Skipton, in North Yorkshire, is a beautiful area filled with great walking trails. Whether you’re looking for a nice leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike, there’s something to suit everyone.
I’ve rounded up the 15 best walks in the area, from Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe to Hebden and the Hebden Valley. With these walks, you’ll experience the beauty of the countryside, take in the views of the surrounding hills, and enjoy the fresh air.
So why not grab your walking boots and explore the great outdoors with these 15 best walks in Skipton?
Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe
Take a stroll along the beautiful River Wharfe and explore the ruins of Bolton Abbey – you won’t regret it!
This picturesque walk along the river is filled with stunning views, making it one of the best walks in Skipton.
As you walk, you’ll come across the ruins of Bolton Abbey, a 12th-century priory nestled in the valley of the River Wharfe.
You can explore the ruins, take in the historic atmosphere, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
The walk also takes you along the river, where you can admire the beauty of nature as you go.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll or an energetic hike, this walk has something for everyone.
Make sure to bring a camera and capture all the stunning sights you’ll encounter as you explore the ruins of Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe.
Malham Cove and Gordale Scar
Surrounded by stunning scenery, it’s no surprise that Malham Cove and Gordale Scar are two of Yorkshire’s most popular spots to explore!
A half-mile walk from the village of Malham, Malham Cove is a towering limestone cliff. It was formed from a waterfall more than 12,000 years ago. The top of the Cove offers some of the most spectacular views in the region, while its base is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Taking the path up to the top of the Cove is a moderate uphill climb and it’s well worth the effort.
Gordale Scar, just two miles from Malham Cove, is an impressive limestone ravine. It’s formed by two huge limestone cliffs, with a waterfall cascading between them. The site offers a unique opportunity to explore a variety of habitats, from woodland to meadows, and it’s a great spot to spot a variety of wildlife. The walk up to the ravine is a gentle climb, and the views from the top are well worth the effort.
Lothersdale and the Old Towpath
Just a few miles from Malham Cove and Gordale Scar, Lothersdale is a hidden gem that’s perfect for an afternoon’s exploration.
Nestled in the picturesque countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, this small village is surrounded by lush fields and rolling hills.
A stroll through the village is a great way to get a feel for the area and its history, with its winding cobbled streets and quaint cottages.
One of the highlights of a visit to Lothersdale is the old towpath that runs along the River Aire.
This picturesque walk is around two miles long and takes you through some of the area’s most stunning scenery.
Along the way, you’ll pass by old mills and locks, cross over bridges, and take in views of the countryside.
It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon, ending your walk with a spot of lunch in a local pub.
Embsay Reservoir and Bolton Abbey Station
Experience the breathtaking beauty of Embsay Reservoir and Bolton Abbey Station on a leisurely walk through the Yorkshire Dales.
The Embsay Reservoir is a beautiful spot, located on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The reservoir offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and it’s a great place to take a break and enjoy a picnic.
The Bolton Abbey Station is a historic railway station that offers a unique insight into the area’s history. The station is a great spot to explore, and its 19th-century buildings and old train carriages make for a fascinating visit.
From there, you can take a peaceful stroll along the towpath, which takes you up to the Embsay Reservoir. The walk will take you through some beautiful landscapes, and you can admire the stunning wildlife along the way.
With plenty of stops for a rest and the stunning scenery that surrounds you, this is certainly one of the best walks in Skipton.
Stockbridge and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal
Take a peaceful stroll along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Stockbridge and let the picturesque views of the Yorkshire countryside fill your senses with awe. The canal is a great destination for a walk and provides plenty of opportunities to take in the natural beauty of the area.
Along the way, you’ll pass several stunning wooden footbridges, which offer lovely views of the canal and the surrounding landscape. The towpath and woodland provide an ideal spot to take a break and enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.
You’ll also be able to spot plenty of wildlife, such as ducks, geese, and swans, as well as a variety of birds, including kingfishers and herons. The canal is also a great place to take your dog for a walk, as it’s well-maintained and offers plenty of space to explore.
