15 BEST Walks in the Peak District

Bamford Edge

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Ever wondered what the best walks in the Peak District are? 

If this is your first time or you’re new to visiting the Peak District and you’re unsure which walks to do, you can find some great ideas here, along with the route maps and details to complete them. This is not just a pretty walk list!

After stretching my legs on hundreds of scenic walks these are my top 15 favourites routes in the Peak District. These beautiful walks include a mix of short, medium and long routes across the White Peak and Dark Peak area of the National Park. 

There are hilly routes, rivers to walk alongside, caves to explore, some with waterfalls and a few hidden treasures that you might not have heard of before.  Plus plenty of walks with trigs and Ethels to bag as you go if you’re completing the Trig challenge or Ethel bagging. The wonderful thing about the Peak District is there’s something for everyone to enjoy so start scrolling to find the perfect walk for you.

Let me know in the comments if you think I’ve missed any best walks off the list?

15 best walks in the Peak District

Here are our 15 best walks in the Peak District. 

For each walk suggestion you’ll find a link below with a detailed guide that includes where to start the walk, parking or public transport options, the route map and GPX file, detailed route guidance, plus other useful information about the route.

There are also options to do shorter or longer routes that still include the highlights so there should be plenty of options for your to enjoy your visit.

If you’re beginner hiker then read our guides on What to pack for a day hike and What to do in an emergency situation here.

Mam Tor + The Great Ridge

The Great Ridge in the Peak District
Mam Tor and the Great Ridge towards Lose Hill

Distance: 6.8 miles/11 km

Walk time: 3-4 hours

Total ascent: 535 m/1,755 ft

Trigs (1) + Ethels (2)

A classic must-do Peak District walk is Mam Tor and the Great Ridge. Walking up to the summit and enjoying the views of the Hope Valley and surrounding hills is absolutely spectacular.

There are various different routes up to Mam Tor but this 7-mile loop from Castleton is one of the best routes taking in all the scenery on the way. You’ll reach Mam Tor trig point then enjoy a lovely route along the undulating Great Ridge via Back Tor all the way to Lose Hill.

(Buy our Mam Tor charity patch here.)

Walk route + map here

The Roaches + Lud’s Church

Gritstone rocks and grassy path
Gritstone rocks on The Roaches walk

Distance: 10 miles/17 km

Walk time: 5-6 hours

Total ascent: 761 m/2,497 ft

Trigs (1) + Ethels (3)

Next on our best walks in the Peak District list is The Roaches and Lud’s Church. Both places are iconic spots in the Peak District but combined on one walk you have the best of both worlds.

This route takes you up via Hen Cloud (an Ethel) with views towards The Roaches and then on to Lud’s Church, known as a secret spot in the Peak District (in reality it’s not that secret as everyone has heard of it). However, visiting Lud’s Church for the first time is a wonderful experience and worth doing on a quieter day if you can as it has a real wow factor.

(Buy our Roaches charity patch here + Lud’s Church patch coming soon.)

Walk route + map here

Wolfscote Dale

Gate and drystone wall start of Wolfscote Dale
Start of Wolfscote Dale

Distance: 5.4 miles/8.7 km

Walk time: 2.5-3 hours

Total ascent: 262 m/859 ft

Trigs (0) + Ethels (0)

Wolfscote Dale from Hartington is a beautiful walk in the White Peak area of the Peak District. The route takes you through Beresford Dale before reaching Wolfscote Dale alongside the River Dove. 

As well as a beautiful dale to explore there are also a couple of caves along the way before looping back down Biggin Dale to complete this circular route to Hartington.

Walk route + map here


Dovestone Reservoir + The Trinnacles from Greenfield

The Trinnacles Rocks on Dovestone Reservoir Walk
The Trinnacles Rocks on Dovestone Reservoir Walk

Distance: 12 miles/19 km

Walk time: 6-7 hours

Total ascent: 857 m/2,812 ft

Trigs (1) + Ethels (1)

If you’re looking for a longer hike then this route in the northern part of the Peak District is one for your list.

Once you’ve walked the route you’ll see why it’s on the best walks list as the views are absolutely beautiful and it’s a day you’ll remember. From Greenfield the walk takes you via the reservoirs and up Birchen Clough via a short scramble before you’re up high. There’s also the bonus of seeing the impressive Trinncales before continuing the route along the ridge.

Walk route + map here

Cave Dale from Castleton

Cave Dale walk Peak District
Cave Dale with views of Peveril Castle

Distance: 2 miles/3.3 km

Walk time: 1.5-2.5 hours

Total ascent: 205 m/672 ft

Trigs (0) + Ethels (0)

Our second route from Castleton on the list of best walks in the Peak District. Cave Dale is one of those hidden gems that is beautiful to explore on a shorter route. 

