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5 of the Best Pub Walks in Yorkshire

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

Work up a sweat on these picturesque walks before treating yourself to a deserved pint.

Malham Cove

Breathe in the picturesque setting of Yorkshire’s countryside, taking in some of the county’s finest watering holes as you go…

Yorkshire is not just blessed with amazing cities, it’s also got some of the best countryside you’ll find anywhere in the UK. It’s a wonderful backdrop for your adventures, from the North York Moors to the Dales – and there’s nothing more rewarding after a long day of wandering, than stopping at a local pub for a cheeky drink or a bite to eat. So we’ve mapped out a few walks through Yorkshire, with pubs en route or end at.


The Buck Inn, Malham

Credit: Nilfanian, licensed licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Malhamdale is one of Yorkshire’s finest attractions with a slew of natural wonders worth seeking out. This route starts at public car park in Malham village (or at The Lister Arms, if you want a pre-walk pint). Ascend the 400 or so steps from the village up to Malham Cove, before wandering across Gordale Bridge and the unique limestone pavement.

Then head over to the beautiful waterfalls of Gordale Scar – the perfect place to stop and break up this 4.5 mile route around the countryside. After that, you can head over to the thick woods of Janet’s Foss, before making a beeline for two of Balham’s finest pubs.

The Buck Inn has been around since 1874, and will provide hearty grub and real ales, as well as a place to get your head down. While just over the village green is The Lister Arms, a leaf covered pub that is chock full of rustic charm and traditional Yorkshire hospitality – they too have rooms, if you’re planning to stay the night.

Start at Malham Cove, at BD23 4DA, or OS grid reference SD 8966390.


Thruscross Reservoir

Credit: TJ Blackwell licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Thuscross is just two miles from Pateley Bridge, just outside of Harrogate, and it’s home to a moderate pub walk that will make for a great day out. Starting outside The Stone House Inn, this route will see you circle the Thuscross Reservoir – set amidst the North Yorkshire countryside you won’t be too surprised at what you’ll find.

From the pub you’ll meander past the disused quarry, and then head down a path that leads right to the sidings of the reservoir, which you’ll continue on all along the route – there are foot bridges, one or two inclines and a couple of boggy areas, if you’re concerned about how tough the walk is.

You’ll get to see the remains of a flooded village, that disappeared under the water when the reservoir needed was built, including one or two of the buildings if the tide is low. There’s also a stunning vista across the valley and water from built up moorland, as you come to the final part of your route, which leads you back to The Stone House Inn, a proper cosy, country pub with a tearoom and roaring fire – there is no accommodation here, however, so keep those drinks within the limit.

Start at The Stone House Inn, Thurcross, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4AH, or OS grid reference SE 16062 58651.

The Settle Railway Walk

Helwith Bridge

Credit: Tom Richardson licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

This cracking pub walk will see you rewarded with not one, not two, but three different pubs along the way. But it’s less about the final destination here and more about the journey itself.

Starting in the town of Settle at the Greenfoot car park, you can actually reward yourself with a pint right away, as the first part of the journey takes you past the stunning Royal Oak Hotel. Afterwards, you’ll head down Church Street, and onto a track for 2.5km and then up past the picturesque setting of Stainforth House for 2km, where you can enjoy some stunning views of Yorkshire.

Across the main road from there is the Helwith Bridge Hotel, an old school Yorkshire pub with plenty of food and ale, as well as rooms to stay in, if you want to enjoy the selection behind the bar. From there, it’s through the car park and alongside a track parallel to the railway line. You’ll follow the river for 4km to Horton in Ribblesdale. Here you’ll find The Crown Hotel, perfect for a well deserved end of walk drink, or a night’s stay over. If you’re not staying, you can hop on the old Settle-Carlisle Railway to get back to your car.

Start at the Greenfoot car park, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9RB, or OS grid reference GR 98/817635.


Kirkby Malham

Credit: John Illingworth licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

How about a walk that takes you off the beaten path, and to a fantastic pub? On this Yorkshire pub walk, you start at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority car park, before setting off and following signs for Kirkby Malham.

Following paths, stiles and farm tracks, onto Thorpe Lane, and then Cow Close Lane, a unique little route with a stream alongside. You’ll then come to Kirkby Malham, where you’ll find the Victoria Inn, a pub that’s been featured in the Good Pub Guide, noted for its stunning Victorian decor and array of local ales and hearty food.

The 5.6 mile route continues from here, following the sign for Otterburn, across the stile route, and alongside Deepdale Plantation where you’ll notice signs for Airton. You’ll keep following the stiles until you reach a main road, and just up the hill lies the Town End Farm Shop if you need a refreshment or two. From here, you’ll take a short walk to join the Pennine Way which will lead you into Hanlith, and when you’re done exploring, the main road here will lead you back to the start.

Start at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Malham Rakes, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DA, or OS grid reference SD 90075 62808.

Kirkby Malzeard

The Henry Jenkins, Kikrby Malzeard

Credit: Gordon Hatton licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

The historic old market town of Kirkby Malzeard finds itself set in amongst the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Beauty, and this walk sees you discover just why it’s known as that. You begin your trek at a pub that’s no longer with us, The Henry Jenkins, named after a local legend who was said to have lived to age of 169. Though it’s now shut, it’s a piece of local history that sets the scene for a picturesque walk.

Start by walking through the town from the old pub and over Creets Bridge, taking the path opposite Mowbray Castle. From here the tracks take you through fields and woodland towards Braithwaite Hall on the adjacent path. Go through Hubber Wood, Mill Farm and around the village of Azerley, before taking on a series of paths and stiles that lead you back into Kirkby Malzeard.

Along the relatively easy four mile route, you’ll see glimpses of Nidderdale’s acclaimed beauty from stunning open fields to majestic old buildings and serene woodland. It’s all thirsty work though, so make a beeline back to Main Street and head over to the pub in Kirkby Malzeard that is still open – The Queen’s Head is just across the way.

Start at The Henry Jenkins, Main Street, Kirkby Malzeard, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3RY, or OS grid reference SE 23349 74329.

Feature image copyright Peppermint Creative.