Britain has some of the best hiking destinations in the world, and among those, some of the most majestic are to be found in Yorkshire. But Yorkshire’s a big place, so if you’re trying to decide exactly where to walk it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here are five of the best walks you can find in Yorkshire, whether you’re starting out on your first walk or looking for a really challenging hike.
This walk starts out at the Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre, and is actually a pretty easy stroll compared to most routes. Starting from SE012888 on your Ordinance Survey (you’ll need your Ordinance Survey maps for all of these walks), the walk will take you 2.2 miles in one or two hours, and is perfect for family outings.
The route will take you through charming woodland, scenic looking fields and eventually turns around to take you through Low Force, Middle Force and High Force, the three beautiful cascading waterfalls that visitors love. It’s a relatively short hike, so feel free to take your time and drink in the scenery.
Crummack Dale and Norber Erratics
This walk starts out from Austwick village, Ordinance Survey reference SD768686. It’ll take you 5.7 miles over two or three hours, and is just a bit more of a challenge than the afternoon stroll that is Aysgarth Falls.
Now personally, this is one of my very favourite walks as it goes into the Norber Erratics. If you’re a bit of a geology nerd like me this place is a paradise. You’ll find limestone and Silurian sandstone boulders, and the red and green whetstone of the Moughton Scar. There’s also some fantastic views, such as the one you can see from the top of the drop into Crummack Dale.
Catrigg Force and Attermire Scar Walk
This walk starts in Settle, where Alfred Wainwright began his legendary epic hike up to Hadrian’s Wall and back. This is more of a hike than a walk, talking you 11.2 miles over four or five hours, it’s a challenge for intermediate hikers.
This walk is a walk full of secrets. It will take you to Catrigg Force, a magical hidden waterfall that it feels great to discover. You’ll then end up following a quiet road down to Victoria Cave and the Attermire Scar, before eventually finding your way back to Settle.
Simon’s Seat and Troller’s Gill from Strid Wood
Okay, we’re getting onto the real challenges now. This hike starts out at lovely Pavilion cafe in the Bolton Abbey Estate, and goes on to cover 13.2 miles over five or six hours.
What’s more, it’s steep. The initial leg of the walk will see you climb over 350 metres, with a highpoint of 485 metres at Simon’s Seat. But it’s worth it for the breathtaking views you’ll get over the desolate Barden Fell. Many hikers prefer to stop for lunch here before starting back down to Parceval Hall and the wonderfully named Troller’s Gill. You’ll then head along the River Whafe, past the magnificient waterfalls of Strid Wood. It’s hard going, but worth every minute of it.
The Three Peaks Walk
Okay, now we’re headed into the big leagues. This walk is a legendary hiking challenge, one of those things that anyone who’s serious about their walking shout try at least nice, and anyone who isn’t should probably leave well alone.
Starting off at Horton in Ribblesdale, you’re going to walk 25 miles. If you’re quick you could hypothetically complete the walk in eight hours, however it’s not unusual for the entire trek to take up to fourteen hours. This is a real challenge for serious hikers, many of which hop over from Europe by ferry to attempt it.
There are various routes you can take, but you what’s compulsory is that you climb the titular Three Peaks – the 694 metres Penyghent, the 736 metre Whernside and the 723 metres Ingleborough. You’re going to spending a large chunk of the walk climbing and descending, so you need to be properly equipped and in good physical fitness. However if you can do it, the views are well worth it, as is the sense of achievement when you finally get to the end.
- License: Creative Commons image source
By Sam Wright
Sam Wright is a writer based in Norwich, Norfolk.