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The image shows Shining Tor walk in the Goyt valley.

Heading on a Shining Tor walk is a must-do for any keen hiker visiting the southern area of the Peak District. The route that we cover in this guide leads a long trail across stunning open plains and through the idyllic Goyt Valley. It’s a walk that’s full of variety and far less trodden than some of the other walks in the area. It’s peaceful, serene and full of nature.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know before you go. We’ll let you know what to expect on the day and provide a map so that you can easily navigate the trail. In addition, we’ll tell you some top tips that we learned when doing this hike.

Shining Tor FAQ

The image shows Errwood Reservoir.
The image shows a boy walking along the Shining Tor walk trail.

What is Shining Tor?

Shining Tor is the highest peak in Cheshire. It’s a fantastic open area that allows you to see for miles over the Peak District and beyond.

Where is Shining Tor in the Peak District National Park?

Shining Tor resides near the Goyt Valley and sits between Buxton and Macclesfield in the southern area of the Peak District National Park.

How to get to the trailhead

The image shows a signpost for the Shining Tor walk.

Unlike some of the other walks in the Peak District, this one isn’t as close to a village or town. In fact, it’s not really close to anything other than nature. There are no bus stops or train stations, which means the only way to get to the trailhead of this walk is by car.

Below is the nearest postcode to the car park. This will take you to Peak View Tea Rooms, however, you’ll want to park in the small car park just past here. If Peak View Tea Rooms is on your right, then you’ll take the next left turning before immediately turning right into the car park.

Shining Tor walk car park postcode: SK11 0AR

Best time to hike Shining Tor and The Goyt Valley

The image shows the views from the Shining Tor hike.

As with most places in the UK, the best time to hike is usually between April and September. This should ensure the weather conditions are good, which in turn, makes hiking much more enjoyable.

Since this walk is far less known than the likes of Mam Tor or Kinder Scout, you should be fine to head out on this hike at any time during the week. Although the car park is small, when we did this hike over a bank holiday period, we were the only ones in the car park. However, we’ll also recommend some alternative parking later on in this guide, just in case.

Shining Tor walk: key details

The image shows a boy crossing the river in the Goyt Valley.
The image shows the Shining Tor trigpoint.


The total distance of this walk is 10.8 kilometres. It’s nothing crazy but definitely longer than your average dog walk.


Typically, walking around 10 kilometres takes approximately 2 hours if it’s a flat route and you’re pushing on. However, this hike takes more like 3-4 hours to complete. This is primarily because the route has some steep sections which bring the pace down, but also because there are quite a few places to stop and admire the views.

The image shows a trail along the Shining Tor walk.


The total elevation of this walk is 509 meters. Whilst this isn’t a bad average for a 10.8-kilometre walk, it’s worth noting that this elevation is mostly covered over the last 5 kilometres. This shouldn’t put you off the hike though, as whilst it will no doubt get your heart pumping, it’s very manageable.


The majority of this walk is pretty easy with long and flat ridges and a trail through the Goyt Valley. However, there are a few very steep sections that are hard. The one that sticks out in our minds is the one at the end. It’s a long hard slog that’s only fair to throw in after what has been a mostly easy hike. Whilst this section is certainly difficult, it shouldn’t put a novice walker off doing the trail.

Shining Tor circular walk: what to expect on the day

The image shows a boy walking along the Shining Tor walk trail.

The walk begins from Peak View Tea Rooms. The trail leads past a farm and through a field that follows a slight incline, however, it’s nothing too strenuous.

As you ascend along the route, the trail gets more and more narrow until you eventually come to reach a trig point which signifies you’ve made it to the top of Shining Tor.

The image shows two people admiring the views from the top of Shining Tor.

From here, you’ll follow the spine of the ridgeline for quite some time. This is a steady ascent that is very gradual, and, since it’s pretty windy along up there, it’s a good way to keep warm. The ridgeline is very similar to Mam Tor and it offers the same panoramic views over the Peak District.

You’ll reach a point where you’ll almost do a u-turn and follow the trail below the ridgeline. This part of the route is a country lane which you’ll follow until you enter the incredible Goyt Valley filled with thousands of trees.

The image shows a boy walking through some gates along the Shining Tor walk trail.

As you walk beside the forest, you’ll almost immediately pass a miniature church. Although it’s technically a church, it resembles a small concrete hut. On days of celebration such as easter, there are candles burning inside which you’re able to poke your head in to see.

