How to find Little Waterfall Swallet near Eyam

Waterfall Swallet

Waterfall Swallet - Credit: Peter Buckley

This ramble to Little Waterfall Swallet, is just under three miles, starts from the quaint village of Foolow.  

Before stepping out, drop into the diminutive church of St Hughs (there’s some parking around the green and duckpond opposite).  

Originally a smithy, the building was purchased and converted in 1888 so the villagers wouldn’t have to make the trudge to Eyam.  

Inside you can make yourself a brew and help yourself to a biscuit in exchange for a small donation to the church. 

To reach Little Waterfall Swallet there’s no option but to trudge the road leading towards Eyam. Walk single file on the right to face the oncoming traffic.  

Just before the entrance to Shepherds Flatt Farm on the left, you’ll spot a track beside a clump of trees.  

Go down the lane a short distance, then through the wooden gate. A rough path, strewn with stones, roots and woodland debris takes you down into a great hole in the earth; watch your step – it is very steep and uneven.  

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Little Waterfall Swallet is an otherworldly place where water trickles over a cliff of shale and limestone.  


Foolow - Credit: Helen Moat

To see it at its best, visit after a period of prolonged rain. But this is a magical spot even when the waterfall is just a dribble.  

Curtains of ivy fall over the rock and moss covers a large boulder in a blanket of green. Tall trees circle the top of the circular wall of cliff.  

It feels like you’re in the bowels of the Earth. Settle in, close your eyes and listen to the splash of water and whisper of wind in the trees. It has a Lord of the Rings feel to it.  

Back on top again, continue towards Eyam. Strangely, there is pavement from this point.  

Take the road left signed for Fine Grinding Ltd. The public footpath leading to the Barrel Inn has been rerouted around the left side of the works.  

Follow the sign, then the path cutting diagonally up onto the edge, keeping an eye out for the wooden posts that will guide you in the right direction.  

Go through the gate into a field towards the top and cross it to emerge at Sir William Hill Road. Turn left towards the Barrel Inn. 

The Barrel Inn – claiming the highest pub in Derbyshire at 1,300 feet – is a great place to stop for a bite of lunch.  

From the inn, glorious views extend over five counties on clear days: Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. 

Refuelled, continue in the same direction downhill, keeping left to tumble down Bradshaw Lane back to Foolow.  

Walk description by Helen Moat

The photos below were uploaded by members of our Derbyshire and Peak District Walks Facebook group.

To find more photos and posts about the location, go to the group and search for 'waterfall swallet'

Waterfall Swallet

Waterfall Swallet - Credit: Adam White

Waterfall Swallet

Waterfall Swallet - Credit: Betty Shaw

Waterfall Swallet

Waterfall Swallet - Credit: Dan Cunningham

Waterfall Swallet

Waterfall Swallet - Credit: Faye Heap

Waterfall Swallet

Waterfall Swallet - Credit: Jade Hammersley

Waterfall Swallet

Waterfall Swallet - Credit: Lee Gibson

A dry Waterfall Swallet

A dry Waterfall Swallet - Credit: Mick Thomas

6 great walks near Eyam

The area surrounding Eyam by Joy Hales

Most people who head to Eyam for a walk end up at the famous landmarks at Padley Gorge and Curbar Edge, but this small selection of walks from our archives show that there are plenty of alternatives.

 6 great walks near Eyam