How many beautiful Peak District waterfalls have you visited on your walks?
The Peak District National Park has waterfalls hidden all over it, from very obscure places to popular well-known locations. Seeing the water cascading over rocks and hearing it crashing into pools below is somewhat hypnotic as the water keeps flowing and that’s what I love so much.
Here are 15 wonderful waterfalls in the Peak District, plus a bonus waterfall to satisfy all your waterfall lovers out there.
You can find the details where the waterfalls are and the best walks to see them. Please note some of these waterfalls are off-path. Read details for each waterfall for specific guidelines and please get in touch with any questions before venturing off to the unknown!
Let me know in the comments which Peak District waterfalls have you been to?
Waterfall hunting + tips
Before we jump straight in with the awesome waterfalls here are a few of my tips for visiting.
- Be on weather watch! The ideal time to visit waterfalls in the Peak District is after it’s been raining but not on a rainy day. I mean there’s a skill for judging the UK weather.
- Watch out for midges on warm days – speaking from experience! Midges love warm and damp conditions so in the warmer months you might find a few uninvited guests!
- You will get wet. I’m not talking about the waterfall, if you walk under it yes, you’ll get wet. But often you’ll find the routes to find waterfalls involve water crossings so you get wet that way.
- Waterproof footwear, jacket and trousers are essential if you want to get up close to the waterfall (without getting soaked!)
- Summer months are great for waterfall hunting but it is fun to see them at different times of the year.
15 Best Peak District Waterfalls
These waterfalls are found all over the Peak District National Park, both in the White Peak and Dark Peak areas. Generally, the ones in the White Peak area are easier to find and reach via a footpath.
The Dark Peak ones can be trickier, some waterfalls that are not far from the path and easy to spot but others are more challenging to reach! I’ve included the routes for all the waterfall walks that are on the website.
For some waterfalls I’ve found the route challenging, therefore, I’d recommend for experienced hikers only. Please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help and provide tips on the route I took.
Three Shires Head waterfalls
It’s double waterfalls at Three Shires Head, as well as beautiful packhorse bridges crossing the river. This beautiful spot on the River Dane is unique as it’s also the point where three counties meet (Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire).
The Three Shires Head waterfalls are fairly accessible, although the paths surrounding the area can get muddy at this time of year. During the summer months, the small pools make a perfect place to cool off on hot days, although this does make it a popular spot.
Waterfall walks to Three Shires Head
We have two beautiful walks on the website to first these waterfalls, both starting from Gradbach and taking you on a 5 or 8-mile circular loop.
Now here’s the waterfall that most people have heard of in the Peak District. And it can sometimes be a disappointment, depending on what you’re expecting.
During the summer months, the River Kinder can completely dry up and therefore it can often be more of a drip than a waterfall – as you can see from my photo from this summer.
Regardless of the water flow, this viewpoint in the Peak District is one of my favourites, you can see down to Kinder Reservoir on a clear day and many people will stop for their lunch break at Kinder Downfall.
If you do want to see the waterfall looking amazing, I can recommend going on a wet and windy day (yes, you might think I’m mad) but you’ll be lucky enough to see Kinder Downfall flowing up and backwards. It’s very impressive – but you will get wet!
Another unique time to see it is during winter, the trickle of water turns into ice and looks spectacular. Although, it’s all about timing with the weather to see it like that!
Kinder Downfall walks
Due to the location on the Kinder Scout plateau, there are different options for reaching the waterfall. You can walk from Edale, Hayfield or Snake Pass to the waterfall. Here are three circular routes from each location.
- Edale via Kinder Downfall + Kinder Reservoir | 15-mile route
- Hayfield via Red Brook scramble | 9-mile route
- Snake Pass via Fairbrook + add on to Kinder Downfall | 8-Mile Route
And we also have a linear route if you’re doing the Pennine Way (Edale to Crowden) which goes directly past Kinder Downfall.
Middle Black Clough waterfall
This waterfall is one of my favourites, hidden about halfway up Middle Black Clough it feels like a secret treasure when you come across it. The green mossy rocks make it feel extra special and if you’re lucky you might have it all to yourself.
The route requires either waterproof boots or wellies (or expect wet feet) and there’s a small amount of scrambling required to reach the waterfall. Full details are included in the guide below.
Middle Black Clough waterfall walk
There’s only one way to reach this waterfall, that’s off the main A628 road, near Woodhead Reservoir. The route isn’t marked on the OS map but if you read my route guide below you’ll see the route and map.
This is another waterfall that is in a well-known location, Padley Gorge. The woods are a beautiful place to explore and easily accessible via public transport as Grindleford train station isn’t far away.
