The Hole of Horcum Circular

The Hole of Horcum is a popular walking destination in the North York Moors and it is easy to see why. A huge natural amphitheatre, carved out over time, together with some quite amazing landscapes.

When viewed from above, a view you get right at the start of the walk, it looks like a huge bowl carved out of the land. It is huge at 400 feet (120 m) deep and about ¾ mile (1.2 km) across. Quite spectacular to see with your own eyes.

Also known as a ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’, legend has it that a giant named Wade was having an argument with his wife. He scooped up some land to throw at her. In reality, the anomaly was created by water seeping up the hillside and eroding it, widening the valley over millennia.

This 5 mile circular walk gives you a whole experience of the Hole of Horcum. Walking around it from the top then back along, within and through the bottom of it.

The walk starts and ends at Saltergate Car Park and as soon as you get out of the car you get a panoramic view of this natural phenomenon. 

After carefully crossing the road, turn right along the top of the rim/edge of the hole. Take in the expansive views.

You will then reach a gate with options to turn. Go through the gate and straight on. This takes you over Levisham Moor, amongst the heather and keeping the views over the Hole of Horcum from above. This is a wide path that runs for around 2 miles.

Then you will come to a signpost. To continue the circular walk, turn left where it is signposted ‘Hole of Horcum’.

In this next section the scenery changes and you follow rows of trees and a stream. Look out for the Highland Cattle.

At the bottom of this path you come across another signpost where the river and stream meet. Again turn left following ‘Hole of Horcum’.

From now on you are walking straight up the middle of the natural wonder. Taking in the views from within. The path passes through fields and beside an old farmstead that was located within here once upon a time. Sheep and cows graze all around.

Of course, we started up at the top and you can see straight ahead the final section which is a climb back up to the top. Not too long a climb, but take rests and, as you pause, look back over the landscape. It is definitely unique and to be savoured.

At the top of the climb you end up back on the path you started on. Turn right and back to the car park where a refreshment van awaits.

I have put a route GPX on Walkshire.com to help you get around if needed.

river ouse and dog

A Walk Around Clifton and Rawcliffe Ings, York

A wonderful walk just to the north of the City of York which takes in a wander beside the River Ouse together with the wide open green spaces of Clifton Ings and Rawcliffe Ings. Perfect for dogs, nature lovers and families alike.

clifton ings

The walk around the circumference of both Rawcliffe and Clifton Ings is only 3.5 miles, so achievable to many. There are many detours that can help create a much longer walk if you wish. Keep heading north along the cycle path toward Skelton or just a mile or two south you can be in the City of York itself.

Parking

The big Park and Ride car park, Rawcliffe Bar, is free and is predominantly used for people heading into York and back. However, the beauty of it is that it is situated right beside the Ings and the River Ouse too.

Behind the bus stop within the car park, look for the path that leads away within the trees and down to the open space.

dog walk york

Rawcliffe Ings

I did this walk anti-clockwise so you get much of the river in the first half. Upon reaching the cycle path from the car park, turn right, and head under the road bridge that carries the A1237 York Ring Road above.

Here you are within Rawcliffe Ings, and soon you will meet the riverside. Once at the river turn left and follow it heading South. This will lead naturally into Clifton Ings.

Clifton Ings

It is a joy to walk along the river here. To your left is a wide open green field for the dogs to run and run. To your right the river is a pleasure to walk beside.

running dogs

The main path is raised on a flood defence so the elevation gives a perspective all over as you walk.

Every now and then you get sandy beach-like areas that children or dogs will love, whatever the weather.

tree and dog

As you walk along the riverside, the raised path it will eventually leave the water’s edge and bend left, back toward the concrete path and cycle path.

Here is where you can turn right and head into the city or turn left to continue back beside Clifton Ings.

Now the open field is to your left and there are well maintained meadows and nature reserves along the way to your right.

Keep following the path back to the car park you started at, but make sure you enjoy every step and view along the way. Also keep an eye out for the well maintained and kept meadows, full of colour and butterflies galore.

