5 Crisp Winter Walks Within an Hour of Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

Winter’s the perfect time for a Yorkshire rambling adventure.

Wessenden Valley

A winter ramble is made all the more beautiful in Yorkshire – discover the region’s wealth of wonderful walks for those cold, bracing days.

Winter has arrived and a brisk adventure through the Yorkshire countryside is the perfect way to spend a day. From valley strolls to railway trails, family-friendly walks to more challenging treks, we’ve rounded up five of the finest winter wanders for you, all within easy distance of Leeds. So what are you waiting for? Head out on an incredible walk through God’s Own Country – just make sure you wrap up warm!

Wessenden Valley Walk

Over Wessenden Reservoirs

Just 45-minutes from Leeds, Marsden is a town based on the northern edge of the Peak District National Park and the starting point of this rewarding, linear 8-mile walk around the wonderful Wessenden Valley. It shows off the beauty of the point where the Pennines meets the Peaks – get ready to be blessed by stunning, snow-tinted views as you pass four different reservoirs – Butterley, Blakely, Wessenden and Wessenden Head. The walk ends at the latter, so just retrace your steps to make it back to Marsden for a well-earned rest.

The walk starts at Marsden Moor Estate Office, The Old Goods Yard, Station Road, Marsden, West Yorkshire, HD7 6DH. Check out the route.

The Hardcastle Crags Railway Trail

Hardcastle Crags, Hebden Bridge

The frost-tipped valleys encircling Hebden Bridge are just an hour away from Leeds and the perfect place for a wonderful winter walk. The Railway Trail at Hardcastle Crags is a just a leisurely 3-miles and takes no longer than two hours making it popular with families. It kicks off at Gibson Mill (where you’ll also find a cafe), before you head towards the Crags alongside the pretty Hebden Beck. It’s onto Hell Hole Quarry – not as scary as it sounds – before you meander through Walshaw Wood and arrive back at your starting point.

The walk starts at Gibson Mill, Hollin Hall, Midgehole Road, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 7AP. Check out the route.

Brontë Walk

Haworth Circular

Yorkshire winters were at the very heart of the Brontës’ works, so what better way to venture in and around their world, than on this famous 8-mile walk around Haworth. You’ll get going from The Fleece Inn (good to know for post-walk refreshments), which is about 50 minutes from Leeds. Stroll past Lower Laithe Reservoir, through the village of Stanbury and up to the Museum Parsonage where you can delve further into the writers’ lives. On the way back, the Brontë Waterfall will provide your highlight before you reach the end.

The walk starts at The Fleece Inn, 67 Main Street, Haworth, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DA. Check out the route.

Nostell Priory Obelisk Walk

Lake, Nostell Priory and Parkland, Europe, England

Not all winter walks around Yorkshire have to be taxing – this easygoing 2-mile route around the historic Nostell Priory in Wakefield is the perfect example. It’s around 30 minutes from Leeds and starts at the stunning Palladian house which dates back to 1733. From there you’ll make your way past the Boathouse and the lake of the same name, before you take the path along the carriageway the leads you to the original gatehouse, Obelisk Lodge. On frosty mornings, it really is the prettiest of pictures, before you cross Boathouse Bridge to the finish.

The walk starts at Nostell Priory courtyard, Doncaster Road, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 1QE. Parkland entrance is free, although there is a £5 fee for car parking for non-members. Check out the route.

Lydgate Circular

Bride Stones, Todmorden, Sheep

A slice of rare seclusion in the Yorkshire countryside, this easygoing 4.3-mile moorland stroll will see you visit some beautifully remote areas of West Yorkshire. It starts near Todmorden, about 55 minutes from Leeds, where you can expect snow-covered hills all around you. A 200-metre climb to the top of the moors kicks things off and then it’s on to two gritstone outcrops – the Hawk Stones are first, look out for roaming sheep, then you’ll visit the gravity-defying Great Bride Stones, before you head back down the valley.

The walk starts at the bottom of Stoney Royd Lane, Lydgate, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, OL14 8EP. Check out the route.