From the village of Castleton you pop out into this stunning dale with views above of Peveril Castle and enjoy this quaint spot in the Peak District. 

As a bonus this route can be combined with our other walk on the list – Mam Tor and the Great Ridge so it’s two great walks in one!

Walk route + map here


Chrome Hill + Parkhouse Hill from Earl Sterndale

Parkhouse Hill
Looking back to Parkhouse Hill from Chrome Hill

Distance: 4.6 miles/7.4 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 425 m/1,394 ft

Trigs (0) + Ethels (2)

Hopping over to the Staffordshire Peak District and a stunning pair of hills – Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill. 

Our walk takes you up Parkhouse Hill then on to Chrome Hill from Earl Sterndale so you have a different perspective of both hills from each summit. The route then loops back via Dowel Dale to complete the circular walk.

(Buy our Chrome Hill charity patch here.)

Walk route + map here


Kinder Scout from Edale

Views from the top of Grindsbrook Clough
Views from the top of Grindsbrook Clough

Distance: 8 miles/13 km

Walk time: 5-6 hours

Total ascent: 806 m/2,644 ft

Trigs (1) + Ethels (1)

Another one that had to make the best walks list is Kinder Scout, there are many different start points for this walk and Edale village is one of the most popular ways up. 

However, from Edale there are still numerous options to reach the top. Our walk takes you up Grindsbrook Clough, an adventurous route with a short scramble section towards the top of the plateau. From here, you’re up high enjoying the gritstone rock formations as you hike around the Kinder Plateau then on to Kinder Low trig point before heading back down the famous Jacob’s Ladder.

(Buy our Kinder Scout charity patch here.)

Walk route + map here


Chee Dale Stepping Stones

Chee Dale stepping stones

Distance: 5 miles/8 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 358 m/1,174 ft

Trigs (0) + Ethels (0)

Another hidden spot in the Peak District that jumps on our best walks list. This route lies beneath the Monsal Trail, a popular trail but Chee Dale is where all the magic moments are!

From Miller’s Dale, also a great start point as this is an old train station complete with the train platforms. Then it’s a short walk down the Monsal Trail before heading down to the River Wye and before long you’ll reach the famous Chee Dale Stepping stones. These are passable in most weather, with the exception of the winter month’s when there’s heavy rain and melted snow that raises the water levels of the river.

Walk route + map here


Win Hill + Crook Hill

Views of Ladybower Reservoir on way down from Crook Hill

Distance: 9.1 miles/14.7 km

Walk time: 4-5 hours

Total ascent: 647 m/2,122 ft

Trigs (1) + Ethels (2)

Another route with two gorgeous Peak District Hills both with views of Ladybower Reservoir from different angles. This walk begins with a steep hike up to Win Hill with a trig point before heading down via woods and back up to Crook Hill before returning back to the start point.

The bonus of this walk is that it includes two Peak District Ethels as well! If you don’t fancy a long route then this two hills can be hiked individually as well – Win Hill and Crook Hill.

(Buy our Win Hill charity patch here.)

Walk route + map here


Shutlingsloe Hill + Macclesfield Forest

Pink heather - Shutlingsloe Hill
Pink heather around the base of Shutlingsloe Hill

Distance: 5.4 miles/8.7 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 383 m/1,256 ft

Trigs (1) + Ethels (1)

Known as the Matterhorn of Cheshire, Shutlingsloe Hill is pretty impressive from most angles. This lovely 5-mile walk takes you up to Shutlingsloe summit where there’s a trig point (also an Ethel), the scenery is stunning from this viewpoint. Then is down via Macclesfield Forest and a loop back around to the start of the walk.

Walk route + map here


Thor’s Cave + Manifold Valley

Thor's Cave - large rock with small cave amongst trees
Thor’s Cave in the Manifold Valley

Distance: 4.7 miles/7.5 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 343 m/1,125 ft

Trigs (0) + Ethels (0)

From the lovely village of Wetton a short distance away is the magnificent Thor’s Cave. Pictured above it might look small but it’s a huge cave that you can go inside and explore. 

This lovely route takes you via the Manifold valley to Thor’s Cave but also stops off as some other cool caves on the way too. This is a perfect short walk for children as there’s plenty to keep them occupied on the walk.

(Buy our Thor’s Cave charity patch here.)