I have placed the GPX route of my walk on the Yorkshire.com map.

wold rangers way

Horse Hair Jack Trod of The Wold Rangers Way

This is a glorious 9-mile circular walk through the stunning Yorkshire Wolds countryside. This is a smaller walk encompassing much of the new, longer challenge walk, The Wold Rangers Way.

The walk begins and ends at Market Place, in the centre of Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire. You will be walking primarily along well-trodden lanes steeped in history.

horse hair jack trod

The introduction of machinery to agriculture in the 19th century, along with the enclosure of land, created a lot of landless folk with no work. Most headed to the towns and cities but many remained, leading a nomadic existence and living off the land. They were known as The Wold Rangers.

They walked and lived along the lanes all around the Wolds, going from farm to farm in search of work. Known as extremely trustworthy, they were never turned away when they turned up at a farm. If there was no work, they at least received some food or shelter.

gate wolds

In fact, the last of the Wold Rangers, a man known as Dog Geordie, only died in 1987.

The full Wold Rangers Way itself is 43 miles in length and takes in the whole area. However, some smaller day walks have been created using the names of Wold Rangers from the past, like this one, Horse Hair Jack Trod.

driffield

From the centre of Driffield, head east and you’ll soon reach calm and green space. Even before leaving the town, you pass through The Keld, then along and over the A166 before hitting long straight lanes proper.

The walk is effectively 3 long tracks, well trodden and clear. You don’t have to worry about any turns so you can concentrate on the views and enjoying the great outdoors.

Continuing outwards and gradually upwards on Garton Balk (track), you won’t find anything strenuous at all. You soon get to see the lay of the land here, with fields of crops as far as the eye can see.

crops wolds

I was here in mid summer, when the contrasts of crop colours and blue skies made it invigorating with plenty of that feeling of escapism.

From there, you turn right to pass along some beautiful undulating tracks with secluded farms and farmhouses. You then complete the walk by heading back along a track called ‘Long Lane’ back to Driffield. I have put a GPX file on our routes map at Walkshire.com to help you.

tracks

This is a 9-mile walk, but due to the lay of the land, the well-trodden lanes and lack of steep inclines, it doesn’t feel like such a long walk at all. It is definitely a walk to enjoy at a sedate pace, rather than in a rush. You’ll be out with nature in the fresh air of The East Riding of Yorkshire.

This is also a very dog-friendly route too. The lanes are wide and not busy at all, though I would just advise you to be careful of the crops.

Barnburgh and Barnburgh Crags Walk

This is a joy of a 3-mile walk that starts and ends in the pretty village of Barnburgh, 7 miles west of Doncaster. You will find views, rocks and open countryside to enjoy.

The best place to start is right in the middle of Barnburgh, by St Peter’s church.

Across the through road from there is a side road, which heads along with the quaint looking Coach and Horses Pub on your right.

At the end of this road, follow the bend to the left. After a few hundred metres, there is a signposted bridleway track off to the right.

This track then carries straight on, gently going uphill to the top. There is nothing too strenuous here, though the climb allows the views to get bigger and bigger all the time.

As the path at the top swings right, you head into the woods. These woods have a secret inside. To your left is a wall of rock, Barnburgh Crag, that you follow all the way along.

If you look closely at sections of the rock, you will see mysterious faces that have been meticulously carved into the stone at some point in time. Some look like grumpy old men, while others resemble cartoon characters.

In the summer, you need to look carefully as the trees and ivy can hide the secret faces. In winter, you could walk this and see the crag in more glory for sure.

With the crag on your left, you mustn’t forget to look right with the huge views over South Yorkshire towards Derbyshire.

Upon reaching the end of the crag, you turn right down a road for a couple of hundred metres before turning off right onto another track.

Here you get a fantastic view back down towards Barnburgh. Crops sway in the breeze over the land before you.

There are a few paths from here that all meander back to the village. The one I took was less of a road and more around the edges of fields, but you can easily keep on the main track and along the road to the village and your start and end point.

This is one of those short walks and climbs that really surprised me. I hardly met a soul en route, yet what it offers is absolutely stunning for a walk of this length. The secret crags and faces add a whole new interest too.

