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North Yorkshire is an exquisitely beautiful area packed with varied landscape and neatly carved in two by a wide, central valley. Stretching almost the width of northern England, your walks in North Yorkshire can cross dales, moors, beaches and picturesque towns.
This region contains two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as two national parks, giving you the ultimate choice of trails. Hikes in North Yorkshire are wild with breathtaking views from the rugged hills found across the county. Trekking across the moors makes you feel as though you’re on top of the world while exploring the vibrant woodlands reveals the area’s diverse wildlife.
The balance between settlements and the outdoors certainly goes in your favour here as a hiker. There are countless beautiful towns and villages dotted throughout and yet everywhere feels blissfully rural.
Hiking trails in North Yorkshire will take you over hills and under forest canopies, showing you all the best parts of this region. Choose a trail and pack some snacks, it’s time to get adventuring.
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The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a place of patchwork fields with low stone walls, bleating sheep and glorious views. Some of the best hiking trails in North Yorkshire are found in the Pennines hill chain amongst the river valleys and green hills of the dales.
One of the most well-known dales here is Wensleydale. While it is rather lovely for walking in, it’s actually famous for its local cheese and it would be rude not to stop in the local town of Hawes to try a bite.
Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the Dales’ immediate neighbour and another spot for fantastic walks in North Yorkshire. The trails here will lead you through serene woodlands, into steep valleys and across watercolour farmlands. It’s also known for its dark skies at night and camping can give you the best opportunity to see them.
In the opposite side of the county, the North York Moors National Park has truly got it all. Forests, dales, vast heather moorland plus a stunning stretch of North Sea coastline all come together to make this an unbelievable place to hike.
The coastline here has some of the prettiest villages and towns in the county with stone cottages nestled in coves and active fishing harbours. Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay are classic examples of wonderful seaside settlements.
Wherever you go in North Yorkshire, you’ll find walking trails that whisk you off to beautiful places. It would be challenging to find an uninspiring footpath in this magnificent county so you can’t go very wrong if you’re looking for a base.
Many towns within the national parks are well set up for walkers heading off on hikes in North Yorkshire and you’ll find plenty of accommodation of all types. Clapham, Grassington and Kettlewell are great bases if you’re in the west.
If you want to explore the eastern side of the county, you can esconce yourself in a tiny moors village, head to the coast at Whitby or explore one of the towns on the outskirts of the national park. Thirsk, Pickering and Harrogate all make for wonderful bases with great facilities.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check out more Hikes throughout North Yorkshire below and find the perfect Tour in your destination.
Explore more of England: Browse the best Hikes in other regions.