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Five walks in the Peaks for families

Clare Anderson

As founder of the fantastic Outdoor Kids website, Clare Anderson knows a thing or two about exploring the Outdoor City with kids. Within Sheffield itself and just outside the city limits into the Peaks, our dramatic countryside calls out all year round for little adventurers to make the most of its delights. In the first of a new series, Clare shares her favourite walks for families in the Peak District.

1. White Edge Moor

This is really the very beginning of White Edge Moor and is a great place for children to play and explore. After the following the path for 10 minutes, the terrain is varied with small mounds for children to climb and roll down and little gullies to explore.

Walk out of the car park (see parking and directions) as if you are going to the main road, but just before turn right on the grassy track to the gate. Cross the road (NB cars go fast along this road and it's quite hard to see in both directions so take care!) Go through the white gate and follow the path. The walk to the main area for exploring is about 10-15 minutes, going slowly. You can either go back the same way or follow the path to cross the road further down and go back into Longshaw Estate below the road and walk back to the car park that way.

Directions and parking

Take the A625 out of Sheffield. This becomes the A6187. Take either the Stoney Ridge Road or turn left at The Fox House pub along the A6187. Take the first right (A625) towards Froggatt. Just after taking the A625, turn right into the car park - it's known as Wooden Pole.

Best time to go

Anytime really. It's quite sheltered so rainy, windy days are fine. Deer are quite common here especially in winter. It’s fun on snowy winter days. In August don’t go poking about in bushes and under rocks, as adders can be commonly found.

Clare Anderson

2. Padley Gorge

Padley Gorge is very accessible and a great place for children. There's a river that's shallow enough for paddling as well as puddles, bridges, rocks, a quarry, and plenty of trees which make it sheltered on a windy day. The old quarry is also worth a clamber around and for finding millstones. Because it's not far from Sheffield, it can get busy in the summer, making parking tricky.

Start at the bottom of the steps through the gate (from the road) and explore the area. There are two bridges close by, one down to the right and one down to the left. There is a small quarry on the other side of the river set back up a grassy hill. This is fun to climb around. There are also lots of interesting trees, the river to splash about in and you could walk up the river to Burbage Brook, across the road to Longshaw Estate or down all the way to Grindleford station & cafe.

Directions and parking

Take the A625 out of Sheffield, this becomes the A6187. Go past the Fox House pub (don't take the left road opposite the pub) then turn left towards Grindleford. The road bends to the right then left then straightens. When the road straightens and there is a wall on the right, park as near to the little gate as you can. There are often two ice-cream vans just by the gate.

Best time to go

Summer days except weekends if possible (just because it gets so busy). Late summer evenings for picnics. Autumn for the colours. On wet days when you might not feel like getting out, it’s not far to go and there are great puddles!

Clare Anderson

3. Stanage Plantation

Stanage Plantation is well known among climbers and is a fantastic place for children to explore. As you’d expect with a plantation, most of the area is sheltered by trees. There are amazing views, rocks, and fallen trees to climb. Explore anywhere but if you want to try a loop walk you could try and follow these guidelines!

Walk up the grassy path towards the gate entering the woods & try to take a right turn before reaching the gate. Go along to the right hand corner of the woods where there is a stream to play in. Follow the edge of the woods uphill to find rocks and trees to climb and plenty of good picnic spots. Follow the rough path to the left, through more trees to some prominent boulders and a path heading back down through a gate in the fence and eventually back to the first gate entering the woods.

Directions and parking

These are basic directions, you will need to look at a map to get a better idea! Take the A625 and the Ringinglow road out of Sheffield. Where the road splits, take The Dale. At the bottom of the hill turn right to go along the bottom of Stanage Edge. When you see the cattle grid at the bottom turn right, go around the bend and trees. You'll see the toilets on your left, the car park is a bit further on the right.

Best time to go

A clear autumn day for the colours of the trees and the views. Because it’s quite sheltered, it’s fine on a wet day at any time of year. There can be midges on hot summer days!

Clare Anderson

4. Surprise View – Mother Cap

As the name suggests, there are great views, and also great rocks for scrambling on and sandy paths, making it a nice place for a barefoot walk.

Start at the Surprise View car park. There are so many ways of exploring this area so maybe just let the kids take the lead, but if you want some idea...

Go through the gate next to the pay and display machine and follow the path uphill through trees and bracken onto a more exposed area with rocks for scrambling on. Look out for the trees with branches at right angles for climbing, millstones, and rocks shaped like a tortoise and a frog. Walk past the biggest Mother Cap rock and either turn around and go back a similar way to the way you came, or if your children still have energy carry on to the top rocks or look out for a path to the left. If you take the path to the left, carry on down to the fence line and turn left again. Below this fence is Millstone Edge and to the right looking down Whim Woods and Little Moor. You could join them making it a longer walk, or carry on along the fence line taking a left back to the car park.

At the end, near the cars there is a nice spot in trees for a picnic if the weather is good, a slack line, and hammocks.

Directions and parking

Surprise View car park. The car park is pay and display and accepts cash only.

Clare Anderson

5. Lawrence Field

On the map, Lawrence Field is the name of the large flat(tish) piece of land opposite the Surprise View car park. It also includes an area well known by climbers in the woods below. To get to it you cross the road from the car park, turn right and walk parallel to the Surprise View road, over a stile and drop down one of several ways into the woods. The area here is an almost magical playground with birch trees, hills, gulleys, high rock faces, boulders and ponds. It really is a great place for children to explore. To the right of the main pond there are also some good spots to give children their first experience of real rock climbing.

You can join this walk from anywhere near surprise view such as Millstone Edge or Padley Gorge. You can also walk from here down to Grindleford.

Directions and parking

Surprise View car park. The car park is pay and display and accepts cash only.

Best time to go

The birch trees look amazing all through the year, so I would suggest coming here in each of the seasons to see the changes.

Written by Clare Anderson

02.08.2017

Information

Check individual walks for getting there and parking directions.

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