Uncover the Padley Gorge Walk in the Peak District at the Longshaw Estate
The Peak District is rich with history and wildlife, making it the perfect place for an adventurous day out or a challenging trail to get the blood pumping. You can explore the high (and low) points of the sometimes tricky terrain and occasionally uncover a gem, just like this Padley Gorge walk that starts out in the Longshaw Estate.
Padley Gorge, a charming family-friendly walk located in the eastern peak district, is the perfect day out. This trail will take around 2 hours to complete and will see you covering just over 6 kilometres. There’s plenty to explore and lots of stunning wildlife to uncover.
Let’s take a look at the route and some of the milestones and route highlights to look out for on this walk.
The Padley Gorge Walk
You will begin your walk at the Woodcroft car park in Longshaw and begin to follow the signs leading to the National Trust tearoom, Longshaw Cafe. The estate is clearly signposted and you will have a number of routes that you can choose to explore.
This walk isn’t particularly tricky but it will still take a couple of hours so you may want to pack some supplies if you’re planning to complete this walk with kids. The gorge is also a popular paddling spot, so you may want to prepare for that in advance.
The estate covers a large area of moorland and is home to some stunning greenery that makes for a great area to explore both inside and outside of this trail.
From your starting point at the tearooms, follow the path left and through a gate, heading towards the pond. On approach, follow the pond anti-clockwise and you will head downhill towards the woodland.
There are plenty of signs in the area that can point you in the right direction if you’re unsure of where to head.
Continue ahead through the grounds of the estate until you reach the road with a stone barn next to it. This road is the B6521. Crossing over the road, you will reach a small gate opposite. Carry on through the gate to follow the trail.
Following the path and keeping to the right, you will cross a small bridge over the relaxing brook. Turn left after this bridge and continue on towards Padley Gorge, following the brook. Take the opportunity to take in the stunning greenery around Padley Gorge.
Continue to follow the brook and it will lead you to the bottom of the gorge around half a mile from your starting point at the estate tearooms.
Padley Gorge itself is a beautiful spot, overlooked by trees, with a flowing brook and waterfalls nearby, it’s an excellent area to explore and an ideal day out for families.
Take some time to look around the area. Kids will enjoy the water and the small stepping stones across the brook.
You will quickly reach another narrow wooden bridge that will take you back across the water and along the path towards Totley Tunnel.
Totley Tunnel is believed to be the 2nd longest railway tunnel in the UK and is still actively used today.
You can cross over the railway bridge and pay a visit to Grindleford Station for a quick stop off point at the cafe or carry on following the trail back along the brook.
As you start on your return, continue to follow the brook and you will soon see a track to the right leading uphill.
Follow this track through the woodlands and you will reach the road you earlier crossed, leading towards the gorge.
You will reach a now disused quarry that is regularly used by climbers for practice. Head right around the quarry and you will again reach woodland.
At the edge of the trees, you will find a footpath leading back across the Longshaw Estate and heading towards your starting point by the tearooms.
Here you reach your end point but there is plenty more room to explore the estate grounds or have lunch and enjoy the landscape.
For a more challenging Peak District hike, check out our list of 7 scenic walking routes in the area.
Tips for Tackling the Padley Gorge Walk
This route isn’t too short at 6km but also isn’t a particularly challenging option in terms of both navigation and terrain. It’s very well signposted and quite difficult to get lost with the clearly marked pathways. There are more difficult Peak District walking trails, or more family-friendly options in the area, like the Wyming Brook trail nearby.
There are a couple of excellent stop-off points that make this a great option for a day out. The estate tearooms can be an option before or after you journey out on this trail, or, you might visit the Old Grindleford Station Cafe mid-way through your route.
There’s a lot to explore with gorgeous greenery and narrow bridges and stepping stones en route. There will be plenty to do to keep the walk interesting for kids or those who just like to appreciate their surroundings.
Whilst it’s not quite deep enough for a proper swim, Padley Gorge is a popular spot for kids to have a bit of a paddle. It can be a family-favourite spot during the holidays for parents to take in the surroundings whilst kids play in the area. There’s also often an ice cream van parked up on the road as you head down towards the gorge making it a great summer walking option.