15 Best Walks In Knaresborough (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks In Knaresborough (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Hi there! If you’re looking for the best walks in Knaresborough, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve compiled a list of fifteen of the best hikes and nice walks in and around Knaresborough that you’re sure to enjoy.
From the Nidd Gorge Nature Reserve to the Knaresborough to Harrogate Cycle route, there’s plenty to explore in this beautiful area of North Yorkshire.
So take a look at my list and plan your next adventure in Knaresborough!

Nidd Gorge Nature Reserve

River Nidd, Nidd Gorge
Photo by N Chadwick

Stroll through Nidd Gorge Nature Reserve and marvel at its beauty! With its stunning views, diverse wildlife, and stunning landscape, the Nidd Gorge Nature Reserve offers a unique and breathtaking experience.

From the riverside paths to the ancient woodlands, a walk through the nature reserve is a great way to explore and appreciate the wild beauty of North Yorkshire.

The Nidd Gorge Nature Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife and plants. From wildflowers to birds of prey, you can observe a wide range of species while enjoying a leisurely stroll.

The reserve also boasts a number of historic sites, from the ruins of old mills to the remains of an Iron Age fort.

With its spectacular views, the Nidd Gorge Nature Reserve is a great place to take a relaxing walk and enjoy the beauty of the Yorkshire countryside.

Ripon Canal

Ripon Canal bridge near to Grange Farm
Photo by Phil Catterall

Discover the beauty of the Ripon Canal as you wander along its winding pathways. With its tranquil waters, picturesque landscape, and plethora of wildlife, the Ripon Canal is a great place for a peaceful walk or hike.

Its towpaths are perfect for strolling, running, or cycling. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the canal, from the waterfowl and other birds that call it home to the boats and ships that travel its length.

You’ll pass through a variety of habitats, from woodland to meadows and wetlands. Along the way, you’ll also find plenty of historic sites, including the Roman fort at Aldborough.

The Ripon Canal is a great place for a leisurely afternoon or a more active exploration – no matter what you choose, you’re sure to be enchanted by its beauty.

The Great Yorkshire Forest

Knaresborough Round in Parsonage Wood
Photo by Chris Heaton

Experience the beauty of the Great Yorkshire Forest with its lush green trees, stunning wildflowers, and diverse wildlife. Located just outside of Knaresborough, the Great Yorkshire Forest is a perfect place for a day out.

With over 11,000 acres of woodland, this vast area offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a challenging hike, or simply a peaceful spot to relax, the Great Yorkshire Forest has it all.

The Great Yorkshire Forest is home to an array of flora and fauna. With a variety of trees, such as beech, oak, ash, and birch, the woods are full of life. In the summer months, the vibrant wildflowers provide a splash of colour, while the wildlife is plentiful all year round – look out for roe deer, badgers, foxes, and even the occasional red squirrel.

With plenty of paths and trails, visitors can explore the forest with ease. Stop in one of the many picnic spots for a bite to eat, or take a break alongside one of the many tranquil rivers. For those looking for a longer walk, there are plenty of routes to choose from.

With something for everyone, the Great Yorkshire Forest is a must-visit destination for those looking to explore the beauty of Knaresborough.

The Knaresborough Castle

Explore the historical significance of Knaresborough Castle, a 900-year-old royal fortress with breathtaking views of the town.

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Nestled in the hills of North Yorkshire, Knaresborough Castle is a unique and captivating place to explore. It has a long and varied history, having been built by the Normans in the 12th century and used as a royal fortress by Richard III. It has also been used as a prison and a garrison over the years.

The main tower still stands, giving visitors a sense of awe and wonder as they take in the views of the town below.

The castle offers visitors a chance to explore the grounds and discover the mysterious cave that is believed to have been used by the Knights of the Round Table. You can also take a stroll around the castle’s grounds and view the stunning views of the River Nidd and the surrounding countryside.

A visit to the castle is a great way to spend an afternoon, and it is a popular spot for walkers and hikers who enjoy taking in the stunning scenery.

Knaresborough Castle is a must-see destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of the Yorkshire countryside.

The Mother Shipton’s Cave

Situated near Knaresborough Castle, Mother Shipton’s Cave is a captivating natural wonder that has been the focus of many legends. The site is said to be the birthplace of 16th-century prophetess Ursula Shipton, and her birthplace is marked by a statue.

The cave itself is made up of a series of limestone chambers, the largest of which is an impressive 40 feet deep. There’s also a nearby petrifying well, where objects placed in the water over time become encrusted with minerals.

