A beautiful, free family day out in the countryside. In my eyes, it can’t really get any better than that! Throw in National Trust, nature play for children, splendid views over the Peak District, good facilities and it’s a perfect day in my eyes. This is our National Trust Family day out in the Peak District, near Sheffield at Longshaw Estate and Padley Gorge. We come here often throughout all seasons, you can see when we were invited to the opening of a new woodland path here (which was so exciting!).
If I had to recommend my favourite outdoor day out for families, it would be Longshaw Estate! This is our adventures at Longshaw Estate and Padley Gorge, including ideas of what to do and the best spots.
Longshaw Estate is the perfect place to enjoy a family trip to the Peak District. You have all the beauty of the countryside, with fantastic views and places to explore, but with great facilities and good acces.
Longshaw Estate is a National Trust site in the Peak District on the edge of Sheffield. It is easily reached from Sheffield by public transport (which is one of the reasons we go regularly!). Buses 65, 272 and 271 from Sheffield stop at Fox House (where there is an entrance to Longshaw Estate, with signage).
Facilities at Longshaw are great; a tea room, gift shop, information with maps and trails, toilets and picnic tables outside.
Longshaw is a lovely gateway into the countryside. You don’t feel too lost; too intimidated if you are new to walking and getting outdoors, and plus there are good facilities. National Trust keep the area accessible, clean and open to all; no matter your age or ability to enjoy the countryside. I love Longshaw because I feel close to home even though I’m in the Peak District, and I can be assured of baby change and a cafe if I need it.
There’s also the Moorland discovery centre which has activities on for families and all ages. Longshaw Estate have regular events on throughout the year such as themed activities and hunts for kids like a Easter egg trail, ranger tots, muck in days, free led walks and workshops. The Moorland Discovery centre has a few small animal sculptures outside.
The views across the Peak District are spectacular at Longshaw. The walks around the estate are pushchair and wheelchair friendly. The boggart trail inspires and excites children… encourage them to find 6 boggart hiding places around Longshaw. Fun for grown ups, too!
There’s a variety of woodland walks, nature play opportunities, hidden areas to explore and loads of spaces for picnic. Children (and adults!) can go wild in the ancient woodlands, forage, find dens and climb trees. Plus it’s just 1/2 mile from the gorgeous Padley Gorge.
Easy toddler walk
The walk we usually do which is just the right length for Eric is an easy stroll starting from the Longshaw tearoom and shop. There are many walks you can do in the area of a variety of length and terrain difficulty but this toddler stroll is a favourite of ours. Information on walks, maps and a boggart trail sheet for 50p can be purchased at the tearoom shop.
From the Longshaw Estate tearoom and shop, head out left along the drive, through the gate and down hill heading towards Longshaw pond. Just follow the path.
Along the way are Boggart holes to find, trees to go in and sometimes, puddles!
Look out for nature on the streams running down the side of the paths on the walk to the pond. We have spotted tadpoles, fish and birds. There’s trails throughout the year for Longshaw Estate; you can find out information online and from the visitors centre. They usually cost a few pound for a trail sheet, but you can enjoy it without paying. I really recommend the 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 book, too, which is full of outdoor play ideas and ideas for days out by National Trust.
Once reaching the pond this is a perfect spot to stop and feed the ducks. The pond has a slope and a a few steps which we like to call a small viewing platform. Eric loves to stand on to feed the ducks here. As does anyone; it’s beautiful.
At this point, opposite the ducks if you turn left and down into the woods, there is a big fallen tree with a den and loads of space to run free!
This is a perfect place for a picnic, exploring, den building, climbing and taking in the scenery.
We come to Longshaw all year round, and I love to bring my friends here for picnics, a paddle down at Paddle Gorge and nature play with my friends children. They love to get out of Sheffield without having to go too far.
Carrying on the path straight leads you to Padley Gorge. Cross the road and down through the gate, it is a steep footpath down to Padley Gorge but totally worth it. This is probably my favourite place ever. It feels completely secluded and secret, during the summer kids can enjoy a paddle and in autumn the colours are magnificent. Padley Gorge is not pram friendly so I would definitely recommend a baby carrier. However, saying that, I have many times seen families down there with prams. They must have carried it down to the Gorge.
It is so beautiful and relaxing here.
We love to explore the ancient gorge, take in the views, climb the rocks and boulders, cross the bridges and just generally take in the beautiful surroundings. In summer, I have many picnics here with friends.
In summer families come to picnic here with buckets, spaces and paddle in the gorge! There’s usually an ice cream van parked at the top.
Lots of opportunities for outside play, picnics, walks and exploring at Longshaw Estate and Padley Gorge. It is a beautiful free day out in the Peak District that everyone should get the chance to go and visit.
What is one of your favourite places to explore outside and enjoy nature?
Thank you for reading and watching! If you want to see more of our adventures with National Trust, read our day out at Hardwick Hall here.