The Pennine Way
OK, only part of the 267-mile Pennine Way runs through Yorkshire, but ask anyone from the White Rose County and they’ll tell you it’s the best part…
Regional prejudices aside there are some tremendous sections and it’s not easy to choose the best Yorkshire bits, but amongst our favourites are the stretch around Bronte Country in the South Pennines, the magnificent scenery above Malham in the Yorkshire Dales and the wild, open landscapes above Keld in Swaledale.
As Yorkshire as pie and peas and famed in a song that no one from outside Yorkshire understands, Ilkley Moor is also good and easily accessible walking country.
An easy 7km walk from the town takes you up onto the moors past the gritstone rocks known as the Cow and Calf and a ring of stones known as the Twelve Apostles.
You get great views over the town and, to the north-west, of the Yorkshire Dales, where far more challenging walks can be done – such as…
The Yorkshire Three Peaks
This classic walking challenge takes in three of the country’s highest summits - Pen-y-Ghent (691m), Whernside (728m) and Ingleborough (723m) – which ‘must’ be climbed in under 12 hours.
The usual starting point is Horton-in-Ribblesdale from where the three-mile slog up Pen-y-Ghent gives you a good taster of what you’re letting yourself in for – which in statistics is 37.5km of walking and 1,600m of ascent.
That said, the wide, distant panoramas and sense of freedom that these well-trodden uplands impart shouldn’t be rushed, so if you don’t feel like racing around the peaks just take your time and drink it all in.
The Cleveland Way
This 110- trail wends its way across the North York Moors, and is a beauty in late summer when the hills are literally purple with swathes of heather.
Starting in the lovely medieval market town of Helmsley it takes about nine days moving at a relaxed pace to make your way across the moorland and forests and then along the county’s spectacular North Sea coastline to the finish at Filey.
If time is tight take a weekend to walk both a moorland and coastal section and enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Yorkshire Wolds Way
Probably the least-known long-distance trail in England, the 79-mile Wolds Way takes you through a tranquil, pastoral landscape that isn’t at all the ‘traditional’ Yorkshire of wild moors and uplands.
The rolling countryside provides easy walking between the huge span of the Humber Bridge and the spectacular headland of Filey Brigg.
There are plenty of interesting places to stop and see along the way, from breweries to Buddhist centres – one of our favourite stretches is that around the fascinating deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy.
Hardcastle Crags and Hebden Bridge
This bucolic strip of woodland tucked beneath the windswept West Yorkshire moors has a variety of walking trails which take you from the woods past 19th century Gibson Mill and up alongside rushing streams and tumbling waterfalls onto the moors.
After your walk stop off in nearby Hebden Bridge, an attractive old mill town which has become one of the coolest spots in Yorkshire almost by accident; a wander around the streets and along the bank of the Rochdale Canal is also well worth the effort.
Hull Walking Tour
Don’t look so amazed! Hull was recently named UK City of Culture for 2017 and has a rich cultural and architectural history that can be discovered with a self-guide trail around the city.
Amongst other things Hull has links to anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce, Robinson Crusoe (who sailed from here) and even a spot called the Land of Green Ginger so there’s plenty to take in.
A 52-mile circular walk starting and finishing in Aysgarth (famed for its waterfalls) the route takes you through classic Yorkshire Dales scenery as you wander from valley bottoms up to the high moors.
You’ll pass through parts of Swaledale and Wensleydale and walk alongside spectacular natural features such as Hardraw Force (a ‘force’ being a waterfall in Yorkshire, from the Norse ‘foss’).
The short and easy one-mile walk along the escarpment of Sutton Bank is proof that you don’t always have to work hard to enjoy fantastic views.
Described by author James Herriot as offering ‘the finest view in England’ the walk runs alongside the Yorkshire Gliding Club and as well as providing superb panoramas across the Vale of York also gives amazing views of the gliders landing and taking off, as well as taking you to the top of the White Horse of Kilburn, a huge turf-cut figure cut into the hillside.
Malham Cove/Gordale Scar
This 11.6km walk is a great day out that takes you past some of the most memorable scenery in the Yorkshire Dales, including Janet's Foss waterfall, the huge rent in the hills that is Gordale Scar, the quiet waters of Malham Tarn, England’s highest ex-glacial lake and finally the massive limestone crag at Malham Cove.
Even if you’re not interested in geology one little bit it’s worth taking along a basic guide to the region as you’ll want to know just why these amazing features of the landscape look the way they do.