Visitors to the cave can take a guided tour down its stone steps, and learn about the history of the area, as well as the many legends that surround it. Afterward, there’s a gift shop and tea room, where visitors can pick up souvenirs and relax with a hot cup of tea.

It’s a great way to spend a day out in Knaresborough, and a reminder of the area’s rich history and culture.

The Knaresborough Viaduct

Enjoy a breathtaking view of the River Nidd and surrounding countryside from the Knaresborough Viaduct. The viaduct was constructed in 1851. It spans across the length of the river and offers spectacular views of the river, town, and countryside.

The walk up to the viaduct is a pleasant one. There are plenty of opportunities to take in the sights and sounds of the old market town of Knaresborough.

The viaduct carries the Harrogate-York line. It’s a great spot to watch the trains go by below. This is a great place to take a break and enjoy a picnic while admiring the picturesque views.

From the top of the viaduct, you can also spot the ruins of Knaresborough Castle and Mother Shipton’s Cave in the distance. It’s a great way to end a pleasant walk through Knaresborough’s countryside.

The Strid Woodland Walk

Leaving the Knaresborough Viaduct behind, I decided to take a walk through the Strid Woodland.

This woodland walk is located along the River Wharfe and offers a fantastic view of the river from the main path.

The Strid Woodland Walk is a great way to explore the area, as it features a variety of landscapes and wildlife.

There are also plenty of benches along the way, so you can take a break and enjoy the view.

The path is well-maintained, and there are numerous trails to choose from, so you can take a short stroll or a longer hike.

The trails are lined with trees and bushes, and you can often spot birds, deer, and other animals along the way.

With its stunning views and an abundance of wildlife, the Strid Woodland Walk is a great place to explore and take in the beauty of the area.

The River Nidd Trail

The River Nidd Trail offers a unique opportunity to explore some of the area’s most beautiful scenery. It’s a 4.5 mile (7.2km) walk that follows the course of the River Nidd from the edge of Knaresborough to the village of Ferrensby.

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Along the way, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the river valley, lush forest, and rolling hills. The trail follows a bridleway and is suitable for most types of walkers, including those with wheelchairs and pushchairs.

The River Nidd Trail is an excellent way to experience the area’s natural beauty and discover some of its hidden gems. Along the way, visitors can stop to take in the sights and sounds of the countryside, such as the wildlife, wildflowers, and historic bridges that cross the river.

The trail also passes by some of the area’s most popular attractions, such as the Grade I Listed Knaresborough Castle and the 12th-century Parish Church of St John the Baptist.

At the end of the walk, visitors can take a break in Ferrensby, where they can enjoy a well-earned rest at one of the pubs or cafes.

The Knaresborough to Boroughbridge Cycle Route

Exploring the Knaresborough to Boroughbridge Cycle Route is a great way to experience the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire countryside. This is a 24-mile route that takes you through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled landscapes in the area.

The route starts in Knaresborough and passes through villages like Marton-le-Moor, Boroughbridge, and Aldborough. As you cycle along the route, you’ll be able to admire the picturesque views of rivers, hills, and meadows.

Along the way, you’ll also be able to visit some of the area’s historical landmarks, such as Aldborough Roman Site, and take in the charming rural atmosphere of the small towns and villages.

This is a perfect route for anyone looking for a leisurely cycle ride that’ll leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

The Knaresborough to Ripley Cycle Route

After exploring the Knaresborough to Boroughbridge Cycle Route, I’m ready for another cycling adventure. This time, I’m tackling the Knaresborough to Ripley Cycle Route.

This 13.8 mile route takes you through some of the most beautiful and varied scenery in North Yorkshire. It follows a mix of quiet country lanes, towpaths, and off-road tracks.

The first half of the route takes you along the River Nidd, where you can take in the stunning views of the river valley. Further along, you’ll come across the ruins of Knaresborough Castle, an impressive reminder of the town’s long history.

The route then continues along the banks of the River Ure, through rolling farmland, meadows, and woods. At the end of the route, you can explore the quaint market town of Ripley, with its old-fashioned shops and cafés.

The Knaresborough to Ripley Cycle Route is a great way to experience the best of North Yorkshire’s natural beauty.

The Knaresborough to Fountains Abbey Cycle Route

Experience the stunning scenery of North Yorkshire on the Knaresborough to Fountains Abbey Cycle Route!

