Do you love the Peak District as much as we do? We love going for family walks in the Peak District but there’s so much more to do than just walking! If you live in Sheffield, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s so easy to escape into the Peak District… with so much of our city already being within the borders. There’s no excuse to go off on an adventure, there’s so much to do… castles, caves, family walks, historical attractions, the best tea rooms, trails, hikes and loots more! To help you get started, here’s a complete guide to the best things to do and see with kids in the Peak District. Enjoy!Travel Guide: Best Things To Do and See in the Peak District with Kids
Best Things To Do and See in the Peak District with Kids
Padley Gorge picnic
A picnic at Padley Gorge is the must, and the best way to experience this part of the Peak District is definitely hopping on a train to Grindleford. You can stop off for coffee & hot chips in the Station Cafe before starting your hike up to Padley Gorge. The walk here is great for kids who like climbing on rocks and boulders. The ground is very uneasy throughout the woodlands so make sure to wear good footwear! Padley Gorge itself is the perfect spot for paddling in nature!
It really is beautiful climbing up Burbage Brook down to the deep Padley Gorge from Grindleford. It’s very magical and always quiet. The perfect place to stop for a snack and drink. You can see the route and photos in our walk here. If you’re quick and without kids you could probably do it in just over half an hour.
Once you reach Padley Gorge this is the ultimate picnic spot. It’s very popular with families in the summer who take a full day picnic, bucket and spades, wellies and enjoy some paddling. There’s always an ice cream van parked at the top on nice days and a really nice atmosphere. This is something you have to experience! You don’t have to walk from Grindleford to get to Padley Gorge, it’s easily accessible from Hathersage Road & just around the corner from Longshaw Estate & Surprise view.
Getting to Hathersage is very easy from Sheffield, you can get a train or bus. Kids will love the village playground tucked away behind Hathersage Outdoor Pool, it’s such a lovely space and really nice equipment; free to visit and perfect for a family day out!
If you fancy a spot of swimming, you can swim outside at the Hathersage Outdoor Pool on in summer this is very popular with all ages. Imagine swimming with the views of the Peak District around you… sun lounges, toilet facilities and a good cafe for after, too! It’s no wonder families love it.
There’s lots and lots of walks to choose from in and around Hathersage… such as this Jane Eyre trail, Hathersage to Stanage Edge, or Hathersage to Grindleford which we have done a few times via Bolehill Quarry. Or even Hathersage to Ladybower Reservoir, if you fancy a challenge. The village is thriving with shops, cafes and pubs so there’s always something to eat!
A family day out to Bakewell is a real treat. Bakewell is a thriving old market town which looks and feels very English! If you love bargain hunting in charity shops, Bakewell is the place for you and there is a weekly market too. Aside from charity shops, Bakewell has lots of lovely gift, toy and knick knack shops as well as some high street stores.
Kids will love the park, it’s a very nice little stroll down the water down the park which has a lovely playground, and if it’s nice weather, the water splash will be on too (no charge to visit). You can expect an ice cream van, families picnicking on the grass and don’t forget to see the ducks!
Nearby in Bakewell is Castle Howard, Haddon Hall & Chatsworth House which are all worth a visit; especially Chatsworth. There is also a museum in Bakewell; Bakewell Old House Museum. If you fancy a nice walk, you can take a flat push chair and bike friendly trail from Bakewell to Hassop Station Cafe along the Monsal Trail. There is bike hire at Hassop Station & a really nice cafe, gift shop and small play area outside.
Longshaw Estate is the perfect place to get a piece of the Peak District without having to leave Sheffield. You can get an easy bus ride to Longshaw Estate which stops outside the lovely pub Fox House. From there, it’s up to you what you want to explore and you can do as much or as little as you like. There are wheelchair/pushchair friendly paths at Longshaw Estate and a number of trails to choose from varying in difficulty. It’s National Trust so if you drive and have NT membership, you get free parking.
With it being National Trust, too, you can be assured of good facilities such as a cafe, baby changing, visitors centre with maps, trails and walking information. For kids, try the Bogart trail, find the little fairy houses and nature play areas. Walking down to the ducks is a lovely short walk with lots of mud to play in along the way, and it’s not far to Padley Gorge for a picturesque picnic.
