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5 Crisp Winter Walks Within an Hour of Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

It's time to go on a rambling adventure across Yorkshire.

Wessenden Valley

Get out of the house this winter and discover a plethora of wonderful walks, all within driving distance of Leeds.

Winter is here and a brisk adventure through the Yorkshire countryside is a brilliant way to spend a day. So, why not head out on an incredible walk through God’s own country? From family-friendly strolls to more challenging jaunts, here are five of the best winter walks you can do within an hour of Leeds.

Wessenden Valley Walk

Wessenden Valley

It takes just 45 minutes to get to Marsden, a town on the edge of the Peak District National Park. From there you can start the wonderful Wessenden Valley Walk. This linear, 8-mile route will take you through one of the most Northern valleys in the park where you can take in stunning views, as well as passing four different reservoirs – Butterley, Blakely, Wessenden and Wessenden Head. It’s at the latter that the route ends and you’ll retrace your steps back into town to make your way home.

The walk starts at Marsden Moor Estate Office, The Old Goods Yard, Station Road, Marsden, West Yorkshire, HD7 6DH, OS Reference – SE047118.

The Hardcastle Crags Railway Trail

Hardcastle Crags

You can get to the frost-tipped valleys around Hebden Bridge in just under an hour for a wonderful winter wander. It’s a leisurely 3-miles long and won’t take longer than 2 hours, so this route is perfect for families. You’ll start at Gibson Mill before heading towards the Crags along the picturesque Hebden Beck. Pass the Hell Hole Quarry (it’s not as scary as it sounds), before you waltz through Walshaw Wood and arrive back to the start at Gibson Mill.

The walk starts at Gibson Mill, Hollin Hall, Midgehole Road, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 7AP, OS Reference – SD 98318 29563.

Nostell Priory Obelisk Walk

Nostell Priory

Copyright Stephen Bowler licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

If you’re looking for a winter walk that isn’t too taxing, head to the historic Nostell Priory in Wakefield, about 30 minutes from Leeds. You can start your leisurely 2-mile walk in front of the stunning Palladian house built back in 1733. From there you’ll pass the Boathouse and the lake of the same name, before heading up the carriageway that leads to the original gatehouse, Obelisk Lodge. It’s then onwards to the Boathouse Bridge before you head back to the start.

The walk starts at the Nostell Priory courtyard, Doncaster Road, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 1QE. OS Reference – SE404175. Parkland entrance is free, although there is a £5 fee for car parking. Entrance to the gardens costs £7.60 and the rest of the estate is currently closed.

Lydgate Circular

Hawk Stones, Lydgate, Todmorden

Credit: Tim Green licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.


This easygoing 4.3-mile moorland stroll near Todmorden is just 55 minutes away and it’s the perfect winter jaunt. It starts with a very gradual 200-metre climb to the moors. Once you’re at the top, you can check out two sets of gritstone outcrops. You’ll reach the Hawk Stones first, before you make your way to the gravity-defying Great Bride Stones, then it’s back to the start with a downhill stroll full of incredible valley views.

The walk starts at the bottom of Stoney Royd Lane, Lydgate, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, OL14 8EP. OS Reference – SD 92710 25393.

Brontë Walk

Much of the Brontë’s work features Yorkshire winters, so what better way to explore their world than on an 8-mile winter walk? You can start at The Fleece Inn in Haworth, which is about 50 minutes from Leeds, before strolling past the Lower Laithe Reservoir, through the village of Stanbury and up to the Museum Parsonage. On your way back, you’ll pass the Brontë Waterfall, which really is a sight to see, before you head back to the start at The Fleece Inn.

The walk starts at The Fleece Inn, 67 Main Street, Haworth, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DA. OS Reference – SE030370.

Feature image copyright Andrew Bowden licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.