Walks in North Yorkshire: Top Routes for Exploring Scenic Landscapes

8 months ago   •   11 min read

By More Yorkshire

Walks In North Yorkshire

Experience the captivating beauty of walks in North Yorkshire, showcasing its lush countryside, quaint villages, and undulating hills that beckon every nature lover. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a gentle wanderer, North Yorkshire presents a plethora of trails tailored to every pace and passion.

Delve deep into North Yorkshire's two majestic National Parks: the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales. Meander through expansive moorlands, ascend its striking hills for sweeping vistas, and navigate the emblematic dry stone walls that define this picturesque landscape. From serene riverside paths to challenging treks, there's a walk for every enthusiast here.

Embark on your North Yorkshire journey, and be enamored by its rich heritage, charming market towns, and panoramic landscapes. With a myriad of trails awaiting, dive deep into this enchanting locale and craft unforgettable moments with every step.

Famous Walks in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is a paradise for walkers, boasting some of the best hiking trails and circular walks in the UK. In this section, you will find several famous walks that showcase scenic views, diverse wildlife, and unique landscapes across the region.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk is a challenging yet rewarding route in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, taking you to the summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough. This 40-kilometre circular walk offers stunning views from each peak and allows you to explore the best of the Yorkshire Dales.

Exploring the North York Moors

Discover the beauty of the North York Moors National Park with a range of walking trails offering picturesque heather moorlands and captivating coastal views. One popular hike is to the iconic Roseberry Topping, providing 360-degree views of the surrounding area from the summit.

The Cleveland Way Journey

Embark on the Cleveland Way, a 175-kilometre walking route boasting coastline, wild moorlands, and dense woodlands. This journey combines some of the best inland and coastal walks in North Yorkshire, offering a perfect escape for hikers.

Ingleton Waterfalls Walk

The Ingleton Waterfalls walk is a fascinating 8-kilometre circular route around a series of stunning waterfalls. Ingleton Waterfalls walk is one of the most popular waterfall trails in the UK and is perfect for a day out with family and friends.

Coast to Coast Walk

The Coast to Coast Walk is a long-distance hiking trail between St Bees in Cumbria and Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire. This 309-kilometre walk passes through picturesque villages like Staithes, offering scenic views along the way.

Keeping to the Water: River Walks

Walking by River Wharfe

North Yorkshire boasts some lovely walks along the River Nidd, River Swale, and River Wharfe. Enjoy peaceful stretches of water, picturesque waterfalls, and serene picnic spots as you meander along these beautiful rivers.

Interesting Circular Walks

For those looking for shorter treks without compromising on the stunning landscapes, various circular walks are also available in North Yorkshire. These routes offer different walking experiences for hikers of all abilities, allowing you to explore the region's diverse beauty while keeping within a manageable distance.

List Of Walks In North Yorkshire

Falling Foss and the Hermitage

This beautiful woodland walk takes you to the enchanting Falling Foss waterfall and the intriguing Hermitage. As you stroll along the shaded paths, you'll be surrounded by natural beauty and the calming sounds of the nearby stream.

Bridestones and Dove Dale

Discover the dramatic rock formations known as the Bridestones in this remarkable walk through Dove Dale. Wander through the diverse landscape of wooded valleys, open moorland, and heather-clad hills, immersing yourself in the stunning scenery and abundant wildlife.

Skipton Castle Woods

An ancient woodland on the banks of the Eller Beck, Skipton Castle Woods provides an enchanting escape from the bustling market town of Skipton. Wander along well-maintained paths, taking in the tranquil atmosphere and admiring the seasonal changes.

Swinsty Reservoir

Surrounded by woodland and unspoiled countryside, Swinsty Reservoir offers an idyllic circular walk. The well-constructed paths and gentle terrain make this an ideal choice for families and those looking for a peaceful amble in beautiful surroundings.

Harrogate Woodland and Parks

Experience an array of picturesque parks and woodland areas in the spa town of Harrogate. This varied walk takes you through the historic Valley Gardens, the expansive Pinewoods, and several lesser-known green spaces.

Fewston Reservoir

Nestled within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Fewston Reservoir walk offers an invigorating circular route. Enjoy the tranquil waters, rolling hills, and vibrant woodland that characterise this picturesque location.

