15 Best Walks in North Yorkshire (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in North Yorkshire (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Are you longing for a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life?

Looking for a way to escape the stress, stretch your legs, and take in some breathtaking views?

Then look no further than North Yorkshire – home to some of the best walks in England.

From challenging hikes to leisurely strolls, this region has something for everyone.

1. Roseberry Topping And Cook’S Monument

Captain Cooks Monument
Photo by Paul Buckingham

Roseberry Topping and Cook’s Monument are two of North Yorkshire’s most popular attractions.

They offer stunning views and great walks that will reward hikers with an unforgettable experience!

Located in the North York Moors National Park, this area is perfect for a day out or a relaxing weekend.

A walk up Roseberry Topping will take you to the summit, where you can see stunning views of Cleveland, Sutton Bank, and the surrounding countryside.

From here you can also spot Captain Cook’s Monument – a 135-foot tower built in 1771 to commemorate his achievements.

The hike up the hill is surprisingly easy and very enjoyable – with plenty of stops along the way to admire the breathtaking scenery.

Once at the top, make sure to take some time to appreciate the view from all angles.

Don’t forget your camera as you won’t want to miss out on capturing these special moments!

For those looking for something more challenging, there are plenty of walking routes around Cook’s Monument too.

These trails vary in difficulty and length, so there’s something for everyone whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll.

So why not get outdoors and explore North Yorkshire’s best walks?

You won’t regret it!

2. Kettlewell And Starbotton

Footpath between Kettlewell and Starbotton
Photo by Graham Robson

Kettlewell and Starbotton are two small villages located in the beautiful countryside of North Yorkshire.

They offer some of the most tranquil, picturesque walks around.

Both villages have stunning views of the River Wharfe and rolling hills that look down upon them.

The walk from Kettlewell to Starbotton is a gentle one, with plenty of opportunity to take in the incredible scenery.

From Kettlewell, you can take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank before crossing a bridge into Starbotton.

Here, you can pause for a while to admire the picturesque village before heading back again via an alternative route through fields and meadows.

No matter which way you choose to explore, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of nature’s beauty at every turn.

The sounds of birdsong fill the air and wildflowers bloom in abundance during springtime – it’s easy to forget your worries and just enjoy being out in nature.

Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a more challenging hike, Kettlewell and Starbotton is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

3. Robin Hood’S Bay And Boggle Hole

Boggle Hole at Robin Hood's Bay
Photo by Mat Fascione

A visit to Robin Hood’s Bay and Boggle Hole is an absolute must for anyone exploring North Yorkshire.

Just a few miles north of Whitby, the coastline here offers dramatic views, plenty of wildlife, and some fantastic walks.

The area is steeped in history and legend, with tales of smugglers and shipwrecks providing a backdrop to your exploration.

The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is the unique village of Robin Hood’s Bay – a picturesque mix of quaint cottages and winding cobbled streets that were once home to smugglers.

A walk along the beach will take you past Boggle Hole – a rocky cove with a large cave where smugglers used to hide their contraband.

There are also several impressive clifftops and walks offering stunning views across the bay – perfect for those seeking drama and adventure.

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From here, you can explore the rest of North Yorkshire’s coast, taking in more beautiful landscapes along the way.

Whether you’re looking for spectacular scenery or an escape from everyday life, this corner of England has something for everyone!

4. Forge Valley Woods

Next on our list of the best walks in North Yorkshire is the beautiful Forge Valley Woods.

Located in the heart of the North York Moors National Park, this stunning stretch of woodland is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the area.

The woods are full of lush greenery, with ancient oaks and beech trees standing tall amongst ferns and wildflowers.

There are plenty of trails to explore, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

And if you’re lucky enough, you might even spot some wildlife along your journey!

For those who prefer a slower pace, there are also plenty of opportunities to simply relax and take in the natural beauty on offer.

The woods are home to an array of tranquil streams and ponds, perfect for a spot of birdwatching or some peaceful contemplation.

You can even take a picnic with you and enjoy it on one of these idyllic watersides.

Whether you want to explore its many trails or simply sit back and soak up its serene atmosphere, Forge Valley Woods is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

5. Sutton Bank

Sutton Bank is an ideal destination for a walking holiday in North Yorkshire.

Its stunning views and rugged terrain make it a great place to explore nature and take in the beauty of the landscape.

It’s also an easy walk, so anyone of any age can enjoy it.

The first part of the walk takes you up to Sutton Bank, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

You’ll traverse meadows, rolling hills, and woodlands as you go higher up the bank.

As you reach its peak, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views across the Vale of York and beyond – on a clear day you can even see as far as Whitby Abbey!

The rest of your journey will take you back down through wildflower meadows and woodlands, leading all the way to Kilburn White Horse – an iconic landmark carved into the side of a hill near Thirsk.

Here, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to relax and take in your surroundings; whether that’s enjoying a picnic lunch or admiring the wildlife around you.

All this adds up to a fantastic day out – one that will stay with you long after your feet have touched back home soil.

6. Rievaulx Abbey

Leaving Sutton Bank behind us, we now make our way to Rievaulx Abbey.

