Thor’s Cave Short Walk From Wetton | 3.5-Mile Route

Thor's Cave - large rock with small cave amongst trees

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Thor’s Cave walk is a brilliant walk for everyone to do. But if you want to do a short route this option is perfect. 

This Thor’s Cave short walk starts from Wetton, Staffordshire and has loads of highlights for a shorter route. Near the start, you have views of Beeston Tor, then the main excitement walking up to the entrance of Thor’s Cave and exploring inside it! A fun walk for both adults and children.

From Wetton, you begin along the road then soon head down fields towards the valley with spectacular views as you walk downhill. Beeston Tor is the first highlight, a huge limestone rock. Go across the River Manifold then it’s a lovely and flat walk down the Manifold Valley. Be sure to look up to your right to see the first glimpse of Thor’s Cave above the trees.

Go over the bridge and up the path through the woods including numerous steps to the entrance to Thor’s Cave. Enjoy the views down to the valley or go inside to explore, or do both! From here, it’s a short walk across a muddy path then a track to reach the road to Wetton village.

Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk at Wetton, route information, map, GPX file, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk.

Have you explored any other caves in the Peak District? Let me know in the comments.

Thor’s Cave Short Walk from Wetton

Autumn trees in Manifold Valley
Beautiful autumnal colours in the Manifold Valley

Walk information

Walk type: Short circular walk

Distance: 3.5 miles/5.5 km

Walk time: 1.5-2 hours

Total ascent: 225 m/738 ft

Highest point: 302 m/990 ft

Walk highlights: Beeston Tor, Manifold Valley and Thor’s Cave.

Stiles – Yes – 4 (+ 2 narrow stone gaps)

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Thor’s Cave short walk map

Thor’s Cave short walk map
Click for online map

Walk start point

Start grid reference: SK 10899 55140

Car parking address: Wetton car park, Carr Lane, Wetton, Ashbourne, DE6 2AF

Wetton car park
Wetton car park

This a small free car park, there’s a second part out of shot, but only big enough for 20+ cars. However, during peak times there is a second overflow car park, simply follow the signs for free parking through Wetton village.

Public transport

Nearest train station: Stoke-on-Trent train station (20 mile/32 km)

Unfortunately, there are no bus services to the start point in Wetton.

Facilities on the walk

There are public toilets available at the start of the walk at Wetton (open from 10 am).

In the village of Wetton, there’s a lovely vintage tea room. Open Friday’s 10- 3 pm, all day Saturday and Sunday. Or you can pop to The Royal Oak pub which serves food too.

Wetton village tearoom
Wetton village tearoom

Other useful information

Thor’s Cave can be a busy place to visit, especially during weekends and holidays. If you can visit mid-week you’ll have a quieter experience and might even have the cave to yourself!

Getting in (and out) the cave – the entrance can be slippy, especially when wet, take your time and make sure you have the right footwear to avoid injuries.

And finally, Thor’s Cave has a few areas to explore towards the back so it’s worth taking a headtorch, like this Petzl one, to safely move around the cave so you have your hands free.

The final section of this route can be muddy (and slippy), during wetter months. Make sure you’ve got good footwear and also clothes you don’t mind getting muddy. Gaiters are pretty good for this route to save your trousers/leggings getting covered in mud splashes!

Check the weather for your walk location and hills

Ordnance Survey map

The map required for this walk is OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area). Check prices here with Ordnance Survey or Amazon. If you’re hiking in all weathers the Active OS maps are pretty good to have.

And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass

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.

 

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Thor's Cave photos

Thor’s Cave short walk route

Stage 1 – Wetton car park to Beeston Tor

Distance: 1.4 miles/2.3 km

Grid reference SK 10917 55170

From Wetton car park, turn right and walk up the road, past the toilet block. The road turns right but continue walking straight on. After about 800 m, the road bends round to the left and shortly after you’ll see a gap in the wall and a wooden gate (see below).

Wooden gate down to Manifold Valley
Wooden gate heading down fields

Follow the yellow arrow sign, heading downhill to the road, where there’s a stone stile to climb over. Turn right, over the cattle grid and immediately after there’s a narrow stone gap in the wall on the left, next to a (locked) wooden gate. There’s a national trust sign for Beeston Tor and a welcome to the Manifold Valley.

Stone wall, autumn tree and hills
Gate heading down to Beeston Tor

Walk downhill towards another narrow gap in the stone wall then down a narrow track which brings you out at Beeston Tor on your left. Turn right down a rough path towards a wooden gate, with another national trust Beeston Tor sign.

Stage 2 – Beeston Tor to Thor’s Cave

Distance: 1.2 mile/1.9 km

Grid reference SK 10547 54045

Beeston Tor sign and tor behind
Beeston Tor in Manifold Valley

Go through the gate then down steps and across the river bed, (there are stepping stones but most of the time the river bed is dry). Follow the path up the other side and through a wooden gate. Turn right down the track. Then follow the track as it bears right through a small wooden gate (next to a larger metal one).

Walk along the track, past a campsite and along the track until you reach a wooden stile. Go over here to pick up the Manifold Way trail. Keep walking along until you reach a metal gate, go through and keep walking along the trail.

Path with trees
Following Manifold Way along the valley

On your right, you’ll see a limestone rock formation and as you get closer you’ll see the entrance to Thor’s Cave. Take the next footpath on the right, where there’s an information point for Thor’s Cave. Cross the bridge, then head uphill on the footpath. After 200 m, the path turns sharply right and continues uphill via steps through the trees.

Eventually, you’ll reach the final few steps up to the entrance of Thor’s Cave.

steps and Thor's Cave entrance
Final steps up to Thor’s Cave

Stage 3 – Thor’s Cave to Wetton

Distance: 0.8 miles/1.3 km

Grid reference SK 09872 54965

Autumn trees in valley
Autumnal colours in the Manifold Valley

From the cave entrance, you can see beautiful views of the Manifold Valley. And of course, you can go inside to explore. The entrance to the cave is very polished from numerous visitors so be careful in wet weather. Once inside if you have a headtorch you can go to the back of the cave.

After you’ve done exploring, leave the cave the same way. Turn right and instead of heading down the steps go follow the single muddy track, heading uphill to a gate.

Go through here and across the field to a stone stile over the wall, where you’ll see a signpost for Wetton. Turn left walk up the track, there’s another stone stile about halfway up, next to a gate.

Signpost for Wetton
Follow Wetton signpost back to the village

Walk up the track until it comes out on the road. Walk up the road for a few metres, you’ll see the village sign for Wetton. Then turn right down the road, follow to the end, turn left and you’re back at the car park.

Do you have any questions about this walk? Ask me in the comments below.

Other options for this walk

Fancy a longer route? Why not try this longer walk that explores Thor’s Cave and the other side of the Manifold Valley, near Wetton Hill.

More short walks in the Peak District

Love shorter walks in the Peak District? You might like these walks.

Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here

View walks directory here

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Thor's Cave view from inside

Thor's Cave and autumn trees

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