Best Walks in Yorkshire

Best Walks in Yorkshire

A historic goldmine and wilderness wonderland, Yorkshire is a place filled with the promise of adventure. The largest county in England, it is home to 800 conservation areas, sprawling National Parks and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Carved by limestone gorges, swathed in ancient woodland and carpeted with heather-tufted moorland, its vast landscapes set the perfect backdrop for scenic walks - from day-long hikes to gentle strolls.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Yorkshire’s abundant natural beauty, we have just the list for you. Perfect for walks with your dog and rambles with family and friends, we’ve picked out some of the best walks in Yorkshire for you to enjoy throughout the year.

Malham Cove

Malham Cove in Yorkshire under blue skies

Malham Cove is a huge, 230ft limestone cliff in North Yorkshire creating its own spectacular natural amphitheatre. A magnificent sight, it was formed by a vast waterfall at the end of the last Ice Age and, when there’s been a lot of rain, a tumbling surge of water still pours over the top of its cliffs to this day. Naturally, when considering walks in Yorkshire, this scenic wander is high on the list. One of the best ways to get there involves a 5-mile walk from the National Park Centre in Malham village and takes in Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss waterfall en route too. Weaving through the spectacular scenery of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it is a fantastic circular walk with access to facilities in Malham village. If the area seems familiar, you may recognise Malham Cove as the film location for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Marsden Moor

A lake in Marsden estate reflecting light clouds in the sky

The Marsden Moor Estate is home to a rich expanse of moorland in West Yorkshire. Covering 5,000 acres, this SSI is sprinkled with cotton grass, heather, crowberry and bilberry and provides a sanctuary for humans and wildlife alike. Woven with well-trodden trails and flagstone footpaths maintained by the National Trust, it offers lots of opportunities for walks. A particularly enjoyable one comes in the form of the 8-mile Marsden Moor Heritage South trail. Dubbed moderately challenging, this circular walk runs above the Wessenden Valley and affords breath-taking views as it climbs. Another great circular walk is the 4.5-mile Marsden Deer Hill walk, which tails country lanes, pebble tracks and moorland footpaths and skirts the Butterley and Deer Hill Reservoirs.

Yorkshire Wolds Way

A signpost directing the way to the Yorkshire Wolds Way walk

The Yorkshire Wolds Way is a famous long-distance trail that cuts through the chalky landscapes of the Yorkshire Wolds. From Hessle in East Riding to Filey in North Yorkshire, it flows from the banks of the Humber river and navigates tree-covered slopes, open fields and peaceful valley basins before ascending to the top of lofty hills where the views roll seamlessly on. Running for 79 miles in total, this National Trail offers a unique opportunity to walk as little or as far as you'd like, following your own rhythmic footfall until the promise of rest and repose beckons you back to your luxury retreat.


The summit of Pen-Y-Ghent mountain in Yorkshire

Pen Y Ghent is the inspiration behind a popular fell walk in the Yorkshire Dales, covered by Julia Bradbury’s round up of the best walks in Britain. A magnet for hikers in Yorkshire, this modest but mighty peak is the smallest of Yorkshire’s fells featured in the county’s Three Peak Challenge, yet still affords a worthy hike with steep sections and views of Whernside and Ingleborough. A Yorkshire classic, there is a 6-mile loop that starts in Horton-in-Ribblesdale and directs walkers to the summit. En route, this circular walk wends past the striking open scars of two collapsed underground caverns - Hunt Pot and Hull Pot - the latter of which is decorated with a thundering waterfall in wet weather.

Brontë Waterfalls Circular

A bench on the side of the trail along the Bronte Way in Yorkshire

In the depths of Brontë Country is a lovely 3.5-mile walk around Penistone Hill Country Park. Wending through beautiful landscapes surrounding Stanbury village in West Yorkshire, it invites you to retrace the famous footsteps of the Brontë sisters and take in some of the area’s highlights. From the Brontë waterfall and the Brontë bridge, to the Lower Laithe Reservoir, there is beauty at every turn. That said, if you fancy something a little more challenging, you can also pick up sections of the Brontë Way, a long-distance trail cutting through the Pennine Hills. Calling to the seasoned and the game, this rambling 44-mile trail encourages all generations of walkers to pull on a pair of sturdy boots and head out into the fresh Yorkshire air.