The brook cascades down the gorge and as you follow the trail alongside it you’ll spot several small waterfalls as well as some larger ones depending on the weather! This is another place where you can find a few swim spots in warmer weather
Padley Gorge walk
Here’s our 8-mile route which also includes Burbage Edge and Higgor Tor but you can easily explore Padley Gorge as a shorter walk, simply parking at Woodcroft or Surprise View car park.
Want to read later? Save the walks to Pinterest
Birchen Clough waterfall
Birchen Clough waterfall is located not far from Dovestones Reservoir in Greater Manchester, the route also requires a small amount of scrambling as you make your way up Birchen Clough.
My first attempt visiting this waterfall was unsuccessful, after heavy rain the path on the opposite side was impossible to get to. As you can see I returned on a sunny day, where the waterfall was less of a raging torrent of water.
Birchen Clough waterfall walk
A lovely walk with this waterfall also includes the Trinnacle rocks overlooking Dovestone Reservoir. Below is a 12-mile circular loop from Binn Green car park.
If you want a shorter option you can descend down from Ashway Rocks making it a 4-mile loop, but it will still include the scramble up past the waterfall.
Issue Clough waterfall
A wonderful waterfall in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, not too far from Black Hill trig point on the Pennine Way National Trail.
The actual location of the waterfall is off the path and does require some tricky terrain to reach, although not as challenging as some of the others on this list! But once you make your way up the clough you’re treated to this beautiful waterfall.
The day I visited the waterfall I did a walk from Digley Reservoir, but the weather was awful so I need to re-visit again to takes some photos and create a good walk for you all (bizarrely it did stop raining when I reached the waterfall)! The second option is the visit from Crowden, following the Pennine Way path then doing a short and back from Back Hill before looping back.
Issue Clough walk
Here’s the walk which you can easily extend to visit the waterfall, although details aren’t included in this post.
Blackden Brook waterfall
Another one of the larger waterfalls in the Peak District is the one up Blackden Brook, on the north side of the Kinder Scout Plateau.
This is one of the waterfalls that isn’t easy to get to. There’s a rough path, but you have to pick your own route uphill and crossing over the brook during sections of the hike. But a lovely thing about this walk is the other waterfalls too!
The waterfall pictured above is off-path, not too far, if you want a close up you’ll need to descend a grassy bank before the waterfall, so pick your weather when visiting this one, as on a rainy day it would be really slippy descending down to it.
Blackden Brook waterfall walk
You can find full details about the waterfall walk up Blackden Brook here. It’s a short 6-mile route, but the challenging terrain means it may take longer than you expect! Plus expect plenty of mud and water crossings!
Jacob’s Ladder waterfall
A pretty waterfall that often gets missed by hikers making their way up Jacob’s Ladder. This one is really easy to find, instead of heading up the steps of Jacob’s Ladder follow the water upstream and around the corner you’ll see this pretty waterfall.
There’s a small spot where you can sit and enjoy lunch or simply the sounds of the rushing water as it cascades into the small pool. The best way to visit this waterfall is from either Edale or Barber Booth in Derbyshire.
Jacob’s Ladder walks
Kinder Scout is one of the most popular walks up Jacob’s Ladder so here are 5 different options you can choose from. And I’ve also included a route where you can go via Jacob’s Ladder to Mam Tor.
River Alport waterfalls
This is one waterfall on the list that was challenging to get to, it’s completely off-path and I’d only recommend for experienced hikers. On this section of the River Alport, there were several waterfalls, but this was my favourite one and worth the tough route to hike there.
The River Alport is not far from the fantastic Alport Castles, which is a brilliant walk if you’ve not done yet (Alport Castles walk from Fairholmes). From Alport Castles, you first need to head across to West End Moor trig point then it gets complicated, if you look on a map you’ll see the steep contours and zero sign of any path.
If you are interested in visiting this waterfall, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to chat through options.
As you can see, depending on when you visit this waterfall, it can look very different! Lathkill Dale is a beautiful Derbyshire Dale and is a wonderful walk for everyone to enjoy.
You can start your walk from a few locations in the Peak District to visit this waterfall – there’s Monyash, Over Haddon and Youlgreave. If you park at Monyash, the beginning section into the dale is rocky so no good if you have a pushchair. However, from Over Haddon, you can park in the car park, walk down the road
Like many walks in the White Peaks, it’s less challenging terrain and the waterfall is directly on the footpath (well, next to!)
Lathkill Dale walks
Near Black Clough
After visiting Middle Black Clough waterfall I spotted this one close by on the map and went adventuring. I have to admit this is the most challenging waterfall to find on the list but it’s pretty spectacular when you reach it.