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve Walk

This is a glorious walk amongst nature. Potteric Carr Nature Reserve is a beautiful area of wetland, woodland and wildlife that is a joy to explore. Discover the marvel of nature on this 4-mile trail around the nature reserve.

The nature reserve is an oasis of nature that is nestled between a busy main road and a railway line, not too far from inner Doncaster. You will forget about all of the industry in the surroundings once you are in and exploring.

There is a small fee to enter the reserve. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust do an amazing job here and they will give you a great briefing to help you on your way along the trail.

This walk covers a 4-mile figure of eight around much of the reserve, taking in the marshes and through the meadows and woodland. There are, of course, shorter routes as well for those with little ones or those that maybe do not have as long to explore.

You can get a route map at the entry kiosk which explains the differing routes and what to expect. On the routes, there are plenty of colour-coordinated signs to keep you on track.

From the kiosk, I followed the red route off to the right and wandered through the glorious woodland before coming across the first of many great hides, where you can watch the birds and nature on the water.

The path then passes through tall grass meadows, full of colour, before heading out for a full circuit of one of the larger marshes. There are more hides dotted all along that are great for bird spotters and nature lovers alike.

Along the paths, you are surrounded by dragonflies and the dazzling blue damselflies going about their business in great number.

It is so peaceful all the way around. You would not believe how close to the city you are, nor how close to a main road.

It is a fabulous walk for all standards and ages.

Greno and Wharncliffe Woods Circular

To the north of Sheffield, near Grenoside, lie Greno and Wharncliffe Woods. These are some fabulous woodlands to walk through and this 7-mile circular takes it all in and more.

These ancient woodlands and forested areas stretch for miles around and you can easily spend a whole day walking through them.

Starting in the middle of Grenoside on Penistone Road, it is just a minute or two before you are suddenly inside the thick green woodland of Greno Woods.

One minute you are in a housing area by a main road, then the next you are suddenly transported into calmness and nature.

This first section of the loop walk takes you deeper into Greno Woods, not realising you are going gradually upwards. Then there is a gradual upwards path that brings you out at a trig point. This is the summit of Greno Knoll.

This trig point is, of course, a remnant from a time before the high trees. Over time, the trees have obscured any line of sight to and from the trig point from elsewhere.

From there, you drop down the other side and across Woodhead Road into a car park. This is where you enter Wharncliffe Wood.

The pathways here are very wide and, as I found, a little more busy than Greno. Dog walkers, joggers and horse riders all enjoy the surroundings this place offers. Even though there were more people there, it did not feel overly busy at all. These woods cover a huge area, so there is plenty of space for one and all to enjoy.

Of course, you don’t even need to take the route we took. Paths lead in all directions from this place of real exploration. The locals are truly blessed.

The path takes you all around and through the woods before you suddenly emerge into the open and onto Whalejaw Hill. You do not realise how high you have gone and there are spectacular views from here of Sheffield, the Peak District and beyond.

The path from here winds round and back into Greno Woods for a gentle walk back to Grenoside. The dogs absolutely loved this walk too, with so much to stimulate them and space for them to run about safely.

This is definitely one of those walks that may be 7 miles long but certainly does not feel that long or hard in any way. You can take all the time to enjoy it as you wish.

You will find the GPX of my route on walkshire.com

Kings wood

A Circular Walk From Roche Abbey

This is a beautiful walk near Maltby, to the east of Rotherham in South Yorkshire. It is full of history, nature, woodland and vast views, with no need for any big climbs.

It starts from Roche Abbey and takes you through woodland, past waterfalls and through the village of Laughton en le Morthen with its great church and spire.

The walk starts with splendour immediately. Walking by Roche Abbey, you are surrounded by history nestled in the valley floor.

roche abbey

Following the path beside the fence, keeping the abbey on the right, you turn right at the end and into the wonderful King’s Wood.

Here, you will find yourself in an old and beautiful woodland with waterfalls and greenery everywhere. Then, after about half a mile, you come to a fork in the path. Take the left path that goes gradually uphill for a short time.

