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!

Walking with Kids: The Whinger Games

(I forgot the snacks…)

Parents, we’ve all been there. You’re walking, the kids are moaning, there’s a general belief that one more step will be the one that makes their legs fall off…

And you’ve used up the entirety of your snack-based bribery arsenal! 

The horror! 

So what can you do? How can you make it back to base (or even better, the pub!) without stuffing your ears full of grass to drown out the whinge onslaught? 

Well, I can’t promise anything, but here are three top ways to motivate and accelerate your little walkers!

Ready

Take a picture. No, I don’t mean you! Hand it over to the kiddlies, whether it be a camera or a phone, and let them take creative control! The best game to play is photograph hide and seek. Task your explorers with finding an epic hiding spot…. then take a before shot…. and a BOO shot! Then giggle hysterically until you find another perfect hiding spot. 

Playing hide and seek, photo style!

Steady

Ok, so the novelty of the photo workshop has worn off. Enter the animal sound game! Tell them an animal, they have to do the sound. Then have a competition as to whoever does the best version of said sound. But wait…

There are several things you have to know about this game. The sound has to be neither accurate nor even animally sounding. Essentially, it’s an excuse to come up with crazy, crazy noises, which are likely to scare off any nearby walkers and make you look like an idiot. Can’t think why my two love it so much… still, if it stops the whingeing, I’ll take a crazed monkey noise any day! I guess if you are more normal than us, you might want to actually take some time and use this as a mindfulness activity.  A chance to listen to all the actual animal sounds surrounding you as you walk… but if you hear the native call of the angry honey-badger, you’re probably hearing us. Sorry about that.

Poo jumping. Yes!

Go!

Ok. You’ve run out of tricks… the finish line is in sight… but you have some super tired legs who can’t possibly take another step! Let me introduce you to Poo Jumping. Yes. You heard me correctly.

This is a top way of speeding up little legs on the home straight. And, well…. POO! I’m not sure I know of many kids who don’t find poo funny. Fact. So find some poo, run…. and leap over it. It’s a game so good, it has its own t-shirt! 

If you want to find more whinge-waiving wonder games, or more ways to make those walking moans sling their hook, head to: www.thereluctantexplorers.com

Count wildlife as you count your steps!

Credit: Mother and daughter walking through park, UK – Ben Hall2020VISION
Here at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, we’re gearing up for the Great Yorkshire Creature Count (Saturday 19th June – Sunday 20th June 2021).  We’re on a mission to discover how many different wildlife species we can collectively record in 24 hours, and are challenging folk in every corner of Yorkshire to record what they can see from their own doorsteps.

Whether that’s looking and listening out of a window, peering into and under pots and window boxes, exploring the nooks and crannies of a terraced yard, or scouring a leafy garden – we want to know what you see and where you see it!

You can complete your challenge on a local walk too. As you pop to the shop, stretch your legs around the block or take your four-legged friend for a walk, our blog features top tips on how and where to spot as much wildlife as you can from your front door.

Make your next walk count for wildlife as well as your heart, body and mind. Read our blog here: https://www.ywt.org.uk/blog/yorkshire-wildlife-trust/step-out-your-front-door-and-count-creatures-great-and-small

Join in our ‘wild Yorkshire census’ and get counting!

Sign up to the challenge today, receive instructions for taking part and get more creature counting tips here: https://www.ywt.org.uk/great-yorkshire-creature-count

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is the only charity entirely dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Yorkshire’s wildlife and wild places.

To help protect our wildlife and wild places please:

Follow the latest government guidance on social distancing
Follow any signage on site
Stick to the paths and trails, and check if dogs are welcome or need to be on a lead.
Take your litter home, as it’s harder for us to empty bins regularly.

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.

Great Northern Railway Trail

Distance: Two miles
Pram friendly: Yes

If you want stunning views, this one has them in spades.

It’s a lovely, gentle walk which is ideal if you have young children, a pram or little ones on bikes. It’s also great if you just fancy taking it easy.

Head over the stunning Hewenden Viaduct and into the lovely village of Cullingworth near Bradford for this out-and-back route.

For the full route, visit https://busymumlifestyle.co.uk/walkshire-great-northern-railway-trail/

Anthony Cockerill goes for a walk in the woods in the North York Moors…

The woods of the North York Moors are, without doubt, my favourite place to walk. Yes, a hike up a fell in the dales is sometimes just the job – a formidable trek as the lowlands give way to exposed limestone hunks; a narrowing path and brittle air; an ascent into cloud and moisture.