Best Things To Do and See in the Peak District with Kids
Eyam is famous for being the medieval Plague Village and there’s definitely something quite spooky about it. We really like the National Trust Eyam Hall, which has a few nice shops and during the school holidays usually have fun events on. Our visit during Easter featured an egg trail. There is a museum in the village, too.
The hall is a spectacular place to visit if you are interested in medieval and old national trust properties and the rooms are really fascinating. I’m a big fan of old decor and seeing what it was like for the people who lived years ago so this was perfect. My favourite rooms were the kitchen, outside cellars (and apparently, a maid drowned herself in there!) and the bedrooms, specifically the tapestry room.
Kids will enjoy the garden outside which had little game equipment, plus there are lots of walks out in the open near Eyam to go wild. A stroll around the village looking at all the old Plague houses is a must, and there are cafes and village pubs to eat in.
You can get to Eyam by bus from Sheffield.
Castleton, known as the “Shivering Mountain” is only place in the world where the semi-precious stone Blue John can be found. If you’re thinking of caves, then you really have to visit Castleton where you can take your pick from 4 show caves; Treak Cliff, Blue John Mine Cavern, Peak Cavern or Speedwell Cavern. Peak Cavern is famous for having the largest open mouth cave in Europe, Treak Cliff is a fairytale underground adventure, and Speedwell Cavern takes you on a boat through the old historical cave!
Fabulous walks and trail opportunities for everyone are all around Castleton, whether it’s a hike up Mam Tor, climbing up the steep steps to Perevil Castle (completed in 1086) or the Great Ridge Walk. The village is small, but beautiful and a stroll around the picturesque streets is delightful in itself. We often go off the beaten track and usually find some nice picnic spots or places to paddle.
In the village, you can buy gifts at independent shops, eat at local cafes and village pubs, see the ducks and visit the museum.
Buxton is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the peak district and Derbyshire, and people have been visiting since the 14th century. This lovely historical spa town has lots to do and see and is a thriving place to visit. Larger than most countryside towns, there are many shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, hotels and places of interest.
Buxton is home to the famous Pavilion Gardens which is an absolute must-visit for families. These gardens are so beautiful and make a lovely family stroll. The playgrounds are clean and high quality with good play equipment, the landscaping is really nice with little trails wandering off into fairytale corners and over little bridges, and during peak times in the year there is a land train. The pavilion gardens has a cafe/restaurant with a small play area inside, gift shops and hosts regular events and fairs. It’s a wonderful place!
Besides this, there’s Poole’s Cavern Show Cave & Buxton Country park to explore, GO! Ape, cycling, tours, Buxton Museum & Art Gallery & Solomans Temple, a victorian fortified hill.
Taking a walk down the high street to bargain hunt in the good range of charity shops is a lot of fun and you must check out the boutique shops in the Cavendish arcade; Buxton’s oldest shopping centre. Throughout the whole town there’s a wide range of high quality, boutique, high street and independent retailers, jewellers, book shops, antique shops and markets. There’s always something going on in Buxton with 9 festivals throughout the year including their very own family festival.
Please note the Pavilion Gardens has winter closure and reopens on February 1st.
Ilam Park, Dovedale & Tissington Trail
We stayed in Ashbourne for Eric’s first birthday in 2016, and it was absolutely wonderful to explore the local area and visit the famous Dovedale. We walked and cycled the Tissington Trail visiting some really lovely villages along the way, explored Dovedale area and visited Ilam Park; a National Trust property part of the Ilam Park Estate.
Exploring Ilam Park Estate is a must; there is a really cafe there, with outdoor seating and the best views… that is a must! The visitors centre has trails/walking information and maps, and during school holidays there are fun activities. we went in Halloween and the halloween spooky trail was really fun and took us around Ilam Park; highly recommend!
The Tissington Trail connects Buxton to Ashbourne so it’s a huge area with loads to do; more than enough for a few days at least, but we particularly spent time towards the Ashbourne side. The Tissington village is lovely and has an old sweet shop, there are bike hire stops along the Tissington trail and you must go walking around Dovedale because the landscapes are spectacular. There’s some hikes so definitely wear the right clothing and footwear.
Spoilt for choice where to go? I know I am! I love the Peak District & I hope this inspires you to choose some places to go and explore. 🙂
If you’re looking for even more Peak District day out inspiration, check these useful posts:
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