Winter walks in Yorkshire

There's something special about going for a walk recommended by somebody who knows a place like the back of their hand and our rangers and gardeners really do, so we asked them to share their favourite winter walks. If you're inspired to try them out for yourself, you can download the routes below.

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

Ancient trees walk at Fountains Abbey 

Head of Landscape, Michael, 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. Keep an eye out for the wild deer herd, who have lived in the park for centuries.

Out walking in the parkland around Beningbrough
Walking trail

Circular walk at Beningbrough Hall 

Gardener Steve works with a dedicated team of volunteers to manage the woodland and encourage people to explore the wider reaches of Beningbrough. This circular walk is perfect for taking in these areas, and, as Steve said, 'offers views back to the hall that show the grand building in its landscape. In winter, when the trees have lost their leaves, 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.'

Friends on a winter walk at Nostell, near Wakefield
Walking trail

Menagerie Garden walk at Nostell  

Nostell gardener David's favourite walk is great for getting away from it all: '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 crisp lakeside paths and discover the frosted Menagerie Garden.'

Ice forming beside Hebden Water, Hardcastle Crags
Walking trail

The Railway Walk at Hardcastle Crags 

The Railway Walk through the river valley at Hardcastle Crags is one of academy ranger Natalie'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; 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, one of our rangers on the Yorkshire Coast, 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.'

The sun shines through clouds over a serine moorland scene.
Walking trail

Wessenden Valley walk at Marsden Moor 

Julia, part of the ranger team at Marsden Moor, describes her favourite walk taking in the Wessenden valley and surrounding countryside: 'this is a great winter walk that looks over Marsden village, across the Wessenden valley and takes in four reservoirs - Butterley, Blakeley, Wessenden and Wessenden Head - in turn.' It's guaranteed to give you rosy cheeks on a chilly day.

The shores of Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales
Walking trail

Watersinks to Malham Tarn walk 

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