As you step out of the woods, you will meet fabulous views along the path. There are miles of crops and fields to the left and the woods appear below to your right.

As you walk straight ahead, you cannot miss the village of Laughton en le Morthen and the huge 185ft spire of its church. This is a perfect halfway place to explore.

After passing through Laughton en le Morthen, you head down to the valley bottom to begin the walk back. Here, you will gain a whole new perspective of this very pretty area.

The pathway you headed out on is now above you to the right and the woodland is ahead of you. From this area’s angle, you really do see why they placed Roche Abbey where they did. The valley gets narrower, with the woods nestled in the valley bottom.

When you get back into the woods, you come in on what was the other path in the fork mentioned earlier and you can make your way back to the start.

You can find the GPX route for this walk on walkshire.com

canklow woods

Canklow Woods Heritage Trail, Rotherham

This is a 2-mile circuit walk through ancient woodland and a historical archaeological site on the outskirts of Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Canklow Woods is an oasis of ancient woodland that takes you immediately away from the hustle and bustle of the town and roads in the near distance.

The woods are very important archaeologically, as it has been found that our ancestors lived here at least 3000 years ago.

This 2-mile loop path does not just take you around the woods, but it also gives you a lot of information about its history and the wildlife along the route. You will learn about the people who lived here and how they used the land, as well as the nature in your surroundings and how important it is.

The walk starts at Boston Park car park. Head through the little park, past the old bowling green and into the woods. 

From here, if you want to walk the heritage trail itself, we have the GPX and it is exactly 2 miles around. You will just need to follow the old looking arrowed pathway. Please note that some of the arrows have gone missing over time.

The path takes you through time, with information posts telling you how the land and these woods led over centuries to the steel industry of the area. They also tell you about how the people lived in the woods many centuries ago, using wood crafts to create all manner of tools and other objects.

Finally, you can find out about how the woodland is managed today. I know that so much more work than you might expect goes in to keep these areas special and safe from invasive species.

The middle section of the walk takes you to the very oldest parts of the ancient woodland. As old gnarled oaks surround you, you can’t help but imagine the age of them and all the things they could have witnessed over the centuries.

This route is wonderful for a family walk but it is also perfect for a short escape walk to clear the mind in the midst of nature. Dog lovers will certainly love it too.

I have uploaded this walk route as a GPX on walkshire.com

fathers day walk

Walking Yorkshire On Father’s Day

Father’s Day is upon us. It’s a perfect chance to get out and about in the great outdoors and spend some quality time with our fathers or the other way around, fathers with our children, and grandchildren for that matter.

Of course, we don’t need a special day to have a lovely day out with a cherished member of the family, but it’s always nice to do something more special on a special day and have a family treat.

There is so much in our beautiful county that can be done, no matter what our fathers enjoy doing.

father and son walking

Walking Ideas

Walking is the perfect activity for some good family time. A walk in the Yorkshire countryside is a day well spent. We have lots of ideas for walks of all lengths in the county on Walkshire.com.

You could also go that extra mile and do a themed walk that fits with a passion of our fathers. Below are some ideas to get you thinking.

yorkshire walking

Circular walk with a country pub

This is a great combination for a family outing: a walk in the fresh air with a treat in the middle or at the end, of a meal/drink in an idyllic country pub.

There are some great pubs in the Yorkshire countryside, many with picturesque settings by rivers, beside canals, nestled in green valleys or by the coast.

This is good chance to have a family get together as well as enjoying the outdoors.

Hobbies walk

Remember, today is all about our fathers. It’s their day and their day to do what they enjoy. Enjoy a walk with them whilst they enjoy doing what they love to do.

They might well enjoy bird watching. Given we’re blessed with so much nature and wildlife, you could go for a walk along cliff tops or riversides to help them enjoy their pastime sharing their finds with you.

yorkshire river and waterfall

RSPB Bempton Cliffs or Spurn Point are excellent choices in this regard. Both are wonderful places for sea birds and migrating birds.

Father’s Day also falls into the peregrine falcon season at Malham Cove. You’ll find a great walk there, with great scenery and a potential sighting of the fastest bird on earth soaring above.

