May marks National Walking Month in the UK, celebrating the joys of exploring the picturesque landscapes and trails that our countryside has to offer.
Anyone living in Yorkshire at this time of year is very fortunate, with the amount of beautiful scenery to discover right on your doorstep.
Here are ten of the best walks in Yorkshire to make the most of during National Walking Month.
1. Malham Tarn
Malham Tarn is a glacial lake located near Malham in the south of the Yorkshire Dales. Covering 62 hectares, it’s a gorgeous, open expanse of water with plenty to explore all the way round.
A walk around the entire circumference of the lake is just under eight miles, taking you through quaint countryside and peaceful woodlands.
2. Aysgarth Falls
Located near Leyburn, north of the Yorkshire Dales, the Aysgarth Falls are a series of small, scenic waterfalls.
Footpaths take you throughout woodlands, offering stunning views of the rushing water. You can even walk directly across parts of the falls themselves. Of course, the rocks here can be slippery so be extra careful if you decide to traverse any of these crossings.
Starting at the Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre and finishing at Aysgarth Upper Falls is three-and-a-half miles.
If you’re looking for a good, old-fashioned mountain trail, you need look no further than Ingleborough.
Alongside Pen-y-ghent and Whernside, Ingleborough is one of the Yorkshire Dales’ “Three Peaks”, and is the second highest mountain in the Dales.
This five-mile walk does include steep climbs and rugged terrain, so make sure you’re prepared for a proper hike if you decide to take this one on.
4. Hardraw Force
Hardraw Force is England’s highest above-ground waterfall, with water tumbling down more than 100 feet.
The walk starts at The Green Dragon Inn, in the North of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. As with most walks in Yorkshire, there are a few steeper inclines on the way, but the reward of Hardraw is more than enough to make it worthwhile.
5. Buckden Pike
Buckden Pike sits at the head of Wharfedale, a valley in the middle of the Dales. This varied and rocky trail takes you across around five miles of farms, meadows and moorlands.
This is quite a challenging hike, but there’s a trig point marking the summit, giving you the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made it.
The scenery from the top is exquisite, giving you a panoramic view of miles of countryside in every direction.
6. Langsett Reservoir
A more relaxed walk, Langsett Reservoir is located on the edge of the Peak District between Huddersfield and Sheffield.
The trail loops around the edge of the reservoir through woodland and partially across the moors, with gorgeous views all around. There are plenty of perfect picnic spots, and there are a few pubs and cafes around too.
Depending on where you walk, you’ll likely travel somewhere between two-and-a-half to three miles.
7. Ilkley Moor
“Wheear ‘as ta bin sin ah saw thee, On Ilkla Moor baht ‘at?!”
As any native knows from the famous song, Ilkley Moor holds a special place in the heart of Yorkshiremen and women.
The walk itself is linked to all sorts of ancient myths and legends, featuring a curiously arranged stone circle known as “The 12 Apostles”.
Ilkley is perfect for May walking, but make sure you return when the heather is in full bloom in late summer and early autumn – there are few places more beautiful than out on the Moor when it comes to life.
8. Flamborough Head
For a Yorkshire walk by the sea, you won’t find a better location than Flamborough Head.
The village of Flamborough is located on the coast, with views of white cliffs that easily challenge Dover for an iconic view of the English coastline.
A two-and-a-half-mile loop starts and ends at Flamborough Lighthouse, featuring idyllic scenery and nature. Beware of the power of the wind, especially if you’re out hiking in cooler weather.
9. Rievaulx Abbey
For a different, more historical walk, try the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, just above York in the North York Moors National Park.
Rievaulx is the remains of an 11th-century abbey, seized by Henry VIII during his campaign to dissolve the monasteries in England in the 16th century.
There’s plenty to explore here, with hills and grasslands to explore for miles, as well as the River Rye running straight past. There’s also a café and visitor centre if you’re interested in finding out more about the history of the ruins themselves.
10. Yorkshire Wolds Way
Featuring rolling hills, valleys, and some of the most magnificent scenery you can imagine, Yorkshire Wolds Way is an unmissable walk.
In its entirety, Yorkshire Wolds Way is 79 miles long, so you’re highly unlikely to traverse the whole thing unless you take it on in multiple sessions.
The trail runs around the East coast near Hull, so just choose any section of the trail and you’re guaranteed a fantastic walk with stunning views.