Winter walks in Yorkshire

There's something special about going for a walk somewhere with somebody who knows the place like the back of their hand. Our countryside rangers work outside all day and often know the landscape like the back of their hand. We asked them to share their favourite winter walks - if you're inspired to check them out for yourself, download the route below.

Couple walking by the lakeside in Studley Royal deer park
Walking trail

Ancient trees walk at Fountains Abbey 

Head of landscape, Michael Ridsdale recommends the ancient trees walk at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. High up in the North Yorkshire countryside the deer park is perfectly positioned for offering frosty winter views – and has some beautiful benches to admire them from too. The trees in the park are centuries old, head for a walk and keep an eye out for the wild deer.

Out walking in the parkland around Beningbrough

Circular walk at Beningbrough Hall 

Gardener Steve Hodges works with a dedicated team of volunteers to manage the woodland and improve access to the wider reaches of Beningbrough. The circular walk is perfect for taking in these areas, as Steve said "The walk offers views back to the hall that really show the grand building in its landscape. In winter, whilst the trees have lost their foliage, it really does stand out on a crisp day. We’ve even installed an oak wood frame in the north park to literally frame the view."

Nostell in winter sun
Walking trail

Menagerie Garden walk at Nostell  

David Hudson, gardener at Nostell, tells us about a walk that takes you away from the hustle and bustle: "This walk takes you to a place so peaceful, you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle. In winter you can take in the peace and tranquillity of the lakeside paths and discover the enchanting Menagerie Garden."

Gibson Mill seen through trees in Autumn at Hardcastle Crags, West Yorkshire
Walking trail

The Railway Walk at Hardcastle Crags 

The valleys of Hardcastle Crags boast stunning riverside views while the oak, beech and pine woods are full of tumbling streams. The Railway walk is one of academy ranger, Natalie Pownall's favourite walks: "It takes in the industrial heritage of the valley and is wonderful in all seasons for spotting birds. There are some great views from the top of the steps at Widdop gate; from here you can see the remains of the railway bridge that used to span the valley, built to take workers and materials to Walsaw Dean reservoirs when they were being built."

The sun setting along the Yorkshire Coastline
Walking trail

Old Saltburn to Warsett Hill 

Zoe Frank, Yorkshire Coast ranger recommends this 4.5 mile walk starting from Victorian seaside town Saltburn-by-the-Sea. She says "This is a great circular walk. Starting on an often busy seafront, you’ll soon find peace and space on the cliff tops. A walk in winter can be a bit windy and wild but look out to sea for winter seabirds and you might even spot a seal or two bobbing about."

Wessenden Valley, Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire
Walking trail

Wessenden Valley walk at Marsden Moor 

Julia Phillips, ranger at Marsden Moor, describes her favourite walk taking in the Wessenden valley and surrounding countryside: "This is a great exhilarating walk that looks over Marsden village, across the Wessenden valley and takes in four reservoirs - Butterley, Blakeley, Wessenden and Wessenden Head reservoirs in turn."

The shores of Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales
Walking trail

Watersinks to Malham Tarn walk 

Tony Bullough, ranger in the Yorkshire Dales, likes to wind down after a hard day's work with this short stroll around Malham Tarn: "This short stroll has something for everyone all year round including wildlife, views, historic buildings and of course, England's highest freshwater lake, Malham Tarn. I like to head through the woodland to the Tarn and if i'm lucky, I might catch a glimpse of a bat, a water vole or even hear the hoot of an owl."