This is a place of great beauty, and the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The ruins are situated in a valley surrounded by rolling hills, and its serene atmosphere reflects its rich history.

As we cross the threshold into this ancient monastery, it’s easy to imagine what life must have been like here centuries ago.

We can almost hear the monks chanting in the chapel, or smell the aroma of their meals being cooked nearby.

We can feel a sense of peace as we explore these centuries-old walls and marvel at their intricate carvings and sculptures.

It’s an experience that will stay with us forever.

This peaceful sanctuary is not just a place to admire; it’s also an ideal spot for a leisurely walk along meandering trails through peaceful woodlands or alongside tranquil streams.

Here, we can take time out to relax and reflect as we take in some of nature’s finest views.

The area around Rievaulx Abbey offers something for everyone: from stunning scenery to plenty of wildlife sightings.

Whether you’re looking for a gentle stroll or an invigorating hike, this is the perfect place to get away from it all and lose yourself in North Yorkshire’s natural beauty.

7. Dalby Forest & Bridestones Loop

The Dalby Forest & Bridestones loop is an excellent walk for those seeking to explore North Yorkshire’s captivating landscape.

Taking in the scenic views of the North York Moors, this 7-mile trail is perfect for a day out with friends or family.

As you enter the forest, you’ll be surrounded by towering pines and vibrant heathers.

The path meanders through this stunning woodland before reaching the majestic Bridestones, a collection of huge stones that form an impressive natural archway.

You can’t help but be amazed at the beauty of this place as you take in the spectacular views across the moors.

Along the way, you’ll also find plenty of wildlife including red deer and woodpeckers that call this area home.

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With its breathtaking scenery and tranquil atmosphere, it’s easy to see why this is one of North Yorkshire’s most popular walks.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, this loop offers something for everyone.

Enjoy your exploration of this picturesque region!

8. Helmsley Castle & Rievaulx Abbey Loop

The next leg of the journey begins in the charming town of Helmsley.

There lies an incredible castle that towers over the town. This impressive site dates back to Norman times and provides visitors with a captivating story about its history and past inhabitants.

The surrounding gardens are filled with wildflowers, providing a stunning backdrop for an enjoyable stroll around the grounds.

A short drive away from Helmsley is Rievaulx Abbey, another historical gem set in beautiful North Yorkshire.

The abbey is surrounded by rolling hills and lush greenery, making it a breathtaking sight to behold.

Visitors can explore the ruins, learn about its fascinating past, and find peace in the tranquil atmosphere of this ancient space.

With stunning views across the countryside, this is an ideal spot for a peaceful walk and some reflection on life’s greatest gifts: freedom, beauty and adventure.

9. Yorkshire Three Peaks Circular

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Circular is a must-see for anyone looking to explore the north of England.

This challenging trek takes you through some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the region.

Starting from Horton in Ribblesdale, this 24-mile walk takes you up and over the three highest peaks of the Yorkshire Dales – Pen-y-ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough.

With spectacular views throughout, it’s a great way to get your adrenaline pumping and embrace some well-deserved freedom.

This route is well marked with plenty of signposts and markers along the way, so you won’t get lost.

There’s also lots of wildlife to spot, including red grouse, skylarks, curlews, kestrels, and even an occasional Peregrine!

The terrain can be quite rough at times but there are plenty of places to rest and refuel on your journey.

And when you finally reach the summit of each peak, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views that will stay with you forever.

10. Ingleton Waterfalls Circular

The Ingleton Waterfalls Circular is an absolute must for anyone looking for a stunningly beautiful walk in North Yorkshire.

With its spectacular cascades, deep ravines and lush green valleys, it’s clear why this iconic route has enchanted so many visitors.

From the start of the walk in the picturesque village of Ingleton, you’ll traverse a meandering path that leads to a series of eight enchanting waterfalls.

As you descend into the valley, you’ll be captivated by the thunderous roar of water cascading over limestone rocks.

You may even spot some of Ingleton’s famous wild goats as they wander around the area!

Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take photos or just enjoy the scenery.

After crossing over a footbridge at Thornton Force, you’ll reach Swilla Glen where you can explore more of North Yorkshire’s breathtaking natural beauty.

From here, it’s just a short distance back to Ingleton to complete your journey.

This spellbinding circular route will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired – an ideal escape from everyday life!

11. Malham And Gordale Scar

Situated in the heart of North Yorkshire, Malham, and Gordale Scar provide visitors with some of the most breathtaking views in the area.

With spectacular limestone cliffs, gorges, and waterfalls, this natural landscape is a must-see for anyone looking for an awe-inspiring day out.

The 2.5-mile circular walk from Malham Tarn to Gordale Scar is full of stunning scenery.

The path winds through lush valleys, past lively streams and up to the top of the scar where you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring views across the countryside.

For those feeling adventurous, why not take a dip in one of the many pools found at the bottom of the gorge?

Afterwards, take time to explore the waterfalls and caves that make this area so unique.

This remarkable walk will leave you feeling inspired by nature’s beauty and magnificence – an experience that will stay with you long after you’ve left.