Taking a walk along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Stockbridge is an excellent way to take in the beauty of Yorkshire’s countryside and an activity that the whole family can enjoy.
Malham Tarn and Fountains Fell
Discover the beauty of Malham Tarn and Fountains Fell, located in the North Yorkshire Dales. The area is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the region, offering stunning views of Malham Cove and rolling hills of limestone.
An ideal walk for those looking to explore the area, the route takes you along the limestone pavement of Malham Tarn and up the steep slopes of Fountains Fell. Along the way, you can take in the views of the dales and the limestone outcrops, as well as spotting the local wildlife.
The walk itself is around 3 miles in length, and takes around 2 and a half to 3 hours to complete. The terrain is mostly easy, but beware of the steep slopes on Fountains Fell. It’s recommended to take plenty of water and wear sturdy hiking boots, as the limestone can be slippery in places.
With the right preparation, this is a great walk for all skill levels, and offers plenty of opportunities to take in the area’s stunning scenery.
Kilnsey Crag and the Howgill Fells
Leaving Malham Tarn and Fountains Fell behind, I’m now heading further north to explore Kilnsey Crag and the Howgill Fells.
This walk is a great one for exploring a variety of terrains, from the dramatic limestone cliffs of Kilnsey Crag, to the rolling hills of the Howgill Fells. It’s a challenging hike that’s well worth the effort for the stunning views it offers.
The hike starts at Kilnsey Park, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore the dramatic cliffs of Kilnsey Crag. Here, you’ll have the chance to see the famous Kilnsey Trout, which can be seen leaping from the lake below.
After taking in the view at the crag, you’ll then head to the Howgill Fells, where you can walk along rolling hills and take in the views of the surrounding countryside. This is a great spot to take a break, as the area is known for its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful landscapes.
Skyreholme and the River Ure
Exploring the stunning Skyreholme and the River Ure, you’ll be able to experience some of the best of Yorkshire’s natural beauty.
Located to the east of Skipton, Skyreholme is a quaint village that is situated close to a picturesque river.
Here, you can explore the Ure, a river that is alive with activity. You can spot fish swimming in the water, and, if you’re lucky, you may even see a kingfisher or two.
The area is also a great spot for a picnic, as there are many riverside gardens and meadows to relax in.
Further downstream, the Ure cuts through the Howgill Fells, providing a spectacular backdrop for your walk. The river is flanked by lush green fields and rolling hills, providing an ever-changing landscape to explore.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, the Skyreholme and the River Ure will provide an unforgettable experience.
Addingham and the River Aire
Meander through the scenic village of Addingham and the River Aire, and you’ll be sure to find a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Addingham is located just a few miles outside of Skipton and is home to a variety of attractions that make it the perfect place to visit during a daylong adventure.
The River Aire runs through the village, and its serene banks are ideal for a peaceful stroll.
As you make your way along the river, keep an eye out for the local wildlife that frequent the area. You may spot herons, ducks, and even a kingfisher or two!
Besides the wealth of natural beauty, Addingham offers plenty of historical sites as well.
Be sure to check out the iconic Addingham Church, which dates back to the 12th century, and the ruins of Addingham Castle.
With its abundance of things to see and do, Addingham is a must-visit for any outdoor enthusiast.
Silsden and the Cow and Calf Rocks
Take in the breathtaking sights of Silsden, home to the iconic Cow and Calf Rocks, and you’ll be sure to find a peaceful haven away from the daily grind.
An easy walk from the center of town, the Cow and Calf Rocks are a pair of large limestone outcrops that offer stunning views of green rolling hills.
The walk takes you through the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where you’ll be surrounded by lush green forestry and peaceful babbling streams.
It’s a great way to get out in nature and take in some fresh air.
The walk is only around 3 miles long, making it a great choice for a leisurely afternoon stroll.
You’ll have the opportunity to spot wild deer, birds, and even wildflowers in the meadows.