But the forest trail is gently yielding. And the forest is a place where the imagination can wander too, a place of eerie depths where the imagination tends to work overtime, provoking pleasantly sublime instincts.

My favourite forest walk starts in the secluded village of Nether Silton and follows the narrow road towards the woods. Turning from the road up onto a bridleway that leads up a steep, woody bank, I climb up into the trees, skirting the edge of the forest, and walk along a ridge with occasional views into the vale below. Ahead, the path turns gently to the right and widens.

Then a fork, and with it, a choice: either following the metalled bridleway straight ahead, or delving deep into the forest proper, a shuddering of creaking pines and an almost eerie darkness. The forest floor is a barren waste of dead pine needles; the trunks of Scots pine almost wholly denuded of branches until the top of the canopy. I can’t help feeling that I could easily get lost.

Of course, there’s no such luck. Hiking in any direction would bring me safely back to civilisation fairly soon, although it wasn’t always this way. Thousands of years ago, the landscape of Britain was dominated by the ‘wildwood’, a vast forest that stretched the length and breadth of the isles. Just how dense this forest was is subject to debate: research in recent decades, focused on ancient beetle remains and native shrubs and trees which thrive in light, suggests that Britain’s primordial forest may have been much more fragmented than we might imagine.

The wildwood gradually disappeared, starting over five thousand years ago with the Neolithic people, who cleared woodland for crops and grazing livestock. Later came the Bronze Age people, who used timber for structures. The Iron Age Celts and the Romans cleared land for grazing. By 1000 AD, perhaps as little as twenty percent of Great Britain was covered by woodland.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, woodland covered just 5% of Great Britain. The Forestry Commission, founded in 1919, began to reforest ancient woodlands, often with non-native species. During the Great Depression, new forests were planted: Dalby in North Yorkshire, Hamsterley in County Durham and Kielder in Northumberland.

In North Yorkshire, we’re lucky. Twenty percent of the North York Moors National Park is covered with forest, and the neighbouring Howardian Hills AONB is similarly swathed in plentiful woodland. The largest plantation, Dalby Forest, is extensive and popular because it offers various activities such as mountain bike hire and high rope outdoor activities. But it’s good to go hiking off the way-marked trails and explore.

Forestry England owns many plantations in the national park. Their woodland has public access guaranteed in perpetuity, meaning visitors can roam and explore on foot. Even land in private ownership, such as Yearsley Moor, owned by Ampleforth Abbey, has an extensive network of public footpaths and bridleways.

Through the seasons, the forest offers a changing and diverse array of nature. In spring, there’s wild garlic, primroses, bluebells, wood sorrel. An early morning walk can bring the sight of a deer. In summer, the forest makes for brilliant walking: dipping in and out of the shade as you explore the riggs and the stacked piles of felled trees. In autumn, the forest is a blaze of mellow colour. Finally, in winter, a walk in the woods is bracing, especially when the sun sinks beneath the hills and a chill envelopes the trees.

Back on the trail in Silton Forest, Black Hambleton is visible through the trees on the eastern riggs of the woodland. Here, I rarely encounter another soul on these inviting paths through the trees. It’s intensely fragrant and light dapples the ground.

The forest excites our imagination like no other place. The forest invites cosiness – a cabin tucked inside the pines, a wreath of blue smoke curling from the chimney. It can also suggest something sinister: a primal fear that still lurks inside all of us.

It’s great to bag peaks sometimes – and when we crave the hills, North Yorkshire delivers – but a woodland walk is just as perfect.

Aireville Park, Skipton – not just a park

Little Miss Yorkshire

Aireville Park (BD23 1QR), in Skipton, is the best in the town by a long way. The park is at the heart of the town and you can easily spend a few hours here.

There is a variety of short walks that you can do around the park. Our favourite, though, is a 2.5km loop around the outskirts of the park and back through Gawflat Meadow. There’s plenty to keep little ones entertained, so it never feels like you’re walking much. You walk through a variety of terrain: woodland, wide open spaces, a wildflower meadow and alongside the canal.

The main paths through the park are accessible, as well as the towpath that connects Aireville Park to the town centre. When you venture off these paths, you’ll discover a whole lot more from this park, including a tree top adventure, foot golf and picture-perfect picnic spots!

