Yorkshire offers some of England’s most beautiful countryside and is extremely popular with walkers. Here are ten of the most scenic walking routes, and why they are so special.
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
This 4.5-mile circular trail in North Yorkshire takes in ancient woodlands and two rivers, as well as the stunning waterfalls themselves.
The trail follows the River Twiss on the way up, with spectacular views of several falls before you reach the farmland at the top. You then head downwards along the banks of the River Doe, with an 18-metre view down onto the beautiful Rival Falls.
Malham Tarn is a beautiful moorland area which is home to a wide variety of birds, rare plants and animals. It offers stunning views across farmland and limestone pastures.
The most popular route is the Malham Tarn Upland Farm walk, a circular route of seven miles beginning on the Pennine Way, which offers the chance to explore various landmarks including the Orchid House and the Nature Reserve, before enjoying the views from the Tarn at the top.
Sheffield Round Walk
The Sheffield Round Walk showcases some of the South Yorkshire landscape at its very best, encompassing both rural and urban areas on a 15-mile route around the edges of Sheffield. Parklands, woodlands and streams all form parts of the route, along with the attractive suburbs on the outskirts of the city.
Beginning and ending at Endcliffe Park, some of the highlights of the walk include the Porter Brook and Limb Brook rivers, Brincliffe Edge woods, and Beauchief Abbey, which dates from medieval times.
Meanwood Valley Trail
Just north of the city of Leeds you’ll find the Meanwood Valley Trail, a seven-mile route leading from Woodhouse Moor through to Meanwood Valley itself, via beautiful woodlands which are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.
The trail then leads you through the rural landscape of Adel Beck before it ends at Golden Acre Park, where you will have the chance to explore the Breary Marsh Nature Reserve.
James Herriot Way
Fans of the famous vet and author of All Creatures Great and Small will love this 52-mile walk through some of the locations that inspired James Herriot’s work. Beginning in the charming town of Hawes, the route leads you through the beautiful landscapes of Wensleydale and Swaledale, taking in well-known landmarks including Bolton Castle and the spectacular Aysgarth Falls.
The terrain is varied, the views are stunning, and the walk takes three or four days to complete.
Walking on Ilkley Moor is one of the best ways to appreciate the true beauty of West Yorkshire. A particularly popular route begins in West View Park before climbing up to Ilkley Crag, where you can take in the circle of standing stones known as the Twelve Apostles.
Following the path from here, you will reach the Cow and Calf rocky outcrops, which offer stunning views across the moors.
Great Northern Railway Trail
The Great Northern Railway trail is a beautiful route through the countryside surrounding Bradford. It follows the disused railway line for over six miles between Cullingworth and Queensbury.
One of the major attractions on the route is the Thornton Viaduct, famous for its curved “S” shape, which offers spectacular views across the Pinch Beck Valley.
Many of North Yorkshire’s beautiful settings can be experienced by walking the Cleveland Way. Beginning in the picturesque market town of Helmsley, the trail covers 109 miles, leading you over the heather-covered moors to the coast.
The route then follows the dramatic coastline, taking in castles, fishing villages and stunning views, with highlights including Whitby Abbey and the famous coastal town of Scarborough.
If you’re looking for a short but beautiful walk, Langstrothdale can be found by following the Dales Way from Yockenthwaite, heading towards Beckermonds. Langstrothdale is a lovely part of the Yorkshire Dales, home to a number of native wild flowers and some beautiful views.
The route also takes in several monuments, including a lime kiln and a Bronze Age stone circle.
Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk
A famous walking challenge, the Three Peaks Walk takes in the mountains Pen-y-ghant, Whernside and Ingleborough, which are tackled in this order. The mountains are all part of the Pennine range and are arranged in roughly a triangular shape.
The 24.5-mile circular route takes in all three peaks, as well as the beautiful scenery of the Yorkshire Dales and the River Ribble. Seasoned walkers challenge themselves to complete it in under 12 hours, but it can equally be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace.
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