This route takes you along a path of historical sites, including the ruins of Fountains Abbey, one of the largest and most complete monastic ruins in England.

The route is approximately 18 miles long and takes you through the picturesque countryside of North Yorkshire and the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As you cycle, you can take in breathtaking views of rolling hills, meandering rivers, and historic landmarks.

Along the way, you will also pass through the charming market town of Boroughbridge, with its unique shops and restaurants.

There are plenty of places to stop and rest, or take a break for lunch, so you can make the most of this enjoyable and leisurely ride.

The route is suitable for all levels of cyclists, so even if you’re a beginner you can still experience the beauty of North Yorkshire at your own pace.

The Knaresborough to Harrogate Cycle Route

Pedal along the Knaresborough to Harrogate Cycle Route to marvel at the beauty of North Yorkshire!

This route is 17 miles long, and offers spectacular views of the rural landscape, including the magnificent River Nidd and its stunning waterfalls.

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You’ll also get to explore a variety of historical sites, including Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens, which are both a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The route is well signposted, and the terrain is mostly flat so it’s suitable for all types of cyclists, from novice to experienced.

Along the way you’ll be able to spot a range of wildlife, including otters, kingfishers, and deer.

Plus, the route passes through the beautiful towns of Knaresborough and Harrogate, where you can stop off to explore the local shops and cafes.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride or an adventure, the Knaresborough to Harrogate Cycle Route is the perfect choice for a memorable day out.

The Knaresborough to Brimham Rocks Cycle Route

Take a thrilling ride along the Knaresborough to Brimham Rocks Cycle Route and explore the breathtaking landscape of North Yorkshire! This adventure is a spectacular way to take in the stunning views the area has to offer.

The route itself is a mix of winding country roads and picturesque countryside paths. The route begins in the bustling town of Knaresborough and follows the River Nidd to its source near Brimham Rocks.

Along the way, you will be surrounded by rolling hills and lush green fields. Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including deer, foxes, and birds of prey.

The route is considered moderate in difficulty and is suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Once you arrive at Brimham Rocks, you can explore the area, take in the stunning views, or just take a well-deserved break.

All in all, the Knaresborough to Brimham Rocks Cycle Route is a fantastic way to experience the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.

The Knaresborough to Pateley Bridge Cycle Route

Meander through rolling hills and explore the charming villages of North Yorkshire on the Knaresborough to Pateley Bridge Cycle Route!

This route is ideal for cyclists of all levels. It has a total distance of 11 miles and an estimated cycling time of three hours.

Starting in the ancient market town of Knaresborough, the path follows the River Nidd upstream. It passes through a number of beautiful villages, such as Winksley and Dallowgill, where you can stop to take in the scenery.

As you make your way to the finish line of Pateley Bridge, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Nidderdale Valley, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the Yorkshire Pennines.

You’ll also get the opportunity to explore the spectacular Brimham Rocks, a collection of weathered sandstone formations, and the Staveley Nature Reserve, which is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride or a challenging trek, the Knaresborough to Pateley Bridge Cycle Route is sure to provide an unforgettable experience!

The Knaresborough to Bishop Monkton Cycle Route

Explore the North Yorkshire countryside on the Knaresborough to Bishop Monkton Cycle Route, a stunning 11-mile journey that’ll take you past rolling hills and picturesque villages.

The route starts in the historic town of Knaresborough, and takes you towards the village of Bishop Monkton.

Along the way, you’ll pass through the stunning countryside of North Yorkshire, with views of the River Nidd and Nidderdale AONB.

You’ll also have the chance to explore the quaint villages of Walton, Littlethorpe, and Scotton.

The route is mostly flat and easy to navigate, making it suitable for all levels of cyclists.

As well as cycling, you can also take in the sights while walking or horse-riding.

Stop off at one of the many pubs or cafes for a bite to eat, or take a stroll around the nearby towns and villages.

There’s something for everyone on the Knaresborough to Bishop Monkton Cycle Route, so why not explore the stunning North Yorkshire countryside today?

Conclusion

Wrapping up, Knaresborough has some of the best walks in the area. Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll, a challenging hike, or an invigorating cycle route, this picturesque town has something for everyone.

I’ve been lucky enough to experience several of these routes and can highly recommend a visit to Nidd Gorge Nature Reserve, Ripon Canal, The Great Yorkshire Forest, Mother Shipton’s Cave, and Knaresborough Castle.

With so many stunning routes to explore, why not make the most of the great outdoors and discover all that Knaresborough has to offer?

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.