7 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. Take a look outside the window and you’ll see 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. 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.

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Upper Wharfedale, North Yorkshire

A charming little valley to explore, Upper Wharfdale 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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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 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.

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.

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

Read More: 5 Of The Most Stunning Waterfalls In The Peak District

Author: The Yorkshireman

Founder and owner of The Yorkshireman - a regional publication that celebrates all things Yorkshire. Find me dawdling in the Dales or walking the dog on the Yorkshire coast.