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 at the end.
Malhamdale is one of Yorkshire’s finest attractions with a slew of natural wonders worth seeking out. This route starts at the public car park in Malham village (or at The Lister Arms, if you want a pre-walk drink). 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 Malham’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.
Reeth and Healaugh are picturesque villages in the heart of Swaledale and you’ll get to see the best of both on this circular walk, with lots of beautiful North Yorkshire countryside in between. Start at the village green in Reeth and take a track known as the Quaker Flags. It’ll lead you to the historic Quaker Foundation building, which dates back to 1780.
Continue past, and take in the incredible views across the green fields as you head down into the valley bottom meadows. You’ll have to tackle a series of stiles and gates on your way to the tiny village of Healaugh, but it’s got a unique treat in store for you – pop your head inside the telephone box on the village green for a little surprise. Inside, you’ll find a vase of flowers, a waste paper basket and a carpeted floor.
You’re now halfway along your leisurely 3-mile walk, and you’ll come back a different way to the way you came. Follow the path that runs alongside the River Swale, all the way to Reeth Swing Bridge. Don’t cross here, take the path that bears left back into the village for a well-deserved pint. You’ve got three options, The King’s Arms, The Black Bull or The Buck – they’re all worth a visit, with local ales and hearty pub grub.
Start at Reeth Village Green, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL11 6TE, or OS grid reference SD 03825 99254.
Linton to Kilnsey and back
If you’re up for a challenge, the Linton Circular is one of the best pub walks in Yorkshire. It’s a 10-mile trek that will take you on a round trip to Kilnsey and back. You start in the heart of Linton village, or at The Fountaine Inn if you want to start your day with a pint. Head east to Linton Falls, along the Dales Way and through a series of fields and stiles and through the open moor to Bastow Wood.
From here, you’ll walk up the hill to the exposed limestone crags at Dib Scar, before passing through Conistone and into the village of Kilnsey. It’s the perfect place to take five – The Tennant’s Arms is a brilliant traditional watering hole for lunch and a pint. Before you leave, make sure you visit the limestone overhang at Kilnsey Crag – you might see some climbers scaling it.
Now you’ll make your way back to the start, but this time along Mastiles Lane, an old Roman road. You’ll head into the open moorland where you can take in stunning views across Wharfedale and another limestone landmark, Cave Scar. From there, it’s a gentle descent back into Linton, where you can reacquaint yourself with The Fountaine Inn and bask in a well-earned drink and bite to eat.
Start at The Fountaine Inn, Linton, Linton in Craven, North Yorkshire BD23 5HJ.
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 a disused quarry, and then head down a path that leads right to the sidings of the reservoir, which you’ll continue on throughout the route – there are footbridges, 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 make sure you’ve got a way home.
Start at The Stone House Inn, Thurcross, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4AH, or OS grid reference SE 16062 58651.
The Settle Railway Walk
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.
Across the main road 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.
This is one of the best pub walks you can do in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It kicks off at the Grassington National Park Centre, then heads north through the town to High Lane. This ancient walled lane was once a packhorse route that linked Grassington and Hebden.
Today, it’s a great walking route with fine views across the Wharfedale valley towards Simon’s Seat, Barden and Burnsall Fell. At the end of the lane, you’ll go through open fields – be warned, they can get muddy and you’ll have to tackle narrow stiles and steep steps to get to the site of the old Grassington Isolation Hospital, a former tuberculosis sanitarium from the early 1900s. Here, you’ll find the Grassington Park Estate meadows, one of the best examples of herb-rich hay meadows in the Dales.
It’s a short walk into the quaint industrial village of Hebden, where you can visit landmarks like the steel cable suspension bridge, Hebden Fell and The Clarendon Hotel for a mid-walk bevvy. To complete this 4-mile walk, join Tinkers Lane onto Edge Lane, with its rewarding views of Grass Wood Nature Reserve, Lea Green iron age field systems and Upper Wharfedale, before arriving back into Grassington for a pint at one of two proper Yorkshire country pubs, The Old Hall Inn or The Foresters Arms.
Start at Grassington National Park Centre, Hebden Road, Grassington, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 5LB, or OS grid reference SE 00283 63750.
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.
Take the 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 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.
This one is for the hardiest of walkers – but don’t worry, you’ve got two pubs to look forward to as you take on the scenic 10.5-mile route. Make sure you come prepared with a map, because this one goes through tough terrain and open moorland with no obvious path. You’ll start your walk at the Buckden National Park car park and follow The Dales Way along the River Wharfe until you get to Hubberholme.
Take a break here – it’s the last proper village until you get back to the start and The George Inn will definitely look after you with a pint and a plate of hearty pub grub. From there, cross the river bridge and get back onto The Dales Way up to Yockenthwaite, before heading South West, trekking along bridleways, farms and fields to the trig point at Horse Head.
Here’s where you’ll be rewarded for all the effort – the views from the top are incredible. On a clear day you can see everything from Fountains Fell, Plover Hill and Pen-y-ghent to Shunner Fell, Buckden Pike and even the Lakeland Fells. You’ll now head back towards Buckden, but be wary of the tricky terrain as you take in the bird’s eye vistas across Wharfedale. Once you’re back at the start, treat yourself to a drink and something to eat at The Buck Inn or The Lion.
Start at Buckden National Park car park, Buckden Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre, Buckden Wood Lane, Buckden, North Yorkshire, BD23 5JA or OS grid reference SD 94231 77197.
Arden Great Moor
If you want a walk with incredible views and a welcoming, dog-friendly pub at the start and the end, take on this circular route around Arden Great Moor. You’ll start outside The Inn in Hawnby, which you’ll definitely want to come back to later. It’s a longish route at 8.6 miles, but there’s only a small ascent, which comes right at the start as you head north from the village and up to the open moorland.
As you reach the top, you’ll get to gaze out over Hawnby Hill and Easterside Hill, before you take on an extended circuit of Arden Moor and go on to the Cleveland Way. Again, you’ll want to bring your camera, because it promises stunning vistas across the Vale of Mowbray, the Wensleydale hills and villages like Nether Silton and Kepwick, as well as the heather blossom covered moor itself.
Now it’s time to head back. You’ll walk along Harker Yates Ridge before descending into Thorodale Wood until you reach a clearing where Arden Hall will show itself. It’s then a short walk back into the centre of Hawnsby, where you can crown your excursion with a few of the Yorkshire ales on tap and a dinner made with local Yorkshire produce at The Inn.
Start at The Inn at Hawnby, North Yorkshire, YO62 5QS or OS grid reference SE 54302 89823.
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 the 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. 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 walking along a series of paths and stiles that lead you back into Kirkby Malzeard.
Along the relatively easy 4-mile route, you’ll see glimpses of Nidderdale’s beauty from the stunning open fields to the 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 Ebor Images licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.