A Very Merry Walkshire Christmas

Here at Welcome to Yorkshire, we have spent a year celebrating walking in Yorkshire. Inspired by the local community as we walked our way through lockdown, we decided to provide a Yorkshire walk a day for all 365 days of 2021.

To round off Walkshire, we have created this Christmas special. Television shows often feature clip shows as part of their Christmas episodes, highlighting some of the best bits of the season that came before. They may also feature letters from the viewers or a ‘mailbag’ segment as an ingenious way of padding out time. For today’s walk of the day, we have decided to do both!

Best of Walkshire

Cow and Calf and Twelve Apostles Walk – Ilkley

One of my personal favourite walks, this route takes you up around the Cow and Calf and towards the Twelve Apostles. On your way up through Ilkley Moor (bar t’At) you will pass picturesque locations including streams, waterfalls and woods.

Barnsley Boundary Walk

This 73 mile loop is a superb route and incorporates a number of locations across South Yorkshire, including Cannon Hall and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

This short walk through Sheffield Botanical Gardens is perfect for a taste of nature within the city. The horticultural and botanical significance of the gardens is astounding as there are over 5,000 species of plant within.

Malham Cove

Malham Cove is a fantastic walk in the Yorkshire Dales, this route is a 4 mile walk incorporating Gordale Scar & Janet’s Foss. Along the way you will spot famous locations which have featured in films including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One and TV shows such as The Witcher.

Spurn Point

Yorkshire’s own Lands End is a 6 mile walk along the Spurn National Nature Reserve. The East Riding of Yorkshire walk is fascinating as there sections of it that are only 50 metres wide and you can see out to sea and back towards land.

The Walkshire Mailbag

Thank you to everyone who sent through their submissions to Yorkshire Christmas Walks, here are a few of the best!

Anglers Country Park and Haw Park Wood – Sue Billcliffe

Photo Credit to Sue Billcliffe

“A beautiful but easy 3 mile stroll around Anglers Country Park Lake, Wakefield surrounded by stunning scenery. There are plenty of birds to see too. Wrap up warm and enjoy! You can also take a longer walk into Haw Park Wood just a little further up from the park”

Coxwold Church to Newburgh Priory – Simon Scott

Photo Credit to Simon Scott

“A lovely gentle walk starting at the historic Church of St Michael in the picturesque village of Coxwold with its splendid tombs and impressive octagonal tower. Simply walk down the hill past the crossroads with its ancient spring constantly running, and walk on towards the gates of Newburgh Priory. On your way you can rest at a tranquil lake and see all sorts of wild birds. The perfect stroll after a Christmas lunch!

If you want a detour to extend the walk, then you can simply go up Colley Broach Road with Newburgh Priory to the South and views to the Kilburn White Horse to the North. Without the detour this is a gentle 3 mile walk there and back from Coxwold Church to Newburgh Priory on the edge of the North York Moors and the Hambleton Hills.”

The Wolds Rangers Way – Mark Blakeston

Photo from Shutterstock

“The Wolds Rangers Way is a challenging circular trail which winds its way 43 miles over the Yorkshire Wolds through amazing chalk landscapes with dry valleys with stunning wildlife alongside vibrant market towns and ancient Wolds villages. It also captures the unique history of the Wold Rangers and ensures that their names and stories live on forever.”

Newmillerdam – KT from the Loch

Photo from Shutterstock

“A lovely woodland walk around Newmillerdam, Wakefield, where you can see ducks, birds and squirrels. There is a fun trail for kids to get involved with. You can walk around the water or you can add bits of woodland trail to make it longer. If you start and finish at the car park you pass the lovely Boathouse near the end. This boathouse is perfect for a delicious hot chocolate or tasty treat, where dogs are welcome too.”

Hole of Horcum – Craig Nattress

Photo Credit – Craig Nattress

“Over Christmas take a seven mile ramble around the Hole of Horcum in the North York Moors National Park, stopping off at The Horseshoe for a warming drink or meal in front of the open fire, or walk down to Dalby Forest and around the Bridestones. A winter warmer!”

Beningbrough River Walk – Emma Beaumont

Photo Credit – Sue Jordan, National Trust

“This easy to follow 3 and a half mile route in Hambleton is fully waymarked and gives a stunning tour of the parkland surrounding NT Beningbrough Hall allowing views of both the estate and the river. It is an enjoyable stroll for all the family over the Christmas period. The walk is suitable for children and dogs and provides a variety of scenery including the river, woodland and fields.”

Thank You & Useful Links

As a year of Walkshire draws to an end, thank you to all the people that have worked on Walkshire and all the contributors who helped with the creation of the content that led Walkshire to become award nominated.

