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Best hidden waterfalls in the Peak District

Updated: Jan 3

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track waterfalls scattered across the Peak District.


It's no surprise to say that the Peak District National Park is full of waterfalls! For all you waterfall lovers; hearing the water crash into pools and seeing the water cascade over the rocks can be somewhat therapeutic as the water flows.


Peak District waterfalls are becoming more and more popular as the years go on, however some of these are still *hidden* to majority of the tourists, so we recommend visiting these ASAP before they got hold of them!


In this article, we share our top 11 hidden waterfalls in the Peak District and what to expect from them. So sit back and take some notes for your next Peak District adventure!





Padley Gorge is known for being a very tranquil place to visit, and it's no surprise why! There are plenty of small and wonderful waterfalls to admire, however the trail can be quite difficult for some so we recommend appropriate footwear. For all you wild swimming fans; take your swimwear for a warm peaceful dip in these rivers!


Padley Gorge is an intriguing and interesting gem located in the Peak District. You'll be walking through a moss covered boulder strewn woodland surrounded by enchanted trees and a picturesque brook running through it.


You'll discover many waterfalls amongst Padley Gorge, but our favourite is the one pictured above as not many people know about it. Good luck finding it!




This beautiful walk in the Peak District will reward you with amazing waterfalls to explore and pools to swim in! It's sometimes described as an enchanting watery place to hike, especially being situated on the border of Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire.


Described as an awesome hidden gem, Three Shires Head has risen to fame since the pandemic but you'll still find it relatively quiet! It's only 35-40 minutes walk from the main walk, in which you'll be greeted with stunning views as well as wildlife.


The pools at Three Shires Head are deep enough for a little swim however we strongly advise diving in. It's a great day out when the sun is shining however after a day of heavy rain it looks absolutely amazing!





Visitors will have the lucky choice of multiple waterfalls to see when visiting Birchen Clough. It's located in the Chew Valley (on the edge of the Peak District), and does include some scrambling to get to the falls!


For those wanting to make a day off it, you can also take a visit to Dovestones Reservoir which isn't that difficult to reach (although a bit of scrambling is required!). Although if it has rained a massive amount, we strongly advise not doing this due to it being nearly impossible to scramble.


We'd say it's definitely worth visiting Birchen Clough Waterfall after a heavy amount of rainfall to admire it's true beauty, however it's just as nice on a fair-weather day. The falls can be quite all over the place after a big downpour, none-the-less it's still breath-taking!




This little gem of a waterfall is located on the north side of Kinder Downfall, and can be very tricky to get too. There is a rough path to follow, but you have to pick your own route when going uphill, so please do wear appropriate footwear and be careful! However, once completed you'll be rewarded with this stunning waterfall.


There is a rough path to follow, but you have to pick your own route when going uphill, so please do wear appropriate footwear and be careful! However, once completed you'll be rewarded with this stunning waterfall.


Once you've parked up on the Snakes Pass and are following the signs to Blackden Brook, you'll notice the path gets very narrow. Although it's not the easiest route along the brook, it does provide you with some great scenery (including this gem of a waterfall!




Kinder Downfall is an absolute stunning and imposing waterfall located in the Peak District. The sheer rock faces and cascading water make it one hell of a natural beauty. It's the largest waterfall in the Peak District, and the views at the top are truly breath-taking!


We recommend visiting Kinder Downfall after heavy rain as majority of the time you'll only see a trickle of water coming down. However that doesnt change the fact that it's still very impressive and the views you'll be rewarded with are amazing!


It's worth noting the route is slightly challenging and you'll need a few spells of energetic waves to get you through it as it's very steep terrain up the mountain. However it's definitely worth the trek as the landscape view is lovely as well as refreshing (say hi to the friendly sheep for us too!).





Jacob's Ladder is a moderate to difficult hike in the Peak District, and can be done when setting off for Kinder Scout from Edale. If you're not used to hill walking, get some practise in before attempting this hike.


However, you'll come across this gem of a waterfall which you can stop at and admire, before you continue your adventure.


The Jacob's Ladder hike is moderate to difficult, so if you're a first timer you might want to try a different route for your first hike. Just before the climb you'll be greeted by this little waterfall to boost your morale!




An amazing place to visit in the Peak District with one of the best hidden waterfalls to see! You have to do a little exploring to find it; follow the river upstream and you'll eventually hear it before you see it. If there's been heavy rainfall the night before, you may even be lucky enough to have a quick dip!


Middle Black Clough Waterfall really is something out of a fairy tale! The main waterfall however which you see in the photos requires a bit of scrambling down as it is very steep and quite dangerous so please take extra care. It's definitely worth the scramble once you get to the bottom as you can see!




If you're in the Dark Peak area (not too far from the Pennine Way National Trail) you should definitely check out this waterfall. Issue Clough Waterfall is off the beaten track and does require some tricky scrambling to get too, but once you make your way up the clough you're rewarded with the sight of this beauty.




Crowden Brook Waterfall is a gorgeous gem located on one of the less popular routes up to Kinder Scout plateau. The route you'll need to take is the Crowden Clough (many guides on how to hike this can be found online) which can be quite tricky, but it's worth the challenge to see this hidden waterfall.


The waterfall is at the start of the Crowden Clough access in which the walk will take you alongside the brook. It's easy to reach if you're used to this kind of hiking!




If you're doing the route to Pennine Way as mentioned previously in this article, then this waterfall is another one to visit. The waterfall isn't far from Wessenden Reservoir, and it can be spotted from the footpath. You'll have to descend down if you want a close up, and it can be quite muddy and slippery so it's up to you whether to see it properly or not!


Wessenden Head can be reached by a faint path, but is definitely worth the visit if you're in the area! The waterfall is most impressive after heavy rainfall, with the views of water cascading down and cutting through the hillside.




Another waterfall which can be admired by hikers who are doing the Kinder Scout route. The Fairbrook Waterfall is a series of gorgeous cascades located on the lower slopes of Kinder Scout.


However it isn't the easiest to access, due to a bit of scrambling being required! You'll have to scramble across the valley sides in order to get to the Fairbrook Waterfall, but it's well worth it as per the photos.


Wild swimmers will be pleased to know there's also a selection of natural pools at Fairbrook Waterfall. For those that want to make the day off it, you can visit this as part of the Nether Red Brook to Kinder Downfall walk.



We hoped you enjoyed discovering the less known waterfalls which are scattered around the Peak District. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your Peak District trip even more memorable!


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