14 Of The Best And Most Scenic River Walks In Yorkshire

14 Of The Best And Most Scenic River Walks In Yorkshire

Living in Yorkshire, you sometimes forget about the wonders that are right on our doorstep. There is endless beauty in this county, and we aim to get you out there among it. Whether it’s a nice flat walk or a trek into the wilderness, we’ve got you covered with the best river walks in Yorkshire.

Take a look outside the window and you’ll see the beauty that other parts of the world could only dream of having (and we aren’t on about the wife putting out the washing). From the Pennines to the Peaks, the Peaks to the Yorkshire Dales and everything in between.

1. Upper Wharfedale, North Yorkshire

A charming little valley to explore, Upper Wharfedale is a great river walk for getting off the beaten track. The limestone and peat uplands are rife with steep-sided valleys where you’ll come across picturesque waterfalls, whilst you navigate your way through the beautiful scenery.

Start your walk in the National Trust car park off the B6160 and follow the limestone track North.

2. Forge Valley Woods, North Yorkshire

Formed by meltwater, Forge Valley is situated on the banks of the River Derwent in the North York Moor National Park, and was once home to iron smelting.

These days, it’s a peaceful woodland haven for wildlife and beautiful wildflowers. Whatever time of the year you venture here, nature is sure to provide you with spectacular views. Start your route from the north-west corner of Old Man’s Mouth car park.

3. River Wharfe and Bolton Priory, North Yorkshire

Starting at Bolton Abbey, it’s a high that is sure to be matched with the natural beauty of its surroundings. Just make sure that you don’t cut your walk short when trying out the stepping stones across the River Wharfe!

This walk takes you high in the hills over a series of limestone ledges, where you can enjoy the peace and quiet high up in the hills. As you come down, you can enjoy flatter and easier terrain – but you kind of have to earn it first around here. The river itself is unpolluted, and is famous for its brown trout.

4. Arkengarthdale, North Yorkshire

Just the fact that you end up in the village of Booze makes this whole walk worthwhile. This Pennine walk will take you along the lovely Arkle Beck. The area is surrounded by vast upland moors that will give you peace of mind like you’ve never experienced. We really enjoy this trek and we think you will too!

5. Mallerstang, Yorkshire Dales

Perched on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, Mallerstang is steeped in history. Ancient castle ruins and tales of wars and violence – this place has it all.

In spite of all this, the beautiful land remains unspoilt, starting at Kirby Stephen and leading us along the Western bank of the River Eden, before coming back along the Eastern bank.

6. West Burton and Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire Dales

A short stroll if you don’t fancy tiring your legs out, Aysgarth Falls is the obvious highlight on this spectacular walk. As well as this though, West Burton waterfall, as well as being one of the incredible river walks in Yorkshire is also a great sight to see. The waterfall is in the Wensleydale area of the Dales, and is an inspirational area to say the least. Its natural amphitheatre will have you in awe of its beauty.

Read More: The 7 Best, Most Idyllic Canal Walks In Yorkshire

7. Richmond and the River Swale

Beginning in the town centre of Richmond, this walk has some stunning views along the way. From historical landmarks to natural, beautiful waterfalls and ancient woodland – the walk is a real show.

Walk along the River Swale as it guides you along sun-kissed rapids and through Hudswell woods, back to where you started in Richmond. This short walk is a treat for any rambler – old or new.

8. Grosmont to Whitby, North York Moors

From Grosmont to Whitby, the final part of the Esk Valley Walk following the River Esk is an incredible walk that follows the river through woodlands and farmland to the popular seaside town of Whitby.

The reward of those seaviews and the promise of fantastic Whitby fish & chips is just one reason why this is the best river walks in Yorkshire.

9. Masham & The River Ure

Follow the River Ure from Masham as it makes its way along countryside through to the River Burn. It’s a peaceful walk that has plenty of wildlife on offer for you to enjoy.

If you’re looking to get back to natue this walk offers you bird watching, chances to watch fish floating through the water and much more on offer. The area is a popular trout fishing spot also.

10. Beningbrough Hall Woodlands & River Ouse

Beningborough Hall is a popular National Trust spot to visit and the 18th-century Hall is home to fantastic woodland walks which run along the River Ouse. And if you’re looking for the best river walks in Yorkshire with a flourishing wildlife offering this is one to add to the list set on the outskirts of York in North Yorkshire.

11. Hardcastle Crags

Located near Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire this moderate work is a great dog walk and a nice short one perfect for those summer days when you just want to potter next to the river and take in the sights.

A spectacular wooded valley river walk is home to the fantastic 19th-century Gibson Mill located at its heart which beautifully reflects off the river.

12. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal 

river walks yorkshire
Credit: Photo © Andrew Curtis (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Known as the Seven Bridges Valley river walk it takes in the rustic and beautiful Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire which runs along the River Skell.

The gardens are fantastic and you can enjoy the series of delightful arches bridges of which only five remain in the spot.

13. Knaresborough & River Nidd

Located along the River Nidd, Knaresborough is a stunning market town surrounding by fantastic countryside and a deep gorge in which the River Nidd runs. The walk takes in some beautiful views, the lovely village of Old Bilton and great woodland.

The walk takes in some incredible designs feats alongside the stunning nature walk with the viaduct and more to enjoy en route.

14. Rivelin Valley walk

Located on the outskirts of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, this river walk is located on the edge of the popular Peak District and follows the River Rivelin.

Based in Sheffield it takes in the nature and scenery along the SouthYorkshire river and offers fun stepping stones perfect for families wanting to escape the heat this summer

Read More: 10 Of The Most Stunning Waterfalls In The Peak District

[Featured image: Fosse Gill, Starbotton, Upper Wharfedale/John Sparshatt/Geograph.org.uk/licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0]