And make sure to keep an eye out for the ruins of a 12th-century church along the way.
Once you reach the Cow and Calf Rocks, you can take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch in the sun before heading back to town.
Threshfield and the Dales Way
Moving away from Silsden, the next great walk in the area is the Threshfield and the Dales Way. This hike takes you through the stunning Yorkshire Dales, offering some of the most breathtaking views in the area.
This 7 mile walk starts in the small village of Threshfield and takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the Yorkshire Dales. Along the way, you’ll pass through a number of different landscapes, ranging from lush green meadows to rolling hills.
You’ll also have the chance to explore the remains of old barns, stone walls, and abandoned settlements. You’ll also be able to visit the small village of Grassington, where you can find a number of traditional pubs and cafes.
As you walk, you’ll be able to take in all the beauty of the area, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take some great photos. Make sure to take your time and enjoy the views along the way, and don’t forget to stop for a bite to eat in Grassington.
Grassington and the River Wharfe
Exploring Grassington, you’ll find yourself along the banks of the River Wharfe. This beautiful river makes for an excellent walk through the Yorkshire Dales, and there are plenty of great sights to take in along the way.
The river winds through the valley, bordered by steep cliffs, lush meadows, and rolling hills, creating a stunning landscape. The area is home to a number of wildflowers, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the stunning blooms. If you’re lucky, you might spot some deer or other wildlife along the way.
The river is also home to a variety of fish, making it a great spot for anglers. There are plenty of places to stop and enjoy a picnic or a rest along the way, and the area is a popular spot for bird-watching.
With so much to see and do, the River Wharfe is an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a longer walk through the countryside.
Cononley and the Aire Valley
Just a short distance from Grassington lies Cononley, a small village in the Aire Valley. This charming spot offers a variety of walks and hikes for all levels of expertise.
Those looking for a leisurely stroll can enjoy the River Aire and the surrounding countryside. The River Aire is a tranquil spot to enjoy a picnic and take in the scenery.
Those looking for a more challenging experience can attempt the strenuous climb up to Cononley Moor. This 3-mile hike offers spectacular views of the valley and a rewarding sense of accomplishment!
There are also a number of shorter hikes in the area. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike, Cononley and the Aire Valley have something for everyone!
Hebden and the Hebden Valley
Nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales is Hebden, a picturesque village perched atop the Hebden Valley.
This charming spot is the perfect starting point for a leisurely stroll or a more ambitious hike through the area.
The Hebden Valley is full of fantastic views of rolling hills, lush green meadows, and crystal blue streams.
A hike along the valley’s trails is the ideal way to take in the stunning scenery.
You can also take a leisurely walk along the riverbank, with plenty of stops along the way for a picnic or a dip in one of the many streams.
The area also offers plenty of opportunities for birdwatching, and if you’re lucky, you might spot some of the local wildlife, such as deer, foxes, and otters.
With so much to explore and enjoy, Hebden and the Hebden Valley make for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.
Sawley and the River Ribble
Sawley, located near the banks of the River Ribble, boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Yorkshire Dales. It has rolling hills, lush meadows, and sparkling streams.
The area around Sawley is ideal for walking. There are plenty of trails that take in the beautiful views. From gentle riverside strolls to more challenging hikes.
One of the most popular walks here is the River Ribble Way. It follows the course of the river for much of its journey. The Ribble Way is a great way to explore the area. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of wildlife, including a variety of birds, butterflies, and small mammals.
The path is also dotted with historical sites, such as the ruins of the Sawley Abbey. This makes it a truly unique and fascinating experience.
For the more adventurous, there are also plenty of hill walks and more challenging hikes around Sawley.
Exploring the best walks in Skipton is a great way to get outdoors and take in the beauty of Yorkshire.
From the tranquil views of Bolton Abbey and the River Wharfe to the dramatic limestone scenery of Malham Cove and Gordale Scar, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or a challenging hike, Skipton has something for everyone.
So get out there, put on your walking boots and explore the best of Yorkshire!