16 Beautiful BEST Short Walks in the Peak District

Views from Back Tor

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Whether you are new to hiking or simply limited on time, these short walks in the Peak District are perfect for everyone to enjoy.

There’s a mix of different routes from 2 to 5 miles, taking roughly between 1 hour to 3 hours. Ideal for a short trip to the Peak District and great if you’re walking with children who don’t want to walk too far (or maybe you don’t!) 

Many of these routes can be done on a morning, afternoon or a lovely summer’s evening, (whilst we have enough daylight hours to get outside!)

However, whilst they are all short walks, don’t assume they are all easy routes. There are a few with flats paths but some walks have hills, rocky terrain and even waterfalls (so worth having proper hiking footwear for your walk). If you are looking for a Peak District adventure then you’ll find one here.

Read through these 16 top short walks in the Peak District and if one takes your fancy simply click on the ‘Walk route + map’ button. It will give you full details about the walk, including where to start, parking/public transport options, a detailed step by step guide, map, gpx file and other useful information.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about these Peak District walks!


Boardwalk on Chee Dale walk
Boardwalk on Chee Dale short walk

16 short walks in the Peak District

Not sure which walk is right for you? The walks are located in different parts of the National Park, with some locations only driveable but there are also walks that are accessible via public transport too.

Maybe start by looking at the walk location map to see which walk is nearest to you. Some of these walks are perfect for a short afternoon walk or even in summer you can fit them in on an evening adventure.

Need any help choosing where to go? Ask me any more questions in the comments below

Lose Hill walk from Castleton

Lose Hill summit, walk from Castleton_Peak District_Castleton in the Peak District
Lose Hill summit, a short walk from Castleton

Distance: 5 miles/8 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 376 m/1,233 ft

Lose Hill is a great short walk to do in the Peak District and Castleton is a hikers hub, with good car parking, shops and pubs for before or after your hike.

The walk up to the summit is pretty much uphill from Castleton but that does mean you can enjoy the downhill on the way back.

This route takes you up to the great ridge where you have amazing views of the valleys and hills beyond. Definitely, one of the best walks in the Peak District.

Walk route + map here


Bamford Edge from Bamford

Rocks at Bamford Edge at sunset
Sunset at Bamford Edge

Distance: 1.9 miles/3.1 km

Walk time: 1-1.5 hours

Total ascent: 217 m/712 ft

Here’s a brilliant short walk that’s perfect for watching the sunset in the Peak District. This short 2-mile walk is one that’s worth taking a flask of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and sitting watching the world go by.

It’s a short steep climb up to the edge but once you’re up there it’s nice and flat so you can catch your breath and watch the views instead. Bamford Edge has a few rocky sections so although it can sometimes it can be busier if you walk down the edge you can find a quiet spot.

Read the full route, including where to start from here:

Walk route + map here


Chrome Hill from Hollinsclough

Walking along ridge of Chrome Hill
Walking along the ridge of Chrome Hill

Distance: 4 miles/7 km

Walk time: 2-2.5 hours

Total ascent: 423 m/1,387 ft

From Hollinsclough you can do a lovely circular walk, with views of Chrome Hill at the beginning of your walk.

This is a lovely short option as it takes you up the back and along the ridge of Chrome Hill, then once over the top, you can see nearby Parkhouse Hill on the walk too.

There is a small steep section in the walk but with the right footwear should be ok for everyone to enjoy the route.

Walk route + map here


Baslow Edge from Curbar

Highland Cow near Baslow Edge
Highland Cow near Baslow Edge

Distance: 3.3 miles/5.2 km

Walk time: 1.5-2 hours

Total ascent: 151 m/495 ft

A lovely easy short walk from Curbar Gap car park but away from busy Curbar Edge to Baslow Edge which is in the opposite direction but equally beautiful views of the valley. It’s a relatively flat route, as you can see from the total ascent on the walk but the ground can be uneven.

This circular walk takes you along the edge of Baslow Edge then loops around heading past a common spot where you might see Highland Cows then across moorlands before looping back to the start. It’s an easy route to follow and a lovely mix of different scenery for a short walk.

Read the full route, including where to start from here:

Walk route + map here


Chee Dale walk from Millers Dale

Chee Dale stepping stones walk
Chee Dale stepping stones walk

Distance: 5 miles/8 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 358 m/1,174 ft

Chee Dale walk is another one of my favourites, from Miller’s Dale you start walking along the Monsal Trail but then drop down into a magical green and beautiful place.

Following the River Wye, you hike through a truly beautiful part of the Peak District. And as it that isn’t enough, there are also the Chee Dale stepping stones. Perfect fun for both children and adults!