The main paths are ideal for little ones learning to ride their bikes, before they progress to the brilliant pump track to improve their confidence. The main event though is the playground. The wooden playground equipment was built in the last few years and there is so much to do for all ages. Little ones will love the sand pit, musical instruments and the obstacle course, complete with tunnel. For the older ones, there are climbing beams, a zip line, a rock-climbing wall and much more.

To find out what else this park has to offer, click here.

Celebrate our Yorkshire National Trails with a Trail Tribute

It’s the time of year when, across many countries, we celebrate International Trails Day.  Here in England and Wales this year, we’re celebrating with a Trail Tribute to thank everyone involved in looking after the trails. We want people to share photos, memories, stories and thank yous to all the people who help make the trails what they are.

On our four National Trails which run through Yorkshire, we have many people to thank for all their efforts.

The Cleveland Way would not be the high-quality path it is without our volunteers, who tirelessly give up their time to join us on the path and get stuck into its maintenance.  Building steps, setting back fences due to coastal erosion, cutting back scrub, installing signs and gates – the list of activities is endless and the enthusiasm they bring gives us all a real lift.  On the Yorkshire Wolds Way, teams from the Ramblers Association love to get stuck in and make the trail the lovely experience it is.

Photo Gallery

Volunteers also play a vital role in the maintenance of the Pennine Way and Pennine Bridleway. They regularly get involved in all sorts of work, from controlling vegetation and installing way marking to drainage and surfacing works and fencing and repairing gates.  The time they give and experience they bring are invaluable in helping maintain the trails at their high standard and ensuring everyone using the trails has the best experience possible. 

We also have businesses who donate funds to help to make our trails so special.  Of course, beer and walking have long been a happy partnership and so it’s no surprise that we have official beers to support our trails.  Have you tried any?  On the Cleveland Way, it’s “Striding the Riding” from Helmsley Brewery; on the Yorkshire Wolds Way, seek out “Wolds Way” from Wold Top Brewery; finally, on the Pennine Way, look for “Pennine Ambler” from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery.  It was thanks to a donation from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, along with volunteers helping to carry out the work, that a section of the Pennine Way could be repaired at Hardraw in the Yorkshire Dales last year. 

There’s also the wonderful support we get from running events. In particular, we have Hardmoors, run by Jon and Shirley Steele, to thank for their help on the Cleveland Way and Yorkshire Wolds Way, With a £1 donation from every entry to Hardmoors events, we were able to buy a vehicle for the Cleveland Way Maintenance Ranger.

We are extremely grateful for all the donations we receive from all the events on the Pennine Way and Pennine Bridleway too.  These generous donations from participants and organisers go towards the many maintenance projects that are identified on each trail each year and all help towards ensuring the trails are kept in the best possible condition for everyone to enjoy.  

Why not share your thoughts on why you’re grateful for our Yorkshire National Trails?

Useful links

www.northyorkmoors.org.uk

www.nationaltrail.co.uk

www.visiteastyorkshire.co.uk

Accessible Walking: Accessible Routes around Yorkshire

Whilst the simple act of actively appreciating the fresh air has a plethora of benefits for everyone tapping into the powerful free resource which is nature, it can be a challenge navigating walking routes as someone with accessibility needs.

As Yorkshire has so many places to get outdoors and active for everyone, we set up Yorkshire Families Magazine to enable people from all backgrounds to explore the best of God’s Own County, including sharing where our team of community reporters, many of whom have disabilities, love to explore.

Our football fanatic sports reporter, Dan, who is on the autistic spectrum, shares his favourite walks. He describes routes ranging from the familiar urban trek from the car park to Elland Road to watch his team play to wandering in the humble perfectly-formed Pontefract Park. He also takes us from the impressive sculptural art “without walls” at Yorkshire Sculpture Park to digging deep at the National Coal Mining Museum.

Here, Dan writes in his own words…

I’m a sports lover, so pre- and hopefully post-Covid, I walked to two main sports stadia to watch my teams:

Leeds United FC – Elland Road

The way I walk to Elland Road starts at the White Rose Shopping Centre car park. I then have to cross a couple of main roads, walk past the Drysalters  pub and I eventually get to see Elland Road in the distance.  Getting inside Elland Road isn’t too difficult, as I tend to have tickets in the same area: all I do is put the ticket inside the scanner and that allows me in.  I haven’t been for a while, so I’ve missed the anticipation and build-up as I’m walking down. I’ve also been missing the spring in my step with my shirt and scarf on, but hopefully next season I’ll feel all these feelings again.