For more blogs click here.

View the Walkshire map here.

For the Walkshire homepage click here.

dog in christmas jumper

Lotherton Christmas Lights Walk

Lotherton Christmas Lights Walk is a great festive family day out. With sparkly Christmas lights and a gorgeous hall in the background, it has all the ingredients for the perfect evening in December.

A very excited Merlin wanted to try out every station himself – he made a good drummer!

Playing the drums
dog in christmas jumper
The level of mud is intense!

Merlin’s Elf jumper was very on theme but did become victim to the muddy walk!

12 days of christmas
7 maids a milking plus a furry chocolate one!

It’s a fun theme of the 12 days of Christmas song with an activity station for each day – we sang the song a lot as we walked around. Each is either a photo opp or an interactive musical station or game.

lotherton dog walk
3 French Hens!
dog walks in yorkshire
The Muddy Elf Dog!

The walk is covered with bark chips so isn’t completely boggy – it got a bit stickier on the popular activities. Parking is easy and hot chocolate was good too.

There were some crafty Christmas stalls and mulled wine too. For the kids, you can book to make a decoration and do some Christmas crafts too.

Lotherton is very dog friendly – just the animal area they can’t go in. There’s even a field they can run free in so it makes a good family day out with a dog.


allerthorpe woods dog walk

Allerthorpe Common and Waplington

This 5-mile circular walk around Allerthorpe Common and Waplington is situated near Pocklington, East Riding of Yorkshire. Allerthorpe Common and Woods are perfect for a dog walk! My dogs loved it and I know your dogs will too.

The pine woodland of Allerthorpe is very attractive to walk through, no matter what season, as the tracks are wide and easy to follow.

At exactly the half way point in Allerthorpe, you have the chance for refreshment or lunch at the very dog-friendly Plough Inn.

dog in the woods

The best place to start is the Forestry Commission car park on Common Lane on the west side of the woods.

If driving east from York on the A1079, before you get to Pocklington turn right onto Sutton Lane. After about a mile, turn left onto Common Lane. The car park will be on the right hand side after half a mile.

To start the walk, cross the road from the car park and through the gate into the common. Here you have 2 paths – to follow my route, take the left fork.

allerthorpe common path

Then just simply keep going straight on through the majestic pine woodland. The path is wide and clear, and yes thre is plenty of safe nature for the dogs to run, wander and play within.

The tree-lined surrounds change to keep variety as you walk. See high pines and colourful natural woodland. It is a joy for us as well as our pawed friends.

allerthorpe woodland

The wide path leads to a narrower woodland path and you walk within the deeper greenery for a mile or so, When you come out of the other side you walk along the track with a huge open green field on your right and this takes you into the small village of Allerthorpe, the halfway point and comes out right at the Plough Inn.

Plough Inn

The welcome at the pub is wonderful. No matter the weather it will feel cosy from snug, warm and comfortable within or in the sunshine outside.

The owners and staff are extremely dog friendly with Malc and Pete getting ever so fussed over.

inside the plough inn

Refreshed, it was time to get back into the fresh air and complete the second half of the walk. Head straight out ahead from the front door of the pub and continue down the road just a few hundred metres to the edge of the village.

Then you will take a right turn away from the road and onto a track. Along here you will feel the mix of urban and woodland. Quaint houses dotted here and there with manicured gardens set amongst the nature they are within. This is Waplington.

allerthorpe track

On the way back you are out of the thicker woodland and into more fielded open areas. The track is clear, wide and continuous so no worries about getting lost.

Eventually you will come to Warren Farm where you turn right and then left around the edge of the crop fields.

farm track

For me the colours of nature were so autumnal and had that wonderful natural orange vibe in the sunshine. But in the greens of summer or black and whites of winter, this is a fabulous walk to wander.

At the end of the fields you will see a gate straight ahead that takes you back into the woods and the path heads left after the gate, within the natural woodland and back to the car park you started at.

dog in woods

If you like flat walks full of a variety of nature then this is definitely a gem for you. Your dogs will love it too!

2 dogs in the woods

It makes for a super family walk too. A great 5 miles well spent in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Haworth to Hebden Bridge

Today’s walk of the day is a eight mile linear route from the historic Haworth to the ‘hip’ Hebden Bridge.

Your start point is at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Haworth is notable for its association with the Brontë family. Charlotte, Emily and Anne wrote some of the most noteworthy novels of the Victorian Era including Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Haworth to Hebden Bridge – Route

Start from the car park at the Parsonage Museum and head down the steps towards West Lane. Take a right turn down the hill until you reach a church. Take a path to the right towards Penistone Hill. Follow this until you reach a fork in the path with two options: Haworth Old Road or Pennine Way.

