Let’s face it, Yorkshire, or God’s Own County, is certainly top of the game when it comes to stunning scenery and fantastic walks. From the rugged, wild beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, to the sweeping heather-filled expanses of the North York Moors National Park, you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to hike first.
Luckily, here at SnapTrip we’ve decided to lend a helping hand and do the hard work for you. Here are a few of our favourite walks in Yorkshire – perfect for your next northern adventure.
The best short walks in Yorkshire
Time: One and a half hours
Distance: Two miles
This gentle circular walk offers plenty of opportunities to admire the cascading beauty of the tumbling Aysgarth Falls on the River Ure.
Meandering through enchanting woodland and lush meadows, the route then takes you past Low Force, Middle Force and finally High Force – the three individual tiers of the waterfall.
Top tip: although this walk is suitable for families, the sides of the river are unfenced so be sure to keep a close eye on any young children and dogs in the party
See the best holiday cottages in Aysgarth
Time: Two hours
Distance: Four and a quarter miles
Another waterfall-filled wander, this route begins in the magical market town of Hawes, deep in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Initially picking up the Pennine Way, the route passes through woodland and fields before arriving at the breathtaking Hardraw Force. This is the UK’s biggest single drop waterfall and the water falls for about 100 feet before crashing into rock-circled pool below – a sight to behold indeed!
Top tip: the waterfall is actually on private land so a small entrance fee is charged
See the best holiday cottages in Hawes
Circular from Clapham via Ingleborough Caves and Gaping Gill
Time: Two and a half hours
Distance: Five and a half miles
Those with a taste for adventure will love this fantastic circular route. Taking you from the pretty stonebrick village of Clapham past the impressive limestone Ingleborough Cava and on to one of the most famous caves in the whole of the Dales: Gaping Gill.
One of the largest and most complex cave systems in the whole of Britain, Gaping Gill and Ingleborough Cave are actually connected by a deep underground network. The descent down from the cave opening to the floor of Gaping Gill is a staggering 129 metres – so make sure you’re extremely careful around the entrance of the cave as it isn’t fenced.
Top tip: the local pothole clubs set up a winch for the public to descend into Gaping Gill’s dark depths twice a year, so, if you’re feeling especially brave, then you can try and coordinate these dates with your own visit
See the best holiday cottages in Clapham
Looking to spend a week in Yorkshire? We’ve pulled together an incredible 7-day itinerary for you, so now all you need to do is decide where to stay
The best long walks in Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Three Peaks
Time: 12 hours
Distance: 25 miles
Calling all seasoned hikers – it’s time to prove you’re just as hardy as the Yorkshire folk. Similar to the National Three Peaks Challenge, the Yorkshire Three Peaks requires competitors to tackle Yorkshire’s three highest peaks (Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough) in under 12 hours.
The total climb of the walk amounts to 1,672 metres – no mean feat indeed – however, you’ll be more than rewarded by the stunning scenery and deep sense of achievement once you’re done.
Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re fit enough to complete the whole circuit in under 12 hours – you can either participate in the organised event or do your own version of it. Either way, go at your own pace and remember to enjoy your spectacular surrounds as much as possible.
Top tip: don’t forget to take some snaps of the incredible Ribblehead Viaduct (which sits on the border between North Yorkshire and Cumbria) – it’ll come into sight just before you begin the ascent up Whernside
See the best holiday cottages in North Yorkshire
Malham Cove, Malham Tarn and Gordale Scar
Time: Four hours
Distance: Seven and a half miles
This is one of the most popular walks in the whole of the Yorkshire Dales, and it’s not hard to see why! Taking in some of the finest limestone landscape in the country, this is a truly unique experience and perhaps like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Starting in National Park Centre car park in Malham, you’ll visit Janet’s Foss (a little fairytale-like waterfall) before being awed by the mighty canon of Gordale Scar, as well as towering Malham Cove and the intricate limestone pavements lining the top of it.
Top tip: keen bird watchers will be excited to learn that they may well catch a glimpse of the majestic peregrine falcon en route
See the best holiday cottages in Malham
Looking for a place to stay ‘up North’? Here are our favourite towns in Yorkshire
The best coastal walks in Yorkshire
Cloughton and Hayburn Wyke Walk
Time: Three hours
Distance: Five miles
Close by the pretty seaside town of Scarborough, this relaxed circular route is a great option if you’re travelling with kids and/or dogs.
The route wends its way through the wooded valley of Hayburn Wyke before descending down to a beautiful rocky cove, complete with enormous boulders and plunging waterfalls. You’ll return back to the town of Cloughton along disused railway tracks which were once the Scarborough to Whitby train line.
Top tip: another one for the nature lovers – keep your ears open throughout the walk and you may be able to catch the sound of woodpeckers dutifully drilling away in the trees.
See the best holiday cottages in Cloughton
Fish, Fangs and Fossils
Time: One hour 10 minutes
Distance: One mile
A great one for families, as well as history and literature aficionados, this short trail takes you around the pretty coastal town of Whitby, stopping to examine the dark forces which have shaped the landscape of the town.
From the town’s blood-thirsty whaling past to chilling tales of Count Dracula, there’s much more to the deceptively pretty town of Whitby than first meets the eye.
Top tip: make sure you don’t miss the chance to sample Whitby’s finest fish and chips at the famous Magpie Cafe
See the best holiday cottages in Whitby
Planning on basing yourself in the bustling city of Leeds? If so, then here are 5 amazing destinations that you really need to visit, all just two hours away from Leeds
The best winter walks in Yorkshire
Cow and Calf
Time: One hour
Distance: Two miles
‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at’ go the lyrics of the famous Yorkshire folk song, and, with its beautiful sweeping expanses of gentle heather, interesting rock formations and variety of nesting birds, it’s not hard to see how this beautiful area has infiltrated its way into popular culture.
The Cow and Calf is an iconic rock formation, consisting of colossal outcrop and a boulder, which, according to local legend, were split apart by the giant Rombald’s feet as he was fleeing a ferocious enemy (his wife).
This is a great winter walk, due to its short length and also the path which is rough yet sturdy underfoot. It’s good to note however that after rain the path may be muddy, so wearing a stout pair of hiking boots is always advisable.
Top tip: the lovely town of Ilkley lies just below the Ilkley Moors and is a great place to spend an afternoon shopping and sightseeing and, once you’re done with that, head to the famous Betty’s Tearooms for a traditional cream tea – one of the finest in all of Yorkshire!
See the best holiday cottages in Ilkley
Time: Three hours
Distance: Seven miles
The legendary Bolton Abbey is perfect no matter what time of year, but we think it’s especially exquisite in the winter, when a curtain of frost-kissed fog hangs in the air and the ruins of the old priory appear out of the mist like an ancient ethereal mirage.
This lovely circular route will take you directly through the old ruins, before crossing over the River Wharfe and wandering through the enchanting Strid Wood.
Top tip: there’s an entry fee for the car park which contributes towards maintaining the estate and the buildings within it
See the best holiday cottages in Harrogate
Ready to book that trip to Yorkshire? You can find out more about ‘God’s Own County’ in our full Yorkshire Travel Guide