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10 Wonderfully Short Walks in the Yorkshire Countryside

· Joseph Sheerin · Yorkshire

See the best of God’s Own Country in just a few hours.

Castle Hill, Huddersfield

Want a quick and easy ramble in the heart of Yorkshire? Enjoy the beautiful countryside on these short walks that anyone can do.

You don’t have to go on an epic adventure to enjoy the best of Yorkshire’s countryside. These walks are short and easy to do, in fact, they all come in at under 5 miles, so if you want a leisurely ramble that won’t wear you out, you’ve come to the right place. What are you waiting for? Get your walking boots on and rediscover the beauty of God’s Own Country.

Aysgarth Falls Circular

Aysgarth Falls

This ramble along the paths that surround Aysgarth Falls is one of the best short walks in Yorkshire. It offers incredible views, natural landmarks and historic attractions. You’ll wander through woodlands and pasture fields before you reach a vantage point where you can look out over Wensleydale and Bolton Castle. Finally, you’ll reach the falls and they’re a sight to behold with three flights of cascading water – bring your camera. You’ll find The Aysgarth Falls Hotel, a quintessential Yorkshire pub, at the end of the walk, if you want a well-deserved pint.

Check out the Aysgarth Falls Circular route.

Thirsk Circular

Hambleton Hills

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Why not head to the Yorkshire market town of Thirsk for a leisurely 3.5-mile walk? It’ll take you out into the heart of God’s Own Country for a couple of hours of wonderful scenery, incredible architecture and hidden gems. You can gaze out over the Hambleton Hills and visit the huge St Mary’s Parish Church, which dates back to 1430. Stop for a breather in the World of James Herriot Museum before you head back to the town centre – The Frankland Arms is a lovely traditional pub with local food and ale.

Check out the Thirsk Circular route.

Falling Foss and the Hermitage

Falling Foss

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You can discover the hidden beauty of the North York Moors with a breezy 2-mile jaunt to Falling Foss and the Hermitage. Start at May Beck car park and make your way into the nearby woodland on the way to Midge Hall, an old gamekeeper’s lodge that doubles as the Falling Foss Tea Garden. After a quick brew, head round the back to see the beautiful Falling Foss waterfall, which has a stunning 30-foot drop into May Beck. There’s a treat before you head back to the start – take a short detour from the falls to find The Hermitage, an old stone dwelling that was believed to be home to a hermit in the 19th century.

Check out the Falling Foss and the Hermitage route.

Almondbury Common Circular

Castle Hill

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This gem of a walk on the outskirts of Huddersfield is only 3.9-miles long and kicks off with a bang at a Scheduled Ancient Monument. You’ll start at the ruins of Castle Hill, a 12th-century motte-and-bailey castle with two iron age hill forts and a deserted medieval village. Once you’ve had a good look around, you’ll make your way across Almondbury Common and through Molly Carr Wood, Arthur Wood and Farnley Hill, before you reach the end. Thirsty work? Enjoy a real ale and spot of classic pub grub in The Radcliffe Arms nearby.

Check out the Almondbury Common Circular route.

Fell Beck Circular

Brimham Rocks

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The Fell Beck Circular is only 4.7-miles long, yet it takes you to some of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Yorkshire. You’ll start with a short walk up to Brimham Rocks where you can explore the breathtaking natural rock formations up close. While you’re there, admire the views across Nidderdale, an Area of Outstanding Beauty, before you make haste to Fell Beck. You’ll follow it downstream into the woodland and past the alpaca-covered Knox Hall, ending your trek with pub grub and a pint at The Half Moon Inn.

Check out the Fell Beck Circular route.

Lindley Wood Reservoir

Lindley Wood Reservoir

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You can explore the breathtaking Washburn Valley on an easy 2-mile walk that starts just north of Otley. You’ll wander through the forest and alongside the banks of Greystone Beck, before you reach Lindley Wood Reservoir. It’s a lovely spot, perfect for a picnic and a bit of bird spotting. Take in the views, then wander down to Norwood Bottom as you make your way to the end. You’ll finish in the village of Leathley where The Hunters Inn will be waiting to feed and water you.

Check out the Lindley Wood Reservoir route.

Knapton Wold Circular

Enclosure Rites

Credit: Jony Easterby

The Knapton Wold Circular is a gentle walk that offers incredible views of the Yorkshire Wolds. The 2.2-mile stroll takes you along slight slopes, grass paths and stony tracks, past Deep Dale Plantation before you head into the picturesque Knapton Wood. You’ll join the Wolds Way, which offers up stunning views in every direction, and on sunny days, you can see the Yorkshire coast at Filey. Look out for Jony Easterby’s Enclosure Rites artwork on the way and when you’re done, head to The Dawnay Arms for a well-earned pint.

Check out the Knapton Wold route.

Agden Reservoir Circular

Agden Reservoir

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You can see a sliver of the Peak District with one of the best short walks in Yorkshire. It’s a small, but rewarding 4.3-mile breeze around Agden Reservoir that kicks off with a beautiful walk from High Bradfield with views across the top edge of the Peaks. You’ll walk out towards the bright blue water of the reservoir and pass through Agden Wood, Bailey Hill and Rocher Edge. When you head back to the start, pop in to The Plough, a proper country pub with a massive beer garden perfect for sunny days.

Check out the Agden Reservoir Circular route.

Whitby Abbey and the Yorkshire Coast

Whitby Abbey

Yorkshire is home to a stunning coastline, so why not take a wander around Whitby Abbey? It’s bang on 5-miles and takes you from the abbey made famous in Peter Cushing’s Dracula along the coast to Saltwick Bay where the views out to sea will take your breath away. Once you reach the old lighthouse at the top of the cliff, you’ll head back to the start and into Whitby where The Pier Inn awaits with ales, classic grub and harbour views. Of course, you could always stop for proper fish and chips at Magpie Cafe.

Check out the Whitby Abbey and the Coast route.

Ingleton Waterfall Trail

Ingleton Waterfalls Trail

The Ingleton Waterfall Trail straddles the Cumbria and Yorkshire Dales border and this 4.5-mile walk takes you to six falls, a gorge and a glen. You’ll start at Swilla Glen, where you’ll following the River Twiss downstream into an ancient woodland of oak, ash and birch. You’ll pass Pecca Falls and Hollybush Spout before you reach a refreshment cabin where you can pick up treats for a mini picnic at the beautiful Thornton Force. It’s then onto Beezley Falls, Rival Falls and Baxenghyll Gorge before you reach the end at Snow Falls and head into Ingleton. Rest up in The Mason’s Freehouse with a pint.

Check out the Ingleton Waterfall Trail route.