We recommend that you take the Haworth Old road route as it is shorter (six miles) compared to the Pennine Way (ten miles). If you’re feeling extra active, combine these walks to make a circuit at around sixteen miles in length.

The route along the Haworth Old Road is relatively straightforward and signposted towards Hebden Bridge. It will take you over moorland that was inspirational to the Brontë sisters.

At the end of your walk you will arrive in Hebden Bridge. Take a break in the artsy town for a refreshment at the end of your walk – Stubbing Wharf could be the perfect place for a nice cool pint.

Haworth to Hebden Bridge – Conditions

Unfortunately this walk is not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs due to the hilly paths.

Useful Links

For travelling to Haworth by public transport visit Transdev.

For more Walkshire Walks of the Day follow this link or read more of our Walkshire blogs here.

Find out more about the route here.

Six Dales Trail

Today’s walk of the day is the Six Dales Trail. This is one of the most ambitious walks that we have featured during Walkshire. At a mammoth 38 miles, it is more of an expedition than a walk of the day as it could take most experienced walkers two to four days to complete.

Six Dales Trail – Route

This walk starts in Otley, Wharfedale, West Yorkshire, as seen in the image up above, and heads north through the Dales. The Six Dales Trail winds across the entire length of the superb Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Along its way it crosses the five watersheds that separate the dales and give the trail its name. From Wharfedale, it passes over into Washburndale, then into Nidderdale, Colsterdale, Coverdale and finally Wensleydale.

Along its length is everything from steep pastures to high heather moorland, stretches alongside fast-flowing rivers to paths through 18th century parkland. There are a few points of interest to take a look at along the route including The Druid’s Temple.

The trail finishes in Middleham, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire, where you will have more than earned that pint and meal in The Black Bull Inn.


This walk is difficult, it is not for everyone and would be tough for young families and dogs. The record for completing the walk is five hours and forty five minutes but we recommend stopping off along the way to get some rest and refreshments.

Useful Links

For more Walkshire Walks of the Day follow this link or read more of the blogs here.

Find out more about the Six Dales Trail here.

A full route guide is available to purchase at local outlets and from the Otley Walkers are Welcome.

Views along the River Ouse

Today’s walk of the day is a York walk taking in the views along the River Ouse in Yorkshire’s oldest city.

Firstly, walk from Water End on Clifton Bridge and head along the eastern side of the River Ouse. Follow the footpaths towards York City Centre. This stretch of the route will then lead you towards the Museum Gardens and Star Inn The City. As you walk this stretch of the route, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the historic York Minster.

River Ouse – Route

As you make your way towards the centre of York, cross the Scarborough Railway bridge. From this bridge you can see the quaint skyline of York and out towards Clifton in one direction and the accompanying woodland in the other.

Follow the footpath on the south side of the river. You will pass the Memorial Gardens and The Perky Peacock at the midpoint of your route, where you can stop for a well deserved sweet treat and a coffee. Look across the river for a view of Tower Gardens and follow this path until you reach Rowntree Park.

From Rowntree Park, cross the Millenium Bridge and head to the other side of the river. On the other side, you can cross Blue Bridge and make your way through Tower Gardens. Walk along the riverfront then take the stairs and cross the bridge back over at Ousegate.

The View from Ousegate

On the north side of the river, head back along the footpath you started your journey on. Pass the Museum Gardens and head back towards Water End.

River Ouse – Conditions

This route is very easy underfoot as it is a simple city walk. There are a plethora of places to stop along the route where you can have a rest. The Ouse has been known to flood in York, therefore be sure to check the weather and local news before setting off.

Useful Links

To find out about York’s Ghostly History visit The Original Ghost Walk of York.

For more Walkshire Walks of the Day follow this link.

Photo Credits to Amy Dillon – @amyndillon on Instagram

Woodhouse Ridge Circular

Today’s walk of the day takes you along Woodhouse Ridge on the outskirts of Leeds in an easy two-mile circuit. This secluded walk takes you behind Headingley and is perfect for getting a quick break from the busy student area.

To start the walk, head through the entrance on Ridge Terrace and keep the stone wall on your right hand side as you go uphill.

The entrance on Ridge Terrace

The view from the top of Cardboard Hill is a lovely view of Meanwood. There are benches to take in the view and an information board to learn a little bit about the history and wildlife in the area. The hill is a great place to sit and take in nature, particularly in spring and summer, when it’s a picnic hot-spot.

