Believe it or not, you don’t need a car to explore the Yorkshire countryside, because these walks are easy to get to by train.
Leave the motor at home the next time you want to make the most of Yorkshire’s stunning countryside. Head out and explore the great outdoors, by just jumping on a train from Leeds Station and trying out one of these walks. From the picturesque Harden Valley to the historic Ilkley Moor, you’ll soon see why it’s called God’s Own Country.
In Giant Rombalds Footsteps
Take the train to Burley-in-Wharfedale for this four-mile walk across Rombalds Moor. It’s perfect if you don’t have a lot of experience or need a bit more time to get around, taking in good tracks and moorland paths. Within two hours, you can reach York View, which offers incredible views of the Minster on a clear day, see the Carr Bottom Reservoir or visit The Hermit for a pint on your way around. It’s also ideal if you want to take the dog with you with plenty for the pooch to see and sniff, and when you’re done treat yourself to a pint and a bite at The Red Lion – it’s dog-friendly too.
Check out the In Giant Rombalds Footsteps route.
This walk starts at the restored Levisham Station, which looks exactly as it did in 1912, and takes you on a leisurely 6-mile stroll through the beautiful North York Moors. It’s ideal for all ages and abilities, with one gradual climb splitting up strolls along fields, bridleways and tracks. Along the way, you’ll pass Kale Pot Hole Farm, where you can take in the views across the beautiful valley towards Skelton Tower, before you reach Raper’s Farm Picnic Place. As you make your way back to the station, pop into The Horseshoe Inn for a well-deserved pint or two.
Check out the Newtondale Circular route.
Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Ingleborough and back
This one is great for more experienced walkers. Get the train to Horton-in-Ribblesdale and set off on an impressive 9.3-mile trek, that takes you back to the station. The route follows the Three Peaks trail in reverse, taking you up and over Ingleborough, where you can see stunning views, particularly of Pen-y-ghent, Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland Hills on a clear day. You’ll also pass the active Horton Quarry, with breathtaking views of Simon’s Fell and The Lord’s Seat, before you go back to Horton after around four hours – make a beeline to the historic Golden Lion pub for a pint of quality local ale and equally good local grub.
Check out the Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Ingleborough route.
Take the train to Ribblehead to start an 8-mile trek that will lead you across some of the most beautiful parts of God’s Own Country – you’ll even complete one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks while you’re at it. Pass Force Gill Aqueduct to see the waterfall in full flow, before you go up to the trig point at Whernside for incredible views every way you look, from Ingleborough to the majestic Ribblehead Viaduct. When it’s over, take a rest with a few drinks and a plate of classic British food at The Station Inn, right near the end.
Check out the Whernside Circular route.
Steeton to Ilkley
Take the train to Steeton & Silsden Station for this exploration of Wharfedale and its wonderful rocky landmarks. This walk will take you past Wingate Nick, as well as the Sepulchre, Doubler, Swastika and Panorama Stones. Soak in the stunning view of Airedale in one direction and Wharfedale in the other. The fairly easygoing 7.25-mile walk should take around 3 hours, and you’ll finish in Ilkley where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy a pint at The Flying Duck to end your adventure.
Check out the Steeton to Ilkley route.
Knaresborough and The Nidd Gorge
Take the short 5-minute walk from Knaresborough Station into the picturesque town centre for this wonderfully scenic 6-mile adventure. You’ll start at Conyngham Hall and pass landmarks like Mother Shipton’s Cave, Bilton Village and the River Nidd. Take a break on your way around to admire the stunning views along the Nidd Gorge, before you head back into the town, where you can enjoy traditional cask ales and quality pub grub at The Mitre before you make your way home.
Check out the Knaresborough and The Nidd Gorge route.
Jump on the train to Thirsk and take the short walk to the town’s market to begin your adventure. This leisurely 3.5-mile walk will take around 2 hours and blends wonderful scenery with hidden historical gems and incredible architecture. Along the way, you’ll see stunning views of the Hambleton Hills, and the huge Parish Church St Mary’s which dates back to 1430. You’ll also have the chance to explore the World of James Herriot Museum. Your walk will lead you back to the town centre, where you can head to The Frankland Arms for refreshments before the train home.
Check out the Thirsk Circular route.
Scarborough to Filey
Get the train to Scarborough where you can start an 8.2-mile trek south to Filey. From the station, make your way to the beach at South Sands and follow the path past Black Rocks to the stunning Cayton Bay, a quiet stretch of sand, perfect for your mid-walk picnic. Afterwards, you’ll pass Lebberston Cliff, The Wake and Filey Brigg, where you can hunt fossils in the prehistoric rocks, before you head to The Star in Filey for a refresher.
Check out the Scarborough to Filey route.
Harden Valley Circular
Head out to Bingley to try the Harden Valley Circular. Expect woods, waterfalls, a viaduct, moors and, of course, stunning views of the Brontë Country. From Myrtle Park to Ruin Bank Wood, Goitstock Waterfall to Hewenden Viaduct, there’s so much to explore on this 10.4-mile walk, which should take you around 4 hours to complete. On your way back to Bingley, there’s a wonderful pub called The George. It has a reputation for great real ales, so why not try one before you leave.
Check out the Harden Valley Circular route.
This 7.9-mile walk from Settle Station is full of incredible surprises. You’ll start in the picture-perfect North Yorkshire village, then head off in a clockwise direction towards Giggleswick Station and Accerhill Hall. Along the route, which takes in straightforward roads and bridleway paths, you’ll be able to stop to enjoy the incredible sights of Ingleborough, Pen y Ghent, Fountains Fell and Warrendale Knotts. Just make sure you leave enough time to have a look around Settle, and grab a pint in The Talbot Arms, ahead of your train journey home.
Check out the Settle Circular route.Feature image copyright Tim Green licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.