The image shows a small church in the Goyt Valley.

Once you’ve spent enough time viewing the church, the route undulates through the Goyt Valley before finding a small wooden bridge. You’ll need to cross this bridge in order to continue the walk which twists and turns through the trees.

The image shows a boy walking across a bridge.
The image shows a river in the Goyt Valley.

Before long, you’ll spot Errwood Reservoir. Whilst the route doesn’t technically take you down to this reservoir, it’s a short diversion of no more than 5 minutes if you do wish to go and take a look.

The image shows Errwood Reservoir.

Once you re-join the route, you’ll be led along an idyllic trail with gigantic trees that hug River Goyt.

After a short climb, the trail arrives at a country road. This is a short stint of the walk and you’ll quickly find another woodland trail. It’s at this point that the route begins to get tough. Following a number of short and steep ascents, you’ll eventually reach a long hill that seems to go on forever. Whilst this is a bit of a slog, it’s a nice challenging part of the walk to balance out what has been mostly an easy walk.

The image shows a woodland trail and a boy.
The image shows rugged rock along the Shining Tor walk.

When you finally arrive at the summit, you’ll see some familiar surroundings and it won’t be long before you re-join the trail which you were on at the start of the walk.

The remainder of the walk is a gentle descent back to the car park.

Shining Tor walk route map

Alltrails | route map

Alltrails is one of the best platforms to use when it comes to navigating your way around any walk. This is a free platform containing many trails for many outdoor sports. If you sign up for the premium plan, then you’ll be able to do things such as downloading the map for offline use. This is super handy when you’re heading to somewhere like the Peak District since phone signal is never that reliable here.

Tips for hiking Shining Tor

The image shows a boy crossing a bridge in the Goyt Valley.


Facilities on this walk are fairly limited. The only place to stop for something to eat and pop to the loo is Peak View Tea Rooms which is at the beginning/end of this walk. It’s worth noting that this is a popular spot among bikers and the food offered tends to be along the lines of a greasy fry up or a jacket potato. This is fine for a bit of post-hike grub, but I wouldn’t head here expecting 5-star quality. If you’re looking for something a little more upmarket then your best bet is to head into Macclesfield or Buxton.

Alternative car parks

The car park at the beginning of this trailhead is free, so it makes sense to park here if you can. However, it’s also very small. If you arrive to find it’s full, then there are few alternative car parks which sit directly on the route. These are:

The image shows people walking to the Errwood Reservoir.

Walking gear

For this walk, you’ll want to wear all the usual hiking gear: walking boots, hiking trousers/shorts, a waterproof jacket etc. We’d also recommend that you pack an extra layer for the section along the ridgeway. It’s super windy up there and if you want to admire the views for a while, this will come in handy. You’re unlikely to need hiking poles unless you’re unstable on your feet.

Where to stay near Shining Tor

The image shows a bakery.


Buxton is just over 10-minutes away from the trailhead of this walk and is a great base for exploring a lot of the Peak District. The town itself is not actually in the Peaks, but it has a lot more to offer than many of the villages that are there. With a train station in the centre, It’s well connected to many of the major towns and cities across the UK. There are plenty of places to stay, eat and drink here, so you should expect a vibrant atmosphere.


Macclesfield is very similar to Buxton in a sense. It’s not strictly in the Peak District but it is a large and well-connected town. However, whilst Buxton looks like it belongs in the Peak District, Macclesfield doesn’t. On the flip side, it’s a cheaper place to stay, yet only 10 minutes to the Peak District.


If you’re really keen to stay in the Peak District then you can’t go wrong with Bakewell. This is one of the most popular picturesque villages and is where the well-known Bakewell tart/cake began. It’s a great base for exploring the area and it’s 30 minutes from the trailhead of this walk. It’s also a bit more expensive than Buxton and Macclesfield, but there are the odd deals out there.

Explore the Peak District further

The image shows the views from the Shining Tor summit.

Unsurprisingly, a Shining Tor walk through the Goyt Valley isn’t the only incredible walk in the Peak District. If you’re looking for more walks to enjoy then you can find some links to some of our other guides below.

  • Lud’s Church Walk / an easy walk to an awe-inspiring chasm that’s steeped in history
  • Thor’s Cave walk / an incredible 150-foot cave with the perfect window to the Peak District
  • Padley Gorge walk / a gentle walk through a magical gorge with plenty of wild swimming spots

Millie x

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