This route then takes you away from the busy Monsal Trail and across fields above the route. (If you prefer an easier option you can follow the Monsal Trail back instead, slightly shorter and flatter.)

Walk route + map here

Middle Black Clough Waterfall Walk

Waterfall walk in Peak District
Middle Black Clough waterfall walk

Distance: 2 miles/3.3 km

Walk time: 1-1.5 hours

Total ascent: 180 m/590 ft

If you love waterfalls then this is one short walk in the Peak District you need to add to your list. It’s a little out of the way but the walk and the waterfall are both beautiful so it’s worth the effort.

The route takes you alongside the clough on a rocky path, there’s also a water crossing and a small scramble – all of that in such a short walk! But then you arrive at the waterfall and it’s wonderful – try to time your walk when there’s been some rain otherwise you might only see a trickle of water!

More details and useful information all here, including where to start from and top tips for not getting wet feet!

Walk route + map here


Robin Hood’s Stride from Elton

Robin Hood's Stride walk Peak District
Views from Robin Hood’s Stride

Distance: 4.5 miles/7.4 km

Walk time: 2-2.5 hours

Total ascent: 287 m/942 ft

This walk is another perfect one for both children and adults, with the walk starting through fields, before reaching a small woodland, then on to Robin Hood’s Stride.

You can also shorten this route by missing out the Stone Circle detour and Cratcliffe Rocks, but don’t miss out the Hermit’s Cave which is pretty cool to see.

More about this short walk here.

Walk route + map here


Thor’s Cave from Wetton

Autumn trees in Manifold Valley
Views from Thor’s Cave

Distance: 3.5 miles/5.5 km

Walk time: 1.5-2 hours

Total ascent: 225 m/738 ft

Thor’s Cave is an iconic Peak District walk, this short route begins from nearby Wetton and takes you down to the Manifold Valley via Beeston Tor. Although a short walk, it’s not a flat route and the terrain is tricky in places, mainly due to mud!

The final treat is climbing the steps to the entrance of Thor’s Cave, where you can even go inside to explore the giant cave. A wonderful short walk for both adults and children who love adventure.

Read the full route, including where to start from here:

Walk route + map here


Rushup Edge from Barber Booth

Rushup Edge walk in Peak District
Views towards Mam Tor from Rushup Edge

Distance: 5.3 miles/8.5 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 359 m/1,177 ft

From the picture above you can see along the Great Ridge, including Mam Tor and Lose Hill (short walk no. 1 in this list).

This walk starts from the other side of the valley, not too far from Edale village. Again, it’s another uphill climb to the ridge but once you’re on Rushup Edge then you can see beautiful views both sides. And it’s relatively flat along the ridge too!

Walk route + map here

Three Shire Heads from Gradbach

Three Shires Head waterfalls and pools
Three Shires Head waterfalls and pools

Distance: 5 miles/8 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 287 m/941 ft

A perfect short walk for a hot sunny day as this one has some great little pools you can cool off in.

This does mean that it can be a popular spot at weekends but it’s a lovely little Peak District walk and one to add to your list.

On the route, this also takes you around so you have views of nearby Shutlingsloe, a great walk.

Walk route + map here

Grindslow Knoll short walk from Edale

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

Distance: 4 miles/6.4 km

Walk time: 2.5-3.5 hours

Total ascent: 444 m/1,457 ft

This route might be short but it’s probably the toughest one on the list. As well as the amount of uphill walking, it also includes a small section via Grindsbrook Clough that you might need to scramble a bit. (Ask me any questions in the comments).

On a sunny day this Peak District short walk is brilliant, I mean it’s nice on a bad weather day too but you need to be prepared. It can get cold on the top when that wind hits you.

Once you’ve looped around to Grindslow Knoll, you can then enjoy the downhill into Edale, where there are two lovely pubs, perfect for an after walk drink and bite to eat.

Walk route + map here

Shutlingsloe walk from Wildboarclough

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

Distance: 3 miles/4.8 km

Walk time: 1-2 hours

Total ascent: 262 m/859 ft

Shutlingloe Hill in the Cheshire part of the Peak District is a fantastic short walk, although for a short route it does have a big uphill to do in it. The route begins from Wildboarclough and heads up to the summit which also has a trig point and is one of the Peak District Ethels, so a double bonus.

The route takes you on a fairly direct route to the summit of Shutlingsloe but if you plan your walk with lots of shots you’ll be rewarded once you reach the top. For all the details read the full guide below.