Bolton Abbey Estate Country Park

Explore the 30,000-acre Bolton Abbey Estate, complete with its historic priory ruins, elegant gardens, and woodland trails. The network of paths within the Country Park allows for endless wandering and discovery opportunities.

Robin Hood's Bay & Ravenscar

This coastal walk combines dramatic cliffs, picturesque coves, and fascinating history. Begin at Robin Hood's Bay, a quaint fishing village full of charm and character, before heading along the clifftops to the abandoned village of Ravenscar.

Hole of Horcum from Levisham

Wander through moorland and ancient woodland as you explore the impressive Hole of Horcum, a natural amphitheatre that stretches over a mile wide. Starting in Levisham, this exhilarating walk offers expansive panoramic views across the North York Moors.

Roseberry Topping

The iconic Roseberry Topping is a much-loved landmark of North Yorkshire. Experience a challenging ascent that rewards you with stunning views and lush heather moorland that descends into rolling countryside.

Crackpots Mosaic Trail

Discover the unique artistic creations of the Crackpots Mosaic Trail. This circular walk showcases fascinating mosaic art embedded into the landscape, illustrating local history and wildlife as you stroll through the gorgeous countryside.

Sanctuary Way, Ripon

Delve into the rich history of Ripon by following the Sanctuary Way. This circular route connects three ancient churches, each with its own unique charm and intrigue, making for a fascinating journey through heritage and spirituality.

Whitestone Cliff, Gormire Lake & White Horse

Experience a trifecta of natural wonders on this exhilarating walk. The imposing Whitestone Cliff stands high above Gormire Lake, before leading you to the famous Kilburn White Horse, a magnificent sight carved into the hillside.

Natural Landmarks along your Walk

Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

In the glorious region of North Yorkshire, you'll find the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), offering incredible vistas and diverse wildlife. Embark on a hike along the Nidderdale Way, a 53-mile circular route that includes picturesque towns like Pateley Bridge and spectacular landmarks such as Brimham Rocks. Wander along the River Nidd and through the striking Nidd Gorge, immersing yourself in the region's natural beauty.

Malham Cove and Gordale Scar

A must-visit landmark on your walk is the impressive Malham Cove, a limestone cliff offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Nearby, you'll encounter Gordale Scar (pictured above), a remarkable limestone ravine featuring beautiful waterfalls. The area is located near the charming towns of Skipton and Settle, providing opportunities for delightful breaks on your walk.

Roseberry Topping

Another fantastic destination is Roseberry Topping, a distinctive hill in North Yorkshire, often referred to as Yorkshire's Matterhorn. A relatively easy climb rewards you with panoramic views of the North York Moors National Park.

Falling Foss and May Beck

Experience the enchanting Falling Foss waterfall, tucked away in a peaceful woodland setting. Here, you can marvel at the 9-metre-high waterfall and enjoy the serenity of May Beck, a charming stream flowing through North York Moors National Park. This scenic spot is perfect for a peaceful break during your walk.

Hubberholme and Dentdale

Lastly, discover the quintessential Yorkshire charm of Hubberholme, a small village situated at the junction of Wharfedale and Langstrothdale. Nearby lies the breathtaking valley of Dentdale, home to charming cottages and an abundance of wildlife. Explore the area, taking in the sights and sounds of rural England at its best.

The Reward: Pubs and Picnic Spots

Exploring the beauty of North Yorkshire, you'll find numerous picturesque locations where you can unwind and recharge, whether you prefer a cold pint at a local pub or a quiet spot to enjoy a picnic lunch.

One such location is the charming village of Ripley, where you can relax on the lush green grounds of the historic Ripley Castle after walking through its enchanting gardens. If a pub lunch is more tempting, the nearby Boar's Head Inn offers delicious meals and a refreshing drink.

In Grassington, you can experience a picturesque picnic while overlooking the River Wharfe, or grab a satisfying homemade meal at The Old Hall Inn. Nearby, in Ilkley, you can take a stroll along the riverbank before settling down at one of many welcoming pubs.

Over in the charming town of Hawes, nestled in Wensleydale, you can journey through picturesque countryside before rewarding yourself with delicious food and drink at the White Hart Inn. Nearby, the stunning Aysgarth Falls offers breathtaking views and serves as the perfect backdrop for a scenic picnic.