Featherstone Rovers RLFC – Millennium Stadium/Post Office Road

I park in a side street and the ground is only across the road from there. On the walk, I get excited as I’m hopeful for a good game. I haven’t been for a while since Covid came, so I’m looking forward to the day I’m able to go back.  Accessibility-wise, you now have to buy a ticket from the reception area, whereas before you used to be able to go to the ticket people. A woman would then scan the ticket and from there, you’re free to go to your seat. I sit in the family stand, so I just have to walk up two lots of stairs and I’m there.

As I’ve not been to matches for a while,  I’ve been exploring where else there is to walk in Yorkshire. Fortunately, it’s good to see that there are lots of places in Yorkshire for walking or other activities.

There are many different places in Yorkshire to walk around and I’m going to give a roundup of the places here:

The following places are disabled/wheelchair-friendly

Pugneys Country Park Wakefield

Pugneys Country Park is on Denby Dale Road in Wakefield, just past Toby Carvery pub. It features accessible toilets and showers, based near the Boat House Café, an ice cream van and two lakes. You can also decide how far round you want to walk.

Roundhay Park

Roundhay Park is in Leeds. Entrances to the park and all paths are wheelchair accessible.  Accessible toilets are available in Tropical World Explorers Café, the Visitor Centre and the Education Rooms. There is also an accessible toilet at Lakeside Café.

You can choose the length of walk you go on.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is based in the parks of West Bretton in Wakefield. There’s plenty of access for wheelchairs and you can hop on a shuttle bus.

Pontefract Park

Pontefract Park is in Pontefract opposite Wickes, McDonalds and Home Bargains. There’s a path inside the race track which is accessible for wheelchairs and is the best route for these.

Cannon Hall Farm

Cannon Hall Farm is based in Barnsley. There is a narrow tarmac path from The Walk, Cawthorne, via the country park, to Cannon Hall Farm, which is accessible by wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Tables and chairs in the area are not fixed and can be rearranged to accommodate wheelchair users.

Hepworth Gallery

The Hepworth Gallery is based in Wakefield opposite the Ruddy Duck pub. It has good wheelchair and disabled access with lifts and wide paths inside the museum. The entrance is also at ground floor level.

There are three disabled toilets throughout the building: one on the ground floor, one in Gallery 6 and another in the Learning Studios. All disabled toilets have a functional emergency alarm, coat hooks and wall-mounted rails.

National Coal Mining Museum

National Coal Mining Museum is based in Overton in Wakefield. Underground wheelchair tours are available (though only two spaces are available at a time). The museum is wheelchair accessible and they regularly welcome people who have additional needs. The museum’s Nature Trail does not include any steps, though some parts can be steep, and in wet conditions this may be difficult for wheelchairs. Many of the museum’s buildings are on a single level, but access is facilitated in some places through either a ramp or a lift.

I feel it’s important for me that places are accessible for everyone regardless of whether they have a learning disability or not, as everyone should have the right to go wherever they want.

Some of these places are very good for a day out, and I’m sure the staff at all these places will help you with any enquiries you may have.  My favourite places from this list are:

  • National Coal Mining Museum
  • Pontefract Park

Please let us know if you can think of any other places that may be autism-friendly or accessible. 

Read more from Dan here: https://yorkshirefamilies.co.uk/2020/12/02/the-top-five-places-to-walk-in-yorkshire/

Ecclesall Woods Circular Walk

Ecclesall Woods is the largest area of ancient woodland in South Yorkshire, comprising three wooded sections split by main roads. The walk we’ve put together here takes in the largest of the three sections, giving you an ideal circular walk in under an hour.

At Dog Friendly Sheffield, we’re always on the lookout for great local dog walks. This walk was voted number 2 by Sheffield dog walkers in our end-of-year awards (just behind the Rivelin Valley Trail).

As a woodland walk, there’s something to see all year round, from swathes of bluebells in spring through to the stunning oranges and reds in autumn.

At 2 miles long, you can do this walk in around 45 minutes. That said, it’s worth taking your time around the woods to admire the fantastic scenery. There is ample parking nearby and the walk finishes at the dog-friendly Woodland Coffee Stop, where you can grab a drink and a slice of cake.

This walk can be busy with other dog walkers, which means your dog is fine off the lead as long as they’re friendly and have good recall.

Follow our route here: Ecclesall Woods Walk