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5 of the Best River Walks in Yorkshire

· Joseph Sheerin · Yorkshire

Take a walk beside the river.

Aysgarth Falls

Beautiful views, natural landmarks and historic attractions – make Yorkshire’s rivers the destination for your next walk.

There are loads of brilliant river walks in Yorkshire and these rambles are up there with the very best. They’ll take you through ancient woodland, lead you to breathtaking waterfalls and show you natural wonders you wouldn’t usually get to see, so the next time you put on your walking boots, seek out the region’s rivers. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Masham Circular

Masham Bridge

Copyright John M Wheatley licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

You can enjoy not one, but two rivers on this 4.7-mile jaunt around Masham. Start in the centre of the town and follow the Ripon Rowel through the broad bean fields and towards the River Burn. You’ll enter picturesque woodlands and follow the water for a few miles up to Low Burn Bridge. You can stop to take in the scenery and spot the wildlife around the banks before the Burn flows into the River Ure. You will then enter a tree-covered stretch of path that will take you right to the side of the water before you head back into Masham.

The Masham Circular walk starts at Market Place, Masham. 

The Strid Circular

The Strid

Credit: Heena Mistry licensed under Creative Commons

The Strid is one of the best river walks in Yorkshire. Park up at Bolton Abbey and take a leisurely stroll up to the Cavendish Pavilion cafe where you can take the waterside path into Strid Wood. The leafy surroundings provide a pleasant backdrop to the fast-moving river, which you’ll follow all the way up to Barden Bridge. You can cross here to join the opposite pathway to go back to the start. It’s just 4.7-miles to complete the whole circuit, but if the weather’s good, you can even extend the walk up to Simon’s Seat.

The Strid Circular walk starts on The Dales Way near Cavendish Pavilion. 

Richmond and the River Swale

Richmond and River Swale

Credit: Andrew Bowden licensed under Creative Commons

Historic landmarks, natural beauty spots and easygoing paths make this 3-mile walk around Richmond a beauty. Begin in the town centre and head to Green Bridge where you can take in stunning views of Richmond Castle before walking through the ancient woodlands of Billy Bank, Round Howe and Hudswell Woods. Once you reach the River Swale, you can cross the Round Howe Footbridge and enjoy the view before you join the riverside trail. It opens up into a series of sun-kissed clearings as you head to the Swale Rapids, then make your way back to the start.

The Richmond and the River Swale walk starts at Market Place, Richmond. 

Grewelthorpe Circular

Grewelthorpe, River Ure

Credit: Paul Buckingham licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Grewelthorpe is a picturesque village in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but the star of this 6.7-mile walk is the River Ure. You’ll start with a stroll down Nutwith Lane before you climb 215-metre to the top of Horsepasture Hill to look out over the North York Moors and Nutwith Common. This is where you’ll meet the River Ure – follow it downstream through the pasture fields at Badger Lane Farm and Nutwith Cote until you enter the woodland. There are a few riverside clearings here, perfect for a lunch break before you head back to the start on bridleways.

The Grewelthorpe Circular walk starts on Nunwith Lane, Grewelthorpe. 

West Burton and Aysgarth Falls Circular

Aysgarth Falls

Two sets of waterfalls and a beautiful river make this 5-mile circular walk one of the best in Yorkshire. You’ll start in the quaint village of West Burton and make your way to one of the Yorkshire Dales’ best kept secrets – West Burton Waterfall. It’s slightly overshadowed by your next destination, Aysgarth Falls. You can reach it by following the banks of the River Ure and walking through the Freeholders’ Wood Nature Reserve along fairly easy bridleways. This leads you to the three flights of falls which roar over the limestone steps below.

The West Burton and Aysgarth Falls Circular walk starts at Front Nook, West Burton.