10 Wonderfully Short Walks in the Yorkshire Countryside

· Joseph Sheerin · Outdoors

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

Agden Reservoir

If you want a quick and easy ramble through the heart of Yorkshire, these short walks promise beautiful countryside in spades.

Walking in Yorkshire doesn’t have to be some kind of epic adventure, it can be a gentle, rejuvenating experience for any and all. These 10 walks are all short in length and easy to manage – in fact, they each come in at under 5-miles long, so if you want a leisurely ramble that won’t wear you out but will provide buckets of natural beauty, look no further. What are you waiting for? Get your walking boots on and rediscover the beauty of God’s Own County.

Aysgarth Falls Circular

Aysgarth Falls, waterfall

This ramble along the paths that encircle Aysgarth Falls is one of the best short walks in Yorkshire. Incredible views, natural landmarks and historic attractions are in plentiful supply. You’ll wander through woodlands and across pasture fields before reaching the vantage point where you can appreciate views over Wensleydale and onto Bolton Castle. As you reach the end, you’ll finally come to the falls and what a sight they are to behold – the three flights of cascading water rushing past you calls for getting the camera out.

The walk starts at Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3TH. Check out the route.

Thirsk Circular

Hambleton Hills

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Thirsk is a quaint Yorkshire market town that’s also the focus of a leisurely 4-mile walk that’s good for all ages and abilities. It will lead you out into the heart of the county for a couple of hours that promise wonderful scenery, incredible architecture and hidden gems. Views out over the Hambleton Hills and Yorkshire Dales make for the perfect spots to pause and take it all in, before you visit two major landmarks. First, St Mary’s Parish Church, a towering sanctuary that dates back to 1430, and then The World of James Herriot Museum.

The walk starts at Thirsk Station, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 4LT. Check out the route.

Falling Foss and the Hermitage

Falling Foss waterfall

This 1-mile jaunt is one of the finest easy walks Yorkshire has to offer, all while revealing the hidden beauty of the North York Moors. It starts at May Beck car park and on into nearby woodland to reach Midge Hall, an old gamekeeper’s lodge that now houses the Falling Foss Tea Garden. Enjoy a brew, before nipping round the back to find the Falling Foss waterfall. It’s a concealed slice of tranquil charm, rushing 30-feet down into May Beck. Before the end, visit The Hermitage, an old stone dwelling that was believed to be home to a hermit.

The walk starts at Littlebeck Woods Car Park, Little Beck Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 5HA. Check out the 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 – and you should make the time to – you’ll make your way across Almondbury Common and through the sun-dappled natural wonders of Molly Carr Wood, Arthur Wood and Farnley Hill, before you reach the end.

The walk starts at Ashes Common, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD4 6TE. Check out the route.

Fell Beck Circular

Brimham Rocks

It’s only 4.7-miles long, but the Fell Beck Circular leads you to some of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Yorkshire. You’ll start with a short walk up to Brimham Rocks where the awe-inspiring natural rock formations are worth examining in close quarters. While you’re there, swing around to admire views across Nidderdale, a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty, before you make haste to Fell Beck. You’ll follow it downstream into woodlands and past the alpaca-covered grounds of Knox Hall before returning to the start.

The walk starts at Brimham Rocks, Brimham Moor Road, Summerbridge, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 4DW. Check out the route.

Lindley Wood Reservoir

Lindley

The Washburn Valley is one of the best parts of Yorkshire for an easy walk – as this 2-mile ramble proves. It’s just north of Otley and kicks off with a wander through the forest and alongside the banks of Greystone Beck. The paths will lead you to Lindley Wood Reservoir, a perfectly lovely spot that’s ideal for a mid-ramble picnic and maybe even a spot of birdwatching – bring the binoculars! Enjoy the views and then make your way down to Norwood Bottom on your way the end, which will see you with a bit of time in the pretty village of Leathley.

The walk starts at Leathley Village Hall, Stainburn Close, Leathley, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 2LD. Check out the route.

Knapton Wold Circular

Yorkshire Wolds

The Knapton Wold Circular is a short walk that offers incredible views of the Yorkshire Wolds. The easygoing 2.2-mile stroll takes you along slight slopes, grass paths and stony tracks, past Deep Dale Plantation before you head into the picturesque surrounds of Knapton Wood. From here, you’ll join the Wolds Way, which offers up stunning views in every direction, and on sunny days, you can even see the Yorkshire coast at Filey. On your way, make sure you keep a look out for Jony Easterby’s Enclosure Rites artwork.

The walk starts at Wolds Way Caravan and Camping, West Wold Farm, Malton, North Yorkshire, YO17 8JE. Check out the route.

Agden Reservoir Circular

Agden, Dale Dike and Strines reservoirs, Bradfield, Yorkshire

You can see a sliver of the Yorkshire part 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. There are a few landmarks to pay attention to on your way – the low peat moorland of Black peak and a 12th-century motte and bailey castle.

The walk starts at Bradfield Village Fellowship Cricket Club, Cricket Pavillion, Low Bradfield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S6 6LB. Check out the route.

Whitby Abbey and the Yorkshire Coast

Whitby Abbey

Yorkshire is home to a stunning coastline, so why not take a wander along it while passing one of its most famous landmarks, the ruins of Whitby Abbey? This 4.5-mile walk takes you from the town and up towards the abbey made famous in Peter Cushing’s Dracula, before you head along the coast via The Cleveland Way 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, pause to enjoy the views and then head back to the start into Whitby.

The walk starts at Whitby, Abbey Lane, North Yorkshire, YO22 4JT. Check out the 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 follow 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.

The walk starts at Broadwood Entrance, Ingleton, North Yorkshire, LA6 3ET. Check out the route.