cattle grazing the fields.

sheep grazing at the longshaw estate

Once you’re on the Padley Gorge side of the road they can have a little run by the river but once you get up to the Tor it’s best to pop them back on at certain times of the year. There are often birds nesting in the area and they could easily be disturbed.

hungarian vizsla dog in front of a wooden sign post
group of kids and a dog walking to padley gorge

As always make sure you clean up after your dogs. You’ll find bins at the Longshaw carpark.

These great pubs near the Ladybower Reservoir are all within a short drive of Padley Gorge. They’re perfect if you’re peckish after your walk.

Make sure you join the Marvellous Midlands Walks Facebook Group where you can share your favourite routes, photos and recommendations for walks in the Midlands. It’s also a great place to ask for recommendations and find inspiration for your next hike.

Another great National Trust estate to visit in the Peak District is Ilam Park. Again it’s a great place to start a hike and parking is free for National Trust members.

For another one along a river give this 5 mile Three Shires Head walk a try. It’s a great spot for a paddle.

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