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Exploring the Peak District’s Waterfalls; the Seven Waterfall Trail and wild swimming heaven!

Exploring the Peak District’s Waterfalls; the Seven Waterfall Trail and wild swimming heaven!

If you’re looking for some of the best waterfalls in the Peak District then this is what you’ve been waiting for. This waterfall trail in Tintwistle is a bit of a hidden gem and you’ll be treated to not one but SEVEN waterfalls tucked away on Arnfield Brook (although there are definitely more of them as you head further upstream). The series of waterfalls trickle down from the moorland above and the waterfalls can be accessed by making your way down the bank alongside the brook however, this can be slippery and steep so only do so at your own risk. Some of them are perfect for a little swim but the best part is how quiet this walk is; even on a warm summer’s day I’ve passed just a couple of other people. It really is one of the most perfect short walks in the Peak District and you won’t be disappointed with this one!

 Start of the Seven Falls Trail in Tintwistle

 At a Glance

Difficulty: Moderate - some slippy and steep paths and navigation skills needed as paths aren't signposted

Distance: 6.3km

Total Ascent: 257m

Est Time: 2 hours not including rest or swim stops

Starting location: Arnfield Reservoir street parking on Crossgate Lane

Dog friendly: Yes - they’ll love all the swim spots but beware of any livestock and keep them on a lead. 

Where to start for the Seven Waterfall Trail

The walk starts from nearby Arnfield Reservoir and there is free parking on Crossgate Lane. Last time I was there, there was no parking allowed in the car park at the reservoir itself so we managed to park on Crossgate Lane along with a couple of other cars. The road is quite narrow so you’ll need to check you aren’t blocking access and make sure cars and tractors can still safely pass you. Once you’re all parked up, the route is simple to follow. Walk straight up the road with the reservoir on your left until you pass Crossgate Farm campsite then take a left along Arnfield Lane. There are some lovely views back down to the reservoir here and it’s just a short 10 minute-ish walk to some farm buildings on your right. Just past this, before the road bends around to the right is a sign showing the public footpath you want to follow through the metal gate.

Gate on Arnfield Lane leading to the waterfalls

Finding the waterfalls

Once you pass through the gate, stay on the wide path and head straight for the woodland you can see in front of you. Pass through the woodland and after five minutes or so, keep an eye out for a small pile of stones and a path to the left. This will lead you down to Arnfield Brook where the series of waterfalls starts. This can be a bit tricky to find as it isn’t signposted and there are a few little paths leading off to the left so I’d suggest checking the map or using the OS route to double check where you are.

A waterfall on Arnfield Brook in the Peak District

To get to the waterfalls you need to come off the path and navigate down a steep bank to the river which can also be slippery so extra care is definitely needed here to get down and back up again!

Arnfield Brook waterfall trail in the Peak District

Once you’ve safely made it down to Arnfield Brook, you follow the stream which will involve some little scrambles and navigation up and down the steep and slippy banks to keep seeing the different waterfalls.

Arnfield Brook waterfall trail in the Peak District

There are a whole series of waterfalls and we found a wonderful, quiet and secluded spot right by the brook to have some lunch and a rest. It was just below the shooting hut so if you’re checking your map, I definitely recommend that spot for a snack. If you're lounging about in the sun here be sure to keep yourself protected from the sunshine; check out these sunglasses and adjustable sports cap which will do just the job!

Crossing a waterfall in the Peak District

You can have a little wild swim/dip in quite a few of these but the water level will reduce during a spell of dry weather so if you want the pools to be a bit deeper I’d probably head there after some rain!

Peak District waterfall trail on Arnfield Brook

Soon, it will be time to get your map out because you’ll need to navigate yourself to the shooting cabin just above the brook.

Moorland navigation in the Peak District

There isn’t really a defined path and it is a little steep but it doesn’t last long and once you’re at the cabin, it’s a nice easy walk back down the track. 

Shooting cabin in the Peak District

The track leads down to a plantation of Pine trees before reaching Arnfield Farm. When you reach the main road you have two options; left will take you back along the road you first walked on and right, following the river and the wall will lead you back to the reservoir and where your car will be parked! 

View of Arnfield Reservoir in the Peak District

This is a really beautiful route and one you’re likely to have to yourself or with very limited other people so take the time to enjoy it as it isn't very often you get a spot as beautiful as this so quiet!

Map and key locations 

Access the route on the OS Map App here.

Map for Seven Waterfalls Trail in the Peak District


1: Parking and start location on Crossgate Lane next to Arnfield Reservoir

2: Farm track through metal gate to get to Arnfield Brook

3: Section where you leave the main path to get down to Arnfield Brook at the waterfall

4: Shooting cabin

5: Meeting point back with the road which will take you back to Arnfield Reservoir

Komoot App

Have you ever tried Komoot? Komoot allows you to access routes planned by others or plan your own which you can then download to your phone to follow while you are out. Komoot is free to join and access and you can find the route for his walk here.

Top Tips

  • The roadside parking gets full quickly on a nice day so arrive early and park respectfully to allow other vehicles to pass
  • The path down to the brook is steep and slippery if wet so take extra caution here
  • At the end of the brook, some navigation skills are needed to get to the shooting cabin as there isn’t an obvious path
  • There is a cafe at Arnfield Reservoir - perfect for a post-walk visit

For additional UK outdoor adventures, wild swimming, hiking routes and more, check my other blog posts here on MY URBAN TRAIL and follow me @Wild_0utdoors on Instagram.

Happy adventuring!