Maybe your father likes fishing? Even if you don’t do this yourself, you can still join them on a walk to the riverside and enjoy a picnic, sharing time in their world for a day.

You could also combine a great walk with any other hobbies your father may have. From trains to cars (look out for car shows) and breweries, the list is endless.

A country village walk

If you don’t want to go too much into the wilderness, take a walk around one of our idyllic and historical towns and villages.

Why not take a trip to the coast and enjoy a pretty fishing village? Alternatively, venture into the dales and see where life is taken at such a different pace.

fishing village

Wherever you go, you’ll find tea rooms, pubs and fish and chips on the coast a plenty to spoil him with.

Historic Buildings and gardens

Yorkshire is blessed with many historical buildings and gardens. If a day in a historic setting is your father’s thing, treat them to a day out at one of the many places to see and discover.

whitby abbey

How about a day walking and exploring Castle Howard? Walking around York and going to the Minster? Whitby Abbey on the East Coast cliff tops? Studley Royal water garden? There are so many sites to choose from.

If they enjoy art and walking combined, why not spend time together at Yorkshire Sculpture Park?

Have a wonderful Father’s Day

These are only a few ideas and our site will give you hundreds of other ideas for walking inspiration this Father’s Day.

But most importantly, spoil them rotten and cherish every minute of the day wherever you go. Happy Father’s Day!

on the pennines

Marsden Moor and Pule Hill Circular Walk

This is a wonderful moorland and hill walk in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. The walk is full of variety, from vast open moorland to views from the top of the Pennines and a small, yet iconic hill to climb, Pule Hill.

The walk starts in the lovely village of Marsden. The best place to park here is at the National Trust car park by the canal and Marsden railway station.

standedge tunnel

From here, you walk gently along the canal for about half a mile before reaching Standedge Tunnel.

You can stop at the Visitor Centre to learn about the famous Standedge Tunnel under the Pennines, where the railway and canal go underground and stay way under your feet for a lot of this walk.

From the tunnel entrance, you sweep to the right and meander up paths and tracks up onto the moors. Our GPX route on Walkshire.com will guide the way.

bench on the trail

You should imagine that this route was taken by pack horses and handlers on the canal in its heyday, while the boats went underneath via the tunnel. It must have been hard work!

packhorse trail

It must have also been far removed from the peacefulness you get today. The area is beautiful, expansive and so quiet. I only met one other person the whole day. There is something about a walk when you really do feel away from it all.

As you climb the moors, the views become vast and the first landmark on the way up is March Haigh Reservoir. This tranquil beauty spot, far from any roads, is a great spot for the dogs to cool down as well.

reservoir stop

Carrying on up the well-laid trail, you come out onto the top of the Pennines. Here, you’ll be met with huge views across Marsden Moor and West Yorkshire.

The rocks along the edge on the top give you a great platform for views over Greater Manchester and Lancashire too. From here, you start heading south along the Oldham Way/Pennine Way.

pennines

Enjoy the views as you follow the Pennine Way southwards, before eventually turning left, back across the moor towards the unmistakable sight of Pule Hill.

Its conical shape is so recognisable.

pule hill

Before reaching the foot of the hill, you meet the A62 Manchester Road at the old Great Western Inn.

great western inn

Next, cross the road and walk to the foot of Pule Hill itself. The climb will seem steep, but heading straight up, it only takes about 15 minutes.

steep climb

The views from the top, in the breeze, will energise you for your wander downhill into Marsden.

top of pule hill

From the top, it’s a gentle descent back into Marsden. You’ll get a great view of the village as you get closer and closer.

marsden

En route, you’ll see huge brick chimney-like structures. These are the ventilation shafts for the aforementioned railway and canal tunnels that run under the Pennines.

This may be a nine-mile walk, but even though it has two climbs, it does not feel too strenuous. It is so rich in variety that it never feels like a slog at all.

Shorter routes are also available- if you park at the National Trust Visitor Centre car park, near Marsden railway station, you can view maps of a range of different routes in the area.