Distance 2 miles
Time Approx 2 hours
Terrain Woodland trails, uneven, ascents and descents, quiet lanes
Accessibility Uneven terrain, gates, squeeze stiles
Ideal For Kids aged 5 and over
Start and End Points Grid Ref SK 25816; Postcode S32 2JA; /// bridge.result.vibes
Map Ordnance Survey Explorer OL1
This walk is best suited to kids aged 5 and over because of the terrain, and we can pretty much guarantee they’ll love it! Padley Gorge is the perfect fairy glade; you don’t need much imagination to conjure up magical creatures living among these ancient trees that are twisted into strange, eerie shapes. A shallow stream crossed by wooden footbridges is perfect for paddling in, and there are many large, flat rocks that make great stepping stones. There are trees to climb, grassy banks to picnic on, a rope swing for adventurous types, and even a magic ‘money tree’ for you to add your coins to and make a wish.
This is a walk of 2 miles. There are gates and squeeze stiles but no climb-over stiles. The terrain is uneven in places, with tree roots and rocks. There are no very steep ascents or descents, but there are gentle climbs. At the start/end of the walk there are ice cream vans, and at the halfway point there’s a great café with toilets. Remember to take a penny or two for the money tree! The pretty village of Grindleford, only a mile away from the start/end point, has a couple of lovely pubs that serve food, as well as a couple of cafés. Allow around 2 hours to complete this walk at a moderate pace for little legs, depending on how long you spend playing in the water and climbing trees!
This is a natural environment with all the natural hazards that come with that. Rocks are hard and it hurts if you land on them, trees are high and it hurts if you fall off them, and water should always be treated with respect, even when it’s shallow. Take lots of care on the rope swing! This walk may be muddy and wet underfoot after periods of rain, so make sure your shoes are waterproof. Wear waterproof clothes if it’s rainy and sunscreen if it’s sunny. Take water with you. Kids, please make sure you and your adults wear proper walking shoes or boots, not flip-flops. This ancient woodland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of how many rare plants and animals live here – please do respect this beautiful area and leave no litter. Finally, we try as hard as we can to make our instructions detailed and accurate, but it’s a good idea to carry a map of the area with you as well in case you go off course.
All walks are undertaken at your own risk. Remember, we provide the walk, you provide the common sense!
1. Park in any of the (free) roadside parking bays along the the B6521 near to the ice cream vans, opposite the NT Granby Discovery Centre (please note that the postcode does not take you directly to this location).
2. To start the walk, go through the gate in the stone wall right next to the ice cream vans and down towards the stream, known as Burbage Brook. The stream here is sheltered by shady trees and is perfect for a paddle. The wide grassy banks with superb views over the surrounding moors make a great picnic spot too.
3. Follow the path as it bears left and cross over the stream by the pretty wooden footbridge in front of you.
4. Turn left again after you’ve crossed the bridge, with the stream now on your left, and go through a gate to enter the woodland. Follow the well-marked path through the trees. There are plenty of low trees and rocks here that are great for climbing on, and your imagination can run riot among the tree roots.
5. Don’t forget to look out for the money tree on your left as you walk along the path here. Add your own coin and make a wish!
6. After approx. half a mile look out for a path on your left down towards the stream. There are no signs to the path, but watch out for it as pictured below, and check your location on the map for its whereabouts.
7. As you near the water there is a beautifully-placed rope swing. Have a go, but do take care that you don’t crash into the tree and/or tumble into the water, unless that just adds to the fun?!
8. Cross the wooden bridge next to the rope swing – maybe with a game of pooh sticks as you go over? – and then turn right, now walking with the stream on your right.
9. The woodland here is very pretty and there are many secret glades to explore. Stick to the main path as it weaves along the side of the riverbank and beneath spreading beech trees.
10. At the end of the path, go through a squeeze stile in a stone wall to bring you on to a quiet lane. If you turn left here you will see Grindleford Station Café, home to legendary chip butties and pints of tea! They also serve snacks, drinks, cakes and ice creams, and there are toilets if needed.
11. To continue the walk, turn right on the quiet lane after the squeeze stile and cross over the bridge heading towards Padley Mill. Follow the path as it bears left up a hill and then turn right at a signpost for ‘Longshaw Estate via Padley Gorge’.
12. Follow this residential lane up and, at the end of it, go through a gate to re-enter Padley Gorge. The stream is now some distance below you to your right. Continue on this well-marked path through the trees, passing the money tree again, this time on your right.
13. Retrace your steps back through the woodland, out to the gate and back to the wooden footbridge that you crossed at the very start of the walk. You can now almost smell that ice cream, and you’ll soon see the ice cream vans – and your parked car – ahead of you.
“I thought Padley Gorge was beautiful – when I first walked into the woods, it felt like a magical fairy wood. A little way into the walk there was a money tree – it took quite a while to hammer in, but one of them is my 5p! We played on the rope swing – it was really fun, if a little precarious! We all enjoyed playing on it and managed to not hit the tree. The cafe at the bottom was very welcome and we enjoyed the food. Overall this walk was really pretty, with the green mossy rocks and purple heather – we all loved it.”
Rose, aged 13
With big thanks to Rose (aged 13), Billy (aged 11) and George (aged 11) for climbing, swinging and racing around so enthusiastically on this walk.