There’s a footpath running alongside Near Black Clough to Bleaklow, but from the footpath, the waterfall is not visible. The route I went I wouldn’t recommend so if you’re thinking of visiting this one let me know and I’ll tell which way (not) to go.
Crowden Brook waterfall
A pretty waterfall on one of the less popular routes up to Kinder Scout plateau. Many people opt for the scramble up Grindsbrook or the popular Jacob’s Ladder route but if you fancy a quieter path this one up Crowden Clough is great.
The walk takes you alongside the brook and this pretty waterfall is at the start of Crowden Clough access land. It’s just off from the path but easy to reach.
Crowden Brook walk
Here’s the route for Crowden Clough, this route includes the scramble option but if you prefer you can keep on the footpath to avoid it. Or alternatively, you can select the route up Jacob’s Ladder and descend via Crowden Clough (scramble route not recommended for downhill).
- Crowden Clough Scramble (Via Grindslow Knoll) | 6-Mile Route
- Kinder Scout Walks (via Jacob’s Ladder) From Edale
Another one of the routes up the other sides of Kinder Scout, unlike the Blackden Brook route there is a better path up to the top so this might be one for you if you’re not sure.
The waterfall above is visible from the path although it does require a steep scramble down a grassy bank to reach it, not advisable in wet weather as you’ll fly down on your bum!
But my favourite thing about this waterfall is the second hidden one behind it, tricky to reach but it’s a pretty waterfall if you like adventuring.
Walks up Fairbrook
Here are two of our walks that include the Fairbook waterfalls. Option 1 is a route up Fairbrook and down Ashop Clough, the second walk is up Blackden Brook then down Fairbrook. (Option 1 is the easier of the two routes).
- Kinder Scout Walk (via Fairbrook) From Snake Pass | 8-Mile Route
- Blackden Brook to Kinder Plateau (Scramble + Waterfall Route)
This waterfall is another on the route of the Pennine Way, if you’re keeping count it’s the third one I’ve mentioned on this list. The location of this waterfall is not far from Wessenden Reservoir and can be spotted from the footpath.
It’s a steep descent down for a close-up, pretty muddy and slippy too. But you can see from the path so I’ll leave it up to you!
Wessenden Reservoir walk
There are no walks on the website yet, another on my list to do! But if you want to visit you can simply pick up the Pennine Way National Trail from Wessenden Head car park just off the A 635 (Google pin). It’s about 3 km along the path to reach the waterfall.
Derwent Dam – (bonus waterfall)
If you love waterfalls then you’ll love the Derwent Dam when it overflows. Of course, not a natural waterfall but if you love the sound of water crashing down then you’ll enjoy this.
Unlike the other waterfall walks this one you have to wait for lots of rain so that Derwent Reservoir overflows. Be sure to sign up below for updates and join the Peak District Walks (members group) on Facebook for useful updates.
Derwent Dam walks
We have two beautiful walks (8 or 10-mile route) that go right past Derwent Dam and up along Derwent Edge which is a lovely walk. If you prefer a shorter walk you can stay low level and walk around the reservoirs, starting from Fairholmes (see either post below for start point.)
- Derwent Edge Circular Walk (via Lost Lad + Back Tor) | 8-Mile Route
- Derwent Edge Walk From Ladybower Reservoir (Fairholmes) | 10-Mile Route
Secret Peak District waterfalls
My friend and I found this waterfall whilst hiking one day in the Peak District. We both promised to keep it a secret, sorry, to disappoint you. But I will give you a few useful tips for finding the secret waterfalls.
Start with studying the maps of the Peak District, I recommend starting with the OL1 map for the Dark Peaks (see link below). On the map, you’ll notice there are many waterfalls already labelled so these are a great place to start. You can also look at the blue lines, which are water sources to figure out other locations.
Why am I keeping this one secret?
Well, firstly, I promised a friend and secondly, it’s a beautiful spot and I feel by sharing it might become too popular. If you know where it is or you come across it, then I’d encourage you to keep the location a secret too.
Do you have any questions about these Peak District waterfalls? Ask me in the comments below.
Please keep the Peak District beautiful and take all your rubbish home to dispose of. Picnics are welcome but please, no disposal BBQs due to the high fire risk. Thank you.
Ordnance Survey Walk Maps
You can buy a paper map at outdoor shops or shop online at Amazon or Ordnance Survey
And don’t forget your compass. I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, it’s more expensive but a valuable piece of kit!
Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App.
Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here
Peak District charity patches
Peak District Walks have now launched their charity iron-on embroidered patch raising funds for the Edale Mountain Rescue Team (charity no. 1138626) - one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK.
Order our Mam Tor charity patch now or our latest Kinder Scout 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.
More information about the charity project here.
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