Walk route + map here

Alderman’s Hill walk from Greenfield

Alderman's Hill
Views from Alderman’s Hill to Dovestone Reservoir

Distance: 2.8 miles/4.5 km

Walk time: 1-2 hours

Total ascent: 211 m/692 ft

Alderman’s Hill is located in the Greater Manchester area of the Peak District. There are some beautiful walks in the area, including Dovestone Reservoir but this short walk takes you up the opposite side to the reservoir. This means you can enjoy some epic views from a different angle.

The route also includes the Obelisk and a visit to the rock formations known as Pots and Pans so plenty to see and explore on this short route. Read more here.

Walk route + map here

Langsett Reservoir walk from Langsett

Langsett Reservoir from Hingcliff Common
Langsett Reservoir from Hingcliff Common

Distance: 4 miles/6.5 km

Walk time: 1.5-2.5 hours

Total ascent: 216 m/708 ft

This is the one of the most northerly Peak District walk on the list. As you can tell, I did the Langsett Reservoir walk on a snowy winter’s day.

This short walk takes you around Langsett Reservoir, so you get to enjoy a mix of woodlands and moorlands on your walk.

The route is fairly easy to navigate, just make sure you take the turning back down to the reservoir as you head around the back otherwise you might extend the walk!

Walk route + map here

Crook Hill walk from Ladybower Reservoir

Views of Ladybower Reservoir on way down from Crook Hill

Distance: 4.4 miles/7 km

Walk time: 2-3 hours

Total ascent: 299 m/980 ft

Crook Hill is one of those Peak District gems that you might not have heard of, set in the surroundings of Ladybower Reservoir and nearby Win Hill, Bamford Edge and Derwent Edge it’s easy to see why it’s missed.

But Crook Hill is a fantastic short walk and has some stunning views of the nearby hills and reservoirs. From Ladybower Reservoir you head uphill and past woods before reaching the base of Crook Hill. It’s short hike to the final summit but you’ll be pleased you went up!

And as a bonus Crook Hill is one of the 95 Peak District Ethels so you can begin ticking them off!

Walk route + map here

Lud’s Church walk from Gradbach

Lud's Church short walk
Exploring Lud’s Church a hidden gem

Distance: 4 miles/6.5 km

Walk time: 1.5-2.5 hours

Total ascent: 216 m/708 ft

Maybe saving the best of the Peak District short walks until last, but this hidden gem is one you must add to your list. At 6 miles/10 km it’s one of the  longer routes but with plenty of fun places to explore. If you’re looking for a family walk to do then this one might just be perfect for you.

Lud’s Church isn’t a real church, in fact, it’s a hidden chasm that has a religious history, hence the name. But once you explore you’ll be amazed how fascinating it is, the photos never do it justice so it’s one to visit yourself.

The remainder of the walks takes you through woodlands and alongside the River Dane so there’s loads to see on this walk. Find out more here.

Walk route + map here

Do you have any more questions about short walks in the Peak District? Ask me in the comments below.

Essential items for your short walk

You might be planning a short walk in the Peak District but it’s still worth packing the essential items for your adventure. Even on one of these walks, you can be a couple of miles away from facilities and shelter if the weather changes or help if you should have an accident (hopefully not).

These are a few items that I would always take on a day hike, whether it’s a 2-mile or 10-mile walk:

  • Small backpack – means you can keep your hands free. I’m a fan of the Osprey backpacks – more expensive but they are good.
  • Waterproof jacket – you never know when the weather might change. They are great to keep the wind off too!
  • Snacks + water bottle – I use a filter water bottle, great for filling up from streams.
  • Small rubbish bag
  • Small first aid kit
  • Map + compass (see below)
  • Suncream + sunglasses

If you’ve not thought about what you might do in an emergency situation then take a read of our guide here which has some useful tips and kit you might like to add to your set up.

Ordnance Survey walk maps

For these walks, there are two maps that cover them. Below you can see which map you need to buy for the specific area.

You can buy a paper map at outdoor shops or shop online at Amazon OL1 map/ OL24 map or from Ordnance Survey

OL1 – Peak District (Dark Peak Area)

OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area)

And don’t forget your compass.

There are lots to choose from, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, it’s more expensive but a valuable piece of kit! Or if you’re just starting out then there’s this budget option – the Silva Starter compass, perfect if you want to get the kids into map reading (or you!)

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

Done all these short walks? I reckon you’re ready for something longer. Why not try one of these walks

Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here

View walks directory here

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Peak District charity patches

**Summer sale now on!**

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.


Charity Patches

Mam Tor Patch


Charity Patches

Kinder Scout Patch


Charity Patches

Thorpe Cloud Patch


Charity Patches

The Roaches Patch


Charity Patches

Win Hill Patch


Charity Patches

Peak District Walks Patch

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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 through any injuries or accidents that may result 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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