Have you got thrill seekers who have a head for heights? Would you like a walk that’s a bit scary, even for adults! This walk details a small section of the Derwent Valley Way, from the Heights of Abraham to Giddy Edge and back.
Giddy Edge with kids MUST be supervised and only undertaken if you are sure of your child’s capabilities. It’s not strenuous, but one wrong step can be disastrous.
Parking at Giddy Edge With Kids
Starting at Abraham Heights car park take the pedestrianised path, signposted to High Tor, at the bottom of the car park. The car park takes cash and card and is £6.00 all day. Postcode DE4 3NT.
At the bottom of this path is a bridge to the right. Go under the bridge, but be careful of the trolls! Pass the Heights of Abraham cable car entrance, to an entrance to High Tor on the left. This opens out to a wooded area and the start of some uneven and steep pathways. This walk isn’t really suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs unfortunately.
Follow the steps up towards The ‘Bum’! The path turns to the right, with a fallen tree to jump over. Carry on this path and zig zag back on yourself just after the bench, climbing higher as you go.
Watch for trolls! Entrance to High Tor To The Bum! Zig Zag to the left
Zig-zag your way along, following the trail that climbs up to High Tor. After the 3rd Zig, the rock-side opens up to views over Matlock Bath and Gulliver’s Kingdom. Stand and look, if you dare, but the edges are very open and a little bit dizzying!
Lots of steps Overlooking Gulliver’s Kingdom
When you come out to the picnic benches, take the left path to go straight up. Have a look at the crevasses in the rocks and back out the views behind you. Even on an autumn day, the landscape stretches far and wide.
Go on up the steps and take note of the large tree stump on your right. From here, a green space opens out in front, with a radio mast on the right. A sleeper on the floor marks the way to go. Just follow the green arrows for the Derwent Valley Way. Keep to the left through the bushes. You can stop here and marvel at the view again, please be aware of the steep drop down. I am grateful for the mist that rolled out in front of us. It definitely added a sense of mystery, and gave the kids something to focus on. You know what they say; DON’T LOOK DOWN!
Tree stump Follow the markers Keep left after the bench
Entrance To Giddy Edge
Through the bushes to the left is the entrance to Giddy Edge. There are signs and boards reminding you to be careful of the drops. Please take note of these. Giddy Edge is a one way system; the entrance is here, and the exit is where that tree stump was, that I asked you to take note of!
Walk down on to Giddy Edge, taking care to hold the handrail provided. As we went down, the kids were told to keep a contact on the handrail at all times, and to not let go. Dad went first with the youngest, holding her carefully. Our eldest son walked in the middle and I brought up the rear with our fearless wanderer. Making sure to maintain my grip on him, at all times! Does anybody else have one child who is destined to give you a heart attack? He is ours!
Please hold on Sheer drops
The drops are sheer, and on wet and muddy days, they can be dangerous. But, if trodden on carefully, these paths can be enjoyed by anybody and everybody. A bench has been erected along the edge, just after the worst bits, to give your wobbly legs a rest. We sat and enjoyed a snack while watching the world go by in Matlock Bath down below.
The edges thicken out towards the end of the path, which brings you out to the tree stump. From here you can turn right and make your way back down the zig zags to the car park. The walk took us about an hour overall, with our snack stop but there are plenty of trail signs on High Tor to explore more of the area.
The Curiosities of Matlock Bath
We made our way down to Matlock Bath and had a wander around. It is a very quaint little market town, with a few curiosities to keep you busy. A children’s play park is across the river, next to Lovers Walks. Carry on your adventure with more woodland walking or stroll along the river with fish and chips.
Childrens play park Lovers Walk
Giddy Edge with kids is definitely not for the faint hearted, as the drops are very exposed. Our children are 7,8 and 11, and are used to new explorations, but the eldest has eye issues with little depth perception. He was fine, as the hand rails helped keep his balance and added a little extra security.
Overall, we had a fun day. This bit of the trail is only 1.5k, but can be made longer with the addition of Lovers Walk and extra forest rambling. We will definitely be back to explore the caves and Heights of Abraham in Matlock Dale.
Ice cream! Huge Koi in the middle of Matlock Bath
For more Peak District hikes, why not check out these posts.
If you have any questions, tips or recommendations, they are always welcome 🙂
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