The Yorkshire landscape is an iconic part of the shared British consciousness. The heather-covered, windswept moors, lush dales and pastoral farms have become iconic through both adaptations of novels by the Brontë sisters and the packaging of the region’s namesake tea. That being said, there’s more to the Yorkshire landscape than these famous scenes. The area is home to an amazing variety of sights, from the famous moors to sharp cliffs crashing into the North Sea and from green fields to lush dales.
With several national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the county, it’s no surprise that Yorkshire is a walker’s paradise. So if you’re planning on hiking in Yorkshire, read on to discover five uniquely beautiful walks in this northern region.
Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire Dales National Park
The Aysgarth Falls are a sight to be seen: a triple waterfall surrounded by farms and lush woodlands that are covered in a blanket of wildflowers in the spring and summer. This 2.2-mile loop is the perfect way to experience the waterfalls while enjoying a day of gentle walking in the pastoral landscape that surrounds them. With minimal elevation and uncomplicated terrain, this walk is easy enough for families and beginners alike.
You’ll start by venturing through charming woodland with plenty of beautiful birds to spot before cutting through green fields with views of Bolton Castle and turning back the way you came to admire the waterfalls. It’s the perfect opportunity for a family photo! The walk begins and ends at the Mill Race Teashop, meaning you can enjoy a nice cuppa and a cake or even afternoon tea after completing the trail to reward yourself.
Aysgarth Falls (source)
Rosedale, North York Moors National Park
Yorkshire played a huge role in the 18th and 19th-century industrial revolution, when coal mining in the region grew exponentially. This led to the populations in villages like Rosedale to boom. The signs of this industrial past are still visible in the area around Rosedale Abbey and make for a great hike that allows you to get a glimpse of this part of Yorkshire’s history.
This 7.5-mile hike starts in the village of Rosedale Abbey and takes you along small country roads, fields and the old railway that ran to Rosedale, offering great views over the surrounding area. Along the way, you’ll pass Victorian terraced houses that once housed miners as well as the ruins of iron kiln buildings and other signs pointing to this bygone era.
Malham Cove & Gordale Scar, Yorkshire Dales National Park
The Yorkshire landscape was shaped over millennia by the ice age, resulting in dramatic, often almost otherworldly rock formations. These can be found in all corners of Yorkshire, but the Yorkshire Dales National Park is one of the best places to see the remnants of the ice age in nature. One of the most famous examples of this is Malham Cove, a curved limestone formation moulded by a waterfall carrying melted water from glaciers.
The dramatic scenery here has been featured in films and TV many times over the years, most famously in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Follow in Harry and Hermione’s footsteps by taking on this 7.6-mile hike that takes you through another ice age rock formation, Gordale Scar, before heading to Malham Cove. The whole hike should take about three hours and includes a bit of climbing when exiting the Gordale Scar.
Malham Cove (source)
The Esk Valley - North York Moors National Park
Widely considered to be the most beautiful part of the North York Moors, Esk Valley offers a great spot for hiking. You can take on the entirety of the 37-mile length of the official Esk Valley Way or simply a part of it. This route makes up the second section of the Esk Valley Way, stretching from Castleton, a village nestled in the heather-clad moorland, to the riverside village of Lealhom.
Along the way, you’ll pass the Moors National Park Centre where you can stop for a visit, enjoying the art gallery, play areas and cafe at the centre. The linear route is 7.5 miles long, taking you around four hours to complete. At Lealhom, you can grab a train back to the Castleton Moor station where you started, taking around 10 minutes, or simply turn back and walk back the way you came.
Runswick and Staithes, Cleveland Way
While Yorkshire usually makes people think of rolling fields and moorland as far as the eye can see, the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast offers a very different kind of landscape. The area is perfect for a day of exploring coastal villages and walking along the steep cliffs that plunge down into the North Sea.
Taking on part or all of the Cleveland Way is an ideal way to experience the heritage coast, curving its way through the North York Moors until it reaches the coast. For a half-day of hiking, we recommend this 4.5-mile circular walk along the coastline and through the picturesque fishing villages of Runswick and Staithes. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning sea views and come across remnants of Yorkshire’s industrial past, like reservoirs and quarries that supported the iron and alum mining in the area.
Planning your walking holiday in Yorkshire
There are few things better after a long day of hiking than settling down by a campfire with loved ones as the sun sets before crawling into a comfortable, warm bed. At Wigwam® Holidays, we believe in making holidays in the great outdoor cosier than your average tent could. Our timber-clad glamping pods are well-insulated and heated, with electricity and all the basic amenities you need for a great hiking holiday.
Our selection of sites for glamping in Yorkshire are all within easy reach of stunning nature trails in some of the best AONBs and national parks in the UK. To start planning your glamping holiday in Yorkshire, click the link below to view our glamping sites in the county.