Three world-famous National Parks, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, wild moors, rolling hills, rugged coastline and stunning views around every turn. Yorkshire is made for walking. Here are some routes you might want to head for this winter:
- Shibden Mill Inn will again be staging its hugely popular Twixmas stroll, between Christmas and New Year. The guided walk through the picturesque Shibden Valley will take place on Friday 27th December and help raise funds for the Shibden Valley Society. Leaving from the Shibden Mill Inn at 11am a free bacon roll and cup of tea or coffee will be available from 10:30am to all those wishing to take part; awaiting will be the valley in all its seasonal splendour and the chance to burn off a few Christmas pounds!
- For those who like a real challenge, Yorkshire' superstars, the Three Peaks beckon. The Yorkshire Three Peaks walk is a famous challenge walk in the Yorkshire Dales, taking in three of the highest summits in the area; Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Each of these hills is worthy of spending a day on but each year many walkers attempt to walk all three in less than 12 hours. The route is 24.5 miles (39km) long and has over 5,000 feet (1,600m) of ascent. If you make it in 12 hours or under, you can join the Three Peaks of Yorkshire Club, provided you've clocked out and in again at the Pen-y-ghent Café in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Horton-in-Ribblesdale is a popular starting point and has a train station, so save your energy for the walk and leave your car at home.
- The walks are as stunning around the North York Moors National Park, with around 2,300 km of paths and tracks, it's a walker's and cyclist's paradise. Hidden in the heart is the sublime village of Rosedale, where time apparently stopped a century ago. Above it, on Spaunton Moor, wide paths scamper amongst heathery tufts, medieval crosses mark epic viewpoints.
- The Meltham Way is a 9 mile circular route taking walkers through sites of scientific and scenic interest including Royd Edge, Blackmoorfoot Reservoir and Honley Wood. Or explore the National Trust's Marsden Moor Estate on the northern edge of the Peak District National Park, spreads across 6,000 acres of open moorland, peaks, crags, and reservoirs. With a wealth of industrial and archaeological remains, it's easily accessed by public footpaths and the Pennine Way. Take one of their Trails, 5 or 8 miles long, or climb Pule Hill for a fantastic 360° view.
- Rotunda Festive Walk, Scarborough. A great Christmas tradition! Chance for all the family to wrap up warm and walk off the seasonal excesses whilst learning about the fascinating geology of the South Bay. Start at the Rotunda with an introduction to the fascinating unique Dinosaur Coast then head off to explore the remains of Jurassic Scarborough including dinosaur footprints! Suitable for all ages.
- The Standedge Trail is located in the heart of the Pennine countryside. A challenging 10 mile circular trail covering open moorland and reaching an altitude of 425 metres, this route gives you an insight into the county's industrial heritage and follows some of the original roads across the moor. The trail begins at Standedge Visitor Centre car park - walking boots and an OS map are essential on this route.
- We're lucky to have four of Britain's finest National Trails here in Yorkshire. So take your pick. The Cleveland Way roller-coasts around the North York Moors from Helmsley to the coast. The Yorkshire Wolds Way rambles through peaceful fields and over gentle chalk-hills. Or for something more strenuous, the Pennine Way strides through the Yorkshire Dales on its mammoth journey from the Peak District to Scotland. Or maybe the purpose built Pennine Bridleway is your kind of walk, bike or horse ride?
- Finally, for fans of Yorkshire's most famous artist, Joseph Turner, we have a selection of Turner Trails that carry plenty of appeal.
For other suggestions on great walks to try out this winter, check out our special Walking section.