The view from the top of Cardboard Hill

Woodhouse Ridge Route

Make your way along the ridge you will encounter wildlife that you wouldn’t expect to find so close to the city.

Making your way up the ridge with the wall on your right will lead you past an onion patch and large oak trees from which you can often hear birdsong.

Go along this path until you start heading back downhill and reach the back to back terraced houses. At this point, you should turn around and take the path on your right back down the hill. This will lead you past the remnants of a bandstand from the Edwardian era. Continue past this through Batty’s Wood until you find yourself on Cardboard Hill once again.

Woodhouse Ridge – Conditions

This walk is a perfect stroll and the paths are generally easy to walk on. It can be very muddy if there has been rainfall which can make some of the hills much more difficult so be mindful of the weather.

Woodhouse Ridge in the Snow

Having walked the Woodhouse Ridge in the snow, I would personally not recommend it because the hills can be very slippery and difficult to navigate. While the views were lovely, it was very difficult to avoid slipping.

Useful Links

Find out more about the Ridge here.

Discover more Walkshire routes here.

Pennine Bridleway National Trail

Today’s Walk of the Day is the Pennine Bridleway National Trail, stretching a vast two-hundred and five miles from the Derbyshire Peak District all the way up to Ravenstonedale in the Yorkshire Dales.

Large parts of the trail are dog-friendly and wheelchair accessible as there are no stiles to clamber over. The surface of the trail is also well kept and so this a way for any individual to get active.

As the trail is so long, there are a number of different walks that you can do along the way. We’ve decided to highlight two circuits: The Settle Loop and The Mary Towneley Loop.

The Settle Loop

The Settle Loop is a ten mile circuit of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail. The route incorporates incredible views of the Yorkshire Dales and of the famous Malham Tarn (as seen in Harry Potter). The picturesque town of Settle is the start and end point for the loop, it has good parking options and is fairly easily accessible via public transport.

The Mary Towneley Loop

This is for a much more experienced walker and will even take them a few days. At 47 miles in length, this mammoth route takes you across the south Pennine valleys. It will lead you to Todmorden and past Stoodley Pike. This loop is not for everyone but will surely leave you with a magnificent sense of accomplishment on completion. The route can be joined at any point though we would recommend Hebden Bridge as there are great things to do

Useful Links

Whether you’re walking, cycling or running along the Pennine Bridleway, there are so many options for exercise across Yorkshire. Learn more about Yorkshire Sport here.

GPX Routes: https://www.yorkshire.com/walkshire/map?tags=nationaltrail#/route/174467

Check out the Yorkshire.com page for the Pennine Bridleway National Trail here.

For more Walkshire Walks of the Day follow this link.

Goitstock Waterfall Walk

Goitstock Waterfall in the sunlight

Goitstock Waterfall is an exciting visit and an underappreciated location in the West Yorkshire countryside. It is close to Bingley and often praised as a hidden gem.

A two mile stroll through the Goitstock Woods will lead you along the Harden Beck to the spectacular waterfall.

Start at The Malt pub in Harden and walk away from Bingley towards Cullingworth. For the best route, follow the signs for the Goitstock & Senior Way. Along the route, you will pass three mills: Hallas Bridge, Harden Bridge and Goit Stock.

Goitstock Waterfall in the snow

The terrain of the walk is relatively level. While it is rainy, the flat dirt paths may be difficult to navigate so it is best to wear your walking boots.

The walk is suitable for children and they will be in awe of the waterfall. However, be especially careful around the beck as the currents are dangerous.

The walk is circular and you will return to the Malt pub which is dog friendly and the perfect place to enjoy a post walk refreshment.

For more Walkshire Walks of the Day follow this link.

The Harland Way: Wetherby to Spofforth Railway Walk

There are so many dog walks on the Harland Way. These are my favourite kinds of walk as they have lots of hills to go up and throw my ball down!

For this one, you park in the old Wetherby Railway Station Car Park – on the Linton side of Wetherby. The path leads directly from here towards Spofforth.

Spot my ball?

This path is wide and good for walkers, kids, dogs and cyclists. There is a variety of routes to take and many crossroads to turn different ways!

Ball is life!

The paths are well sign posted and have railway bridges crossing over the top. As it opens up towards Spofforth you’ll get a glimpse of Spoffoth Castle.

Try the Castle Pub in Spofforth for a dog friendly pub for lunch, if you fancy turning this three mile walk into a six mile circuit, you can loop back and try Kofi and Co in Wetherby – they have the best brunch around and a great selection of smoothies.

Read more about Merlin on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/merlinthechocolatewizard/