As summer comes to an end and winter approaches, the enchanting landscapes of the Yorkshire countryside undergo a considerable transformation.
Even though walking in the summer sunshine is remarkable, this doesn’t mean you should stay indoors during the crisp winter months, as this is a fantastic time to witness the county in a brand-new light.
With this in mind, continue reading to discover eight of the best winter walks in Yorkshire that are worth wrapping up warm for.
1. The railway trail near Hardcastle Crags
The railway trail around Hebden Bridge is a walk that offers breathtaking riverside views worth witnessing in the winter months.
To begin this leisurely three-mile stroll, start from Gibson Mill and head towards Hardcastle Crags, all while following Hebden Beck. Eventually, you’ll reach the ruins of the Hell Hole Quarry, a favourite spot for climbers.
During your walk, you may even be able to spot the old stone stanchions of the wooden trestle railway bridge, offering a glimpse into the past, before coming full circle back to Gibson Mill.
2. The garden trail at Nostell Priory
If you’d rather go for a winter walk with some fascinating history and architecture along the way, then the garden trail at Nostell Priory may be for you.
The trail is located at the picturesque 18th-century Palladian house that was built on the site of an old medieval monastery in West Yorkshire.
During the walk, you can explore 300 acres of parkland and gardens surrounding the house, and while the famous rose gardens may not be in bloom, the trail still offers the unique opportunity to learn about the hibernation of local wildlife.
Better yet, visiting the gardens is free, and there’s even a café on site so you can have a warm cup of tea afterwards.
3. Yorkshire coast circular
If you’re willing to wrap up and brave the coastal winds in the winter months, it’s worth completing the Yorkshire coast circular walk.
This 4.5-mile walk commences at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, and is brimming with landmarks, wildlife, and gorgeous scenery that exemplifies Yorkshire’s coastal beauty.
Starting from Old Saltburn on the pier overlooking the beach, you’ll walk along the Cleveland Way, and you may even be lucky and spot some seals on the route.
You’ll eventually reach Warsett Hill where you can take in the breathtaking panoramic views from a height, after which you’ll head back to town after the two-hour stroll is complete.
4. The Bronte Waterfall walk
During the Christmas period, Haworth’s festive charm is a sight worth seeing in itself, as the village is bristling with twinkling lights and delightful shop windows. While you’re there, it’s well worth taking a stroll to Bronte Waterfall.
After exploring the quaint village, you can begin your journey to the waterfall on the Bronte Waterfall walk, a three-mile stroll across maintained footpaths.
As the name implies, you’ll eventually end up at the waterfall itself, a gentle yet stunning cascade of water.
Also, during the route, you’ll pass across the Top Withens, a ruined farmhouse that is said to have been the inspiration for Wuthering Heights, the famous novel written by Emily Bronte.
5. Roseberry Topping
On especially chilly days, sometimes a hill walk can get the blood flowing and keep you warm. If you’re seeking such a walk, it’s worth visiting Roseberry Topping in the North York Moors.
The 1,049-foot hill is known for its unique half-cone shape, which is why it’s often named the “Yorkshire Matterhorn” after the mountain in the Swiss-Italian alps.
Starting in the village of Great Ayton, the seven-mile walk takes you through a quaint woodland and heather moorland before you start your climb. While it may be particularly cold at the top of the hill, it’s worth taking some time to view the scenery, as you’ll have an incredible view in every direction.
6. The winter lights at RHS Garden Harlow Carr
The “Glow at Harlow Carr” is an unmissable sight for the whole family. Between 22 November and 30 December, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden in Harrogate is illuminated with a plethora of lights and special effects to bring the plants alive.
It’s worth noting that you must pay to witness the spectacle at Harlow Carr, and you need to book tickets in advance.
Regardless, it may be well worth the price, as you’ll be able to explore the already beautiful gardens and features, such as the Queen Mother’s Lake, Doric Columns, and the Bath House, with an extra touch of magic from the lights.
7. Whernside 3 peaks
If you’re looking for a more challenging walk to test your mettle, you could always attempt a hike up and down the highest of Yorkshire’s three peaks at Whernside.
All in all, the route is nine miles, and you’ll climb a total of 513 metres, so it can be quite the challenge. Though, when you best the hills and get to the top, you’ll witness some dramatic views of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which can be especially stunning in the winter.
Better yet, you’ll even pass through the Ribblehead Viaduct during the route, an imposing rail bridge built in the 19th century situated in the dramatic moors.
8. Malham Tarn circular
Yet another fantastic winter walk with a waterfall is the Malham Tarn circular. During the four-mile stroll, you’ll pass through Malham Cove, a limestone formation left over from the age of glaciers that is truly a geological wonder.
There, you’ll find Janet’s Foss, an idyllic waterfall that tends to be even more spectacular in the winter months.
It’s important to note that the walk can take three to four hours to complete, and there may be some scrambling involved. But if you’re up for the challenge, winter could be the ideal time to experience this area of beauty.
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