Marvel at the beauty of Malham Cove, a stunning limestone formation that's just a short walk away from the Lister Arms, where you can indulge in a well-deserved meal while sharing tales of your adventures. Or if coastal escapades are more your style, stroll through the scenic fishing village of Staithes, rich with maritime history, before heading to the Cod & Lobster for some fresh seafood and a pint.

For more beautiful vistas, take a walk through picturesque Kettlewell and Starbotton, where the River Wharfe meanders through these idyllic villages. After taking in the fresh air and natural beauty, quench your thirst at The Blue Bell Inn or The King's Head.

Finally, Pateley Bridge is home to several enchanting walks near the River Nidd and the verdant countryside. Whether you opt for a serene picnic spot by the riverside or enjoy a satisfying meal at The Crown, you're sure to leave with lasting memories of North Yorkshire's exquisite offerings.

Planning Your Walk

When planning your walk in North Yorkshire, you have plenty of options, from exploring the stunning Yorkshire Dales or the rugged North York Moors. The natural beauty and variety of landscapes make it an ideal destination for all levels of walkers.

Begin by choosing between the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North York Moors. The Yorkshire Dales is known for its picturesque valleys, stone-built villages, and lush green pastures. Some popular walking routes include the Dales Way and paths around popular towns like Grassington or Kettlewell. On the other hand, the North York Moors boast a mix of heather-covered moorland, dramatic coastline, and enchanting forests. Notable walks can be found around places such as Malham Cove, the Bridestones, and Dalby Forest.

Be sure to decide on the type of walk you're interested in, as North Yorkshire offers a wide range of circular walks to suit all levels of experience. Consider factors such as distance, gradient, and difficulty during your planning stage to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Hiking in North Yorkshire is accessible year-round, but seasonal changes may affect the conditions of your walk. Spring and autumn offer mild weather, while summer can be a busier time for popular paths. Winter can be a bit challenging, but rewards with stunning snowy landscapes.

Accommodation choices are aplenty, with options ranging from charming B&Bs to cosy country inns. For those seeking a more immersive outdoor experience, consider camping within the parks or staying at a hostel.

When you're exploring the Yorkshire countryside, always remember to respect the environment and communities. Follow the Countryside Code to protect the beautiful landscapes and wildlife. Also, take note of any local restrictions or closures, particularly during peak seasons or adverse weather conditions.

Lastly, ensure your safety by taking a detailed map and a reliable compass to navigate your chosen walks confidently. Revisit the AllTrails and Walking Britain websites to read reviews and recommendations from fellow walkers who have completed the routes before you.

By following these guidelines, you'll be well-prepared for an unforgettable North Yorkshire walking adventure.

Significance of North Yorkshire Walks

North Yorkshire offers an array of walking routes and hiking trails that allow you to explore the beauty of the English countryside. The region boasts picturesque landscapes, impressive wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts.

There is something for everyone, including a range of circular walks suitable for all abilities. From the rugged coastal beauty of the Staithes, Port Mulgrave and Hinderwell walk to the impressive history of the Rievaulx Abbey walk, there is a variety of different walks to enjoy. These trails grant you an opportunity to experience the natural splendour and connect with nature as you trek through the lush greenery of North Yorkshire.

Embarking on North Yorkshire walks provide spectacular scenic views that can make for memorable experiences and beautiful photographs. You'll encounter impressive natural features, such as waterfalls in the Ingleton Waterfalls Circular walk and the stunning limestone pavement at Malham and Gordale Scar. These walks allow you to soak in the spectacular vistas, capture stunning photos, and rejoice in the unrivalled beauty of the English countryside.

Aside from the breathtaking landscapes, exploring North Yorkshire's walking routes also exposes you to an abundance of wildlife. Birds, deer, and various insects are just some of the local creatures that you may come across as you traverse the pathways. The chance to witness these magnificent beings up-close adds an extra layer of excitement to your hikes and contributes to the overall sense of wonderment as you reconnect with nature.

Before embarking on a walk in North Yorkshire, it is always a good idea to read reviews and gather information on your chosen path. This preparation ensures that you have a clear understanding of what to expect and helps you to choose the best route based on your abilities and interests. Additionally, acquainting yourself with various routes could offer insight into must-see attractions and hidden gems that can make your hike even more enjoyable.

In conclusion, North Yorkshire walks offer a wealth of opportunities for adventure and exploration. With so many incredible routes available, you can experience the best of England's natural beauty, wildlife, and history, all while enjoying the thrill of the great outdoors.

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