Deffer Wood and Cannon Hall Circular Walk (4km)

This circular walk has got to be one of my absolute favourite family walks. Woodlands, scenery, animals…. this walk has it ALL. Today we weren’t able to enjoy the play area and cafe of the park (although takeaway services and ice cream vans were still operating), but this did not detract from our enjoyment one bit. I loved it, and our children did too.


Parking: Pay and display at Cannon Hall Museum, Park and Gardens is £3 all day.

Facilities: Usually open are the cafe, toilets, play areas and garden centre opposite.

Route: Circular route from carpark. OS route here and described below (map recommended).

Accessibility: A number of styles, paths over fields, uneven ground and steep in places. Not suitable for pushchairs.

Dogs: A number of stiles and farmland with grazing animals where dogs are requested to remain on leads.

The Walk towards Deffer Wood

Starting at the carpark, you start the walk heading up the road away from Cawthorne. It’s only a short stretch on the road, but take care with children as cars can travel really fast along here. There’s no pavement but there is space to walk on the narrow grass verge.

On the left you’ll soon see a signposted track, headed towards Jowett House. Just before the farm buildings, look for the green arrow- the route turns to the right over a stile/gate and then skirts the side of buildings. We enjoyed saying hello to the residents!

As you enter a large field, the route bares right towards a small bridge over the beck (you should see a marked post) and climb the stile into a field. We were welcomed by more cows as we followed the path along the side of the beck all the way up to Deffer Wood.


Walking through Deffer Wood.

The main paths through the woodland are clearly defined and numerous- there are clear options if you did want to extend your walk.

After climbing the stile to enter the woodland, follow the path straight ahead. May appears the perfect time for a visit here, with the last few bluebells hanging on, buttercups adding a dash of colour to the floor and perhaps the most beautiful, rhododendrons in full bloom. Truly gorgeous.

When you arrive at a crossroads in woodland paths, turn right. You’ll start to climb uphill, and it does become a little steep. At the top of the hill (another crossroads), look right to see a great sheltered look out spot.


After appreciating these views, head back to resume the route… you should have gone straight ahead at the crossroads. Soon, you’ll see fields to your right and through the gaps should get some spectacular views towards Barnsley. Eventually you’ll see another stile to your right, cross it and follow the field boundary to the road.


Returning to Cannon Hall

When you meet the road, you’ll see a footpath directly across from you.

Follow this to walk diagonally across the field. In the next field turn right and follow the field boundary until you reach the buildings of Cannon Hall. Our map showed the public right of way on the tarmacked track, but beware, the route is actually along the fence line adjacent to this track. This land belongs to Cannon Hall Farm, and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to spot some of their rare breeds!

After a couple of stiles, there’s a hard right turn to enter the Parkland, where you can across the grass back to the car park. We picked up everything we needed for a picnic from the car before enjoying our well deserved lunch.


Head to this page to find more walks for families.

Fancy a visit to Cannon Hall Farm? Read this post on a previous visit there.

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