Flamborough Head

An aerial view of the beautiful Flamborough Headland on the Yorkshire Coast

Just a stone’s throw from the North York Moors on the Yorkshire Coast is Flamborough Head. With towering cliffs overlooking the North Sea, this striking promontory is traced by the 21-mile Headland Way that runs from Bridlington to Filey - creating year-round walking opportunities. With that in mind, the Flamborough Head walk makes for one of the best ways to stretch your legs. A circular loop that navigates the county’s sea-kissed boundaries, it encompasses both countryside and heritage coast to provide a dreamy setting for a coastal ramble. Along the way, you’ll pass Danes Dyke, a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Nature Reserve home to a wooded ravine, ancient earthwork and all kinds of flora and fauna.

Ilkley Moor

The cow and calf rock formations on Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire covered in snow

A well-known walking destination favoured by locals is Ilkley Moor. The inspiration behind the unofficial folk anthem of Yorkshire, ‘On Ilkley Moor baht ‘at’, it is a peaceful place that broods with atmosphere and holds a special place in the heart of many. If you’d like to discover Ilkley for yourself, there is a great 5-mile walk which promises a beautiful introduction to the moors. As you follow the route, keep an eye out for the Cow and Calf, a well-known outcrop of rocks and boulders protruding from the earth, from which you can admire far-reaching views. Of course, we won’t recite the lyrics of the anthem here, but for those of you planning your walks in the chillier months, just remember to wear a hat…

Ribblehead Viaduct Walk

Ribblehead Viaduct stretching out across the Ribble Valley in Yorkshire

The Ribblehead Viaduct (aka the Batty Moss Viaduct) is a Grade II listed viaduct in the Ribble Valley in North Yorkshire, carrying the Settle to Carlisle railway. With its impressive aesthetics, this photogenic structure makes for a captivating subject for the eye and lens. Naturally, the best way to appreciate the sheer size and scale of the viaduct is to see it for yourself - especially when combined with a hearty stroll. Fortunately, a wonderful 4-mile walk awaits to provide the perfect opportunity to do just that. A circular route starting and ending close to the foot of the viaduct, it leads you through the dreamy countryside of the Yorkshire Dales and along the banks of gurgling streams and babbling brooks for a truly memorable wander in the wild. One of the best things to do in Yorkshire, you can also take a ride on the Settle to Carlisle railway atop the viaduct.

Langsett Reservoir

Stones overlooking Langsett Reservoir and surrounding woodland in Yorkshire

Langsett Reservoir in South Yorkshire is the site of a gorgeous 5-mile waterside walk. Found on the north eastern outskirts of the Peak District National Park in Yorkshire, this picturesque reservoir is surrounded by knotted woodland and moorland beyond and offers plenty to see and do. Ideal for cyclists and horseriders, Langsett Reservoir is popular with walkers in Yorkshire too - especially those with children and four-legged friends in tow. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can follow a variety of different paths that criss-cross around the reservoir. The 3-mile Langsett walk and 2.5-mile Langsett accessible walk are two favourites, providing mercifully flat, even terrain to tread at your own pace.

White Horse Walk

The famous Kilburn White Horse limestone hill figure with a real horse in the foreground in Yorkshire on a sunny day

The White Horse walk is an unmissable route in the North York Moors, encompassing both the incredible natural beauty of the York Moors and the intrigue of one of the UK’s most famous hillside landmarks. Beginning and ending at Sutton Bank National Park Centre, it leads you for 3 miles to the 19th Century hillside etching of the Kilburn White Horse and back again. Standing (or rather lying) at 314ft long and 228ft high, it’s certainly a sight to behold. Showcasing stunning scenery all the way, the path journeys through verdant woodland and sunken valleys, and along steep hill escarpments to reward walkers with magical vistas. If you’re walking with your dog, just remember to keep them on a lead as you go, as the cliff edges along this route are unfenced.

Aysgarth Falls 

A view of the tumbling waters of Aysgarth Falls in Yorkshire

The Aysgarth Falls are a series of waterfalls surrounded by leafy woodland and rolling farmland in North Yorkshire. Calling to the wanderers and the wonderers alike, the beauty of these falls has caught the attention of many over the centuries, including the likes of William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and J.M.W. Turner. For a gentle introduction to the area, there is a 2.5-mile circular walk that follows the mile-long stretch of river where the falls reside, and winds through the surrounding countryside. With only a handful of gradual inclines, this is a walk that can be enjoyed throughout the year as long as you have good footwear on and clothing suitable for the season. Upon return, a scattering of eateries and pubs await nearby in Aysgarth village to reward walkers with plates of hearty cuisine.

Feeling inspired to explore the trails? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Yorkshire.



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