Whether it’s a peaceful stroll or an energizing hike, Malham and Gordale Scar offer something for everyone to enjoy – a great way to escape into nature and reconnect with yourself.

12. Rogan’S Seat & Water Crag

The next stop on your tour of the best walks in North Yorkshire is Rogan’s Seat and Water Crag.

Situated near the village of Appletreewick, this dramatic view offers stunning 360-degree vistas of the surrounding countryside.

From the peak, you can see all the way to Penygent and beyond.

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Rogan’s Seat is a great spot for a picnic and a chance to take in the majestic views.

There are plenty of opportunities for walking here too – from gentle rambles across fields and along streams to more challenging hikes up rocky crags.

The nearby Water Crag is one of the most popular routes, offering an exciting scramble over rocks and boulders with breathtaking views at every turn.

A visit to Rogan’s Seat & Water Crag will leave you feeling invigorated, energized, and ready to continue your journey through North Yorkshire’s stunning landscapes.

With its spectacular views and excellent walking trails, it promises an unforgettable experience that will stay with you long after you have left.

13. Whernside From Ribblehead Viaduct

Whernside is a three-peaked mountain in the Yorkshire Dales and the highest point in North Yorkshire.

Rising to 2,415 feet, it’s an ideal spot for hikers looking for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

Starting from Ribblehead Viaduct, a beautiful 19th century structure that spans the valley below, you can take a route up Whernside that follows an old railway line.

The path winds through open moorland before reaching a steep climb up one of the three peaks.

As you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of rolling hills and meandering valleys.

This hike is perfect for those looking to reconnect with nature while taking in some of Yorkshire’s most breathtaking scenery.

With its peaceful atmosphere and stunning vistas, Whernside is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

14. Falling Foss And The Hermitage

One of the best walks in North Yorkshire is the Falling Foss and The Hermitage.

This beautiful hike offers stunning views of the countryside, and a chance to experience the serenity of nature.

Along the way, you’ll pass through gorgeous woodlands, with lush meadows, bubbling streams and old-growth trees providing ample opportunity for wildlife spotting.

The route also takes you past stunning waterfalls and a picturesque river valley.

The Hermitage is an enchanting spot at the end of the trail, offering a tranquil escape from everyday life.

Here, you can take time to sit and relax in this peaceful environment, surrounded by natural beauty.

To make your walk even more special, why not take a picnic lunch or just stroll along admiring the scenery?

Whatever you choose to do here, it’s sure to be a memorable experience that you’ll cherish forever!

15. Skipton Castle Woods

Leaving the breathtaking beauty of Falling Foss and the Hermitage behind, we make our way to Skipton Castle Woods.

Here, we can explore one of North Yorkshire’s most interesting historical sites.

These ancient woods are home to a wealth of wildlife, with birdsong echoing through its trees and hares darting around its shrubs and thickets.

Skipton Castle Woods has a history that dates back to the 11th century when it was originally part of an Anglo-Saxon deer park known as Barden Park.

The wood is still owned by the current Lord of Skipton, Richard Cavendish, and is managed by English Heritage.

We can take in an evocative atmosphere as we meander along its pathways, surrounded by old oak trees that have stood for centuries.

We can also discover wildflowers such as bluebells, foxgloves and primroses that adorn the woodland floor during springtime, plus rare species such as spotted flycatcher, marsh tit and pied flycatcher which make their home here all year round.

Whatever time of year you visit Skipton Castle Woods, it’s sure to be an inspiring experience that will stay with you forever.

Best Walks in North Yorkshire – Final Thoughts

The North Yorkshire area is a paradise for hikers and walkers.

Whether it’s the stunning views of Roseberry Topping and Cook’s Monument, or the opportunity to explore Kettlewell and Starbotton, there’s something for everyone.

Then there are the coastal walks at Robin Hood’s Bay and Boggle Hole, as well as Forge Valley Woods and Sutton Bank for those looking for something a bit more challenging.

Rogan’s Seat & Water Crag offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, while Whernside from Ribblehead Viaduct takes you through some of the most dramatic landscapes in England.

For a truly magical experience, head to Falling Foss and the Hermitage before ending your journey with a stroll around Skipton Castle Woods.

No matter what type of walk you’re looking for, North Yorkshire has it all.

From easy-going riverside routes to steep ascents up mountains, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

Whether you’re after an invigorating adventure or simply want to take in some beautiful scenery, North Yorkshire offers all this and more.

So grab your walking boots and get exploring – you won’t regret it!


What are some easy walks in North Yorkshire?

Some easy walks in North Yorkshire are Sedbergh to Stone Hall, Reeth Low Common, and Malham Cove.

What are the best circular walks in North Yorkshire?

Some of the best circular walks in North Yorkshire are Roseberry Topping and Cook’s Monument, Kettlewell and Starbotton, Robin Hood’s Bay, and Boggle Hole.

What are some good family walks in North Yorkshire?

Some good family walks in North Yorkshire are Hutton-le-Hole, Dalby Forest, and Falling Foss.

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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.