Walk route + map here


Bamford Edge

Enjoying the sunset at Bamford Edge

Distance: 1.9 miles/3.1 km

Walk time: 1-1.5 hours

Total ascent: 217 m/712 ft

Trigs (0) + Ethels (0)

An absolutely breathtaking walk in the Peak District and this great short route means you can add it on even with a busy schedule for your visit!

Bamford Edge is an outcrop of gritstone rocks, common in the Peak District along with a few other popular edges that are worth a visit, including Stanage Edge, Derwent Edge and Curbar Edge to name a few!

If you’d like to do a sunset walk we have a few other suggestions for great walks to do here – 16 Stunning Sunset Walks In The Peak District

(Buy our Bamford Edge charity patch here.)

Walk route + map here


Dovedale + Thorpe Cloud

Thorpe Cloud in Peak District - Hill and purple flowers
Thorpe Cloud

Distance: 6.5 miles/10.4 km

Walk time: 3-4 hours

Total ascent: 611 m/2,004 ft

Trigs (0) + Ethels (1)

A lovely route taking in both the popular Dovedale stepping stones but also views from the hill Thorpe Cloud that sits in this Derbyshire Dale. The walk then takes you away from the River Dove and Dovedale on a less-popular route via Bunster Hill before returning back.

Dovedale stepping stones is an extremely popular place to visit so it’s worth doing this section of the walk when it’s early morning or on an evening.

(Buy our Thorpe Cloud charity patch here.)

Walk route + map here


Higher Shelf Stones + Plane Crash Site

Higher Shelf Stones Peak District
Higher Shelf Stones trig point

Distance: 5.8 miles/9.3 km

Walk time: 3-3.5 hours

Total ascent: 488 m/1,601 ft

Trigs (1) + Ethels (1)

The Higher Shelf Stones walk is a lovely 6-mile loop from Snake Pass, which includes the B29 Superfortress crash sit; however this walk also includes some stunning scenery from Higher Shelf Stones trig point and along the route via Shelf Brook which loops round to make this a fantastic circular walk.

Walk route + map here


Derwent Edge

Rocks on Derwent Edge
Rocks on Derwent Edge

Distance: 8 miles/13 km

Walk time: 3.5-4.5 hours

Total ascent: 493 m/1,617 ft

Trigs (1) + Ethels (2)

From Fairholmes, this lovely walk heads via the impressive Derwent Dam and alongside Derwent Reservoir before heading uphill to the cairn at Lost Lad then on to the trig at Back Tor, the start of Derwent Edge.

Then you can simply walk and enjoy all those gorgeous views from Derwent Edge looking down on Ladybower Reservoir and the hills beyond.

Walk route + map here


Do you have any more questions about which walk to pick? Ask me in the comments below.

Other walk information

Ordnance Survey Walk Maps

For these best walks, there are two maps that cover them OL1 – Peak District (Dark Peak Area) and OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area)

Shop online at Ordnance Survey

And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, it’s more expensive but a valuable piece of kit!

For online maps, you can get via OS Online App or Viewranger App.

Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App. 

More walks in the Peak District

Looking for quieter (or less popular) walks in the Peak District? You might like these circular walks.

Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here

View walks directory here

*Peak District Walks participates in the Amazon Services Associates Programme, as well as other affiliate programmes. If you purchase through these, Peak District Walks earn from the qualifying links. This is at no extra cost to you. Read more here.

Peak District Walks is a FREE online resource. Are you enjoying the walks? You can say thank you and buy me a coffee here. Thank you very much 🙂

Peak District charity patches

Peak District Walks have their own charity patches raising funds for the 'Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation' (charity no. 506681) - supporting the seven Mountain Rescue Teams in the Peak District. Order our very own 'Peak District Walks' design or select from one of our location patches - Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, Thorpe Cloud, The Roaches or Win Hill patch. Please visit our shop below. If you'd like to know when new designs are created, join our mailing list here to be notified.

Read about the charity here.

visit our shop

Need more help planning your Peak District trip?

Join our Peak District walks Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and Twitter for inspiration.

More information on the Peak District, including transport options, where to stay, best Peak District pubs + other useful resources.

Check out the 7 YHAs in the Peak District and find the best walks direct from your accommodation.

Find out what maps you will need for your trip here.

Top tips - Read our useful guides on hiking tips here.

Guided Walks with an introduction to map reading (see dates here).

Visit our hiking recommendations page, (footwear, clothes + kit).

Or get in touch and I will help as best I can :).

Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability for any injuries or accidents resulting from walking our routes. We always recommend you wear appropriate footwear to avoid injuries and to take a paper map and compass on your walks. Read more here.

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