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Harrogate

Hiking around Harrogate

Hiking

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Photo: alh1 (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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The prosperous spa town of Harrogate has long been a favourite of intrepid hikers. Walks around Harrogate take you into wonderful river valleys, amongst geological magnificence and masterpieces of Victorian architecture. This historic town sits on the fringes of Nidderdale, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, with the plains of the Vale of York to the east. With the Yorkshire Dales National Park also only 13 miles (20 km) away, it is fair to say that Harrogate’s walks are as fabulous as its famous Yorkshire Tea.

Hikes around Harrogate are gorgeous any time of year. In spring and summer the landscaped gardens of Studley Royal Park are a riot of colour. Though on a cold, clear winter’s afternoon, the magnificent ruins of Fountains Abbey have a certain atmospheric charm. The woodlands found in Nidderdale and Nidd Gorge save their finest colours for autumn, when the crunch of fallen leaves and the sounds of flowing water become your soundtrack.


Top 20 best walks and hikes around Harrogate

    Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    1
    1
    Intermediate
    02:31
    6.01 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
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    2
    Intermediate
    02:52
    6.83 mi
    2.4 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    03:58
    8.91 mi
    2.2 mph
    825 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    4
    Intermediate
    03:45
    8.38 mi
    2.2 mph
    800 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    5
    Intermediate
    04:41
    11.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    550 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    6
    Easy
    01:42
    3.97 mi
    2.3 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    02:05
    4.92 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Difficult
    05:02
    11.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    950 ft
    950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Intermediate
    03:05
    7.14 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    04:01
    9.39 mi
    2.3 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Intermediate
    02:07
    5.06 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    12
    Intermediate
    02:06
    5.02 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Intermediate
    02:56
    6.57 mi
    2.2 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    14
    Easy
    01:25
    3.33 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    02:05
    4.58 mi
    2.2 mph
    525 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    16
    Intermediate
    02:21
    5.00 mi
    2.1 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    17
    Intermediate
    02:26
    5.32 mi
    2.2 mph
    625 ft
    625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    18
    Easy
    02:00
    4.62 mi
    2.3 mph
    300 ft
    300 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    19
    Intermediate
    03:28
    8.11 mi
    2.3 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    02:37
    5.73 mi
    2.2 mph
    675 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View

Discover More Tours around Harrogate

More Information

Exploring the Skell Valley

Some of the finest walks around Harrogate explore the historic and picturesque Skell Valley. Experience Studley Royal Park and the ruins of Fountains Abbey, awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as ‘a feat of human creative genius’. The park’s landscaped grounds have been immaculately curated around the 1,000-year-old abbey ruins.

Take a magical stroll around the incredible water gardens, keeping an eye out for stags wrestling each other with their antlers. Over 300 red, sika and fallow deer roam the grounds. The gothic St Mary’s Church is another architectural masterpiece waiting to be discovered here. Nearby, the idyllic Seven Bridges Valley offers you utterly delightful walking, following the meandering River Skell over the five remaining arched packhorse bridges.

Sandstone forged splendour

The spectacular Brimham Rocks and their surroundings make for some of the best hikes around Harrogate. A site of special scientific interest, its 454 acres (184 ha) contain heathlands, birch woodland and the famous 320 million-year-old sandstone rock formations. The impossible shapes they assume are sensational, the result of aeons of erosion by ice, water and wind.

Closer to Harrogate is Nidd Gorge, a deep, sandstone ravine with sheer wooded banks. Perfect for an afternoon ramble, it rewards nature lovers with a veritable patchwork of habitats. In summer, a diverse array of butterflies flutter between the trees and wild flowers abound.

Natural beauty in Nidderdale

Some of the best hiking trails around Harrogate can be found in Nidderdale. In fact, there are 125 square miles (200 km2) on which to exercise your right to roam. The prominent hill of Great Whernside (not to be confused with county-high-point Whernside to the west) offers a unique panorama across Nidderdale and back to the vastness of the Yorkshire Dales. 


Experience the remote moorland and undulating hills of Mashamshire, perfect for stargazing under a vast night sky. Pack your tent and set out for an adventure into this secluded countryside. The archetypal V-shaped valleys, carved by 100,000 years of glacial movement, await your hiking boots. Explore winding paths and waterfalls in the rolling woodland or discover the curious and mystical structures found on the moors.


Harrogate's best walks and hikes on the map

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