8 of the Best Walks in North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is absolutely steeped in natural beauty; from the North York Moors to the Yorkshire Coast, there are just so many wonderful walks in North Yorkhire waiting to be discovered.

While you’ll get to see plenty of amazing sights on your drive up to your cottage, there’s nothing quite like lacing up your walking boots and getting among nature. With so many incredible walking routes in North Yorkshire, we’re actually very spoiled for choice. Whether you’d prefer to breathe in the fresh sea air along the North Yorkshire coast or take in the idyllic sights of the countryside in the North Riding Forest Park, there’s something for everyone.

Visiting our incredible county soon? Here are 8 of the best walks in North Yorkshire…

Roseberry Topping - best walks in North Yorkshire

1. Roseberry Topping and Cook’s Monument

Walk length: Seven miles

How challenging?: It’s a bit steep in parts, but you’ll follow a well-trodden path.

The Roseberry Topping and Cook’s Monument Trail is a circular route that loops around the village of Great Ayton and the surrounding woodlands. This is one of the most popular walks in North Yorkshire and it’s not hard to see why.

It’s a bit of a steep trek up to the top of Roseberry Topping, but you’ll get to enjoy panoramic views of the verdant fields and valleys of North Yorkshire. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of the North Sea!

Along the way, you’ll pass by a couple of North Yorkshire country pubs where you can refuel with a pint of local ale or some hearty pub grub!

Cottage nearby: The delightful three-bedroom in Egton is under a 40-minute drive from the village of Great Ayton. This stylish lodge is set among idyllic mature woodlands, offering total peace and tranquillity for its guests.

2. Forge Valley Woods

Walk length: Four miles

How challenging?: Fairly easy, the paths are well-trodden and waymarked.

A stunning nature reserve next to the River Derwent, the woodlands of Forge Valley are brimming with nature – you might even get lucky and spot an otter or two! This riverside boardwalk route through Forge Valley Woods is a fantastic choice in every season. During the summer months, the woods are filled with vibrant wildflowers and lush green leaves, which soon transform into a display of fiery hues once autumn settles in.

This scenic walk in Yorkshire starts at the Old Man’s Mouth car park in East Ayton, and loops back around once you’ve reached the edge of Stonyflat wood.

Cottage nearby: The beautiful Beechwood Vista in Scarborough is just a 10-minute drive from Forge Valley. This two-bedroom cottages offers all the luxury you need for a family holiday by the seaside.

Forge Valley Woods
Robin Hood's Bay

3. Robin Hood’s Bay Circular Walk

Walk length: Just over two and a half miles

How challenging?: A nice easygoing walk to take at your own pace.

The coastal village of Robin Hood’s Bay is well worth a visit during your holiday and is one of our favourite days out in North Yorkshire. This scenic route is an easygoing circular that should take no longer than an hour to complete – although we’d recommend that you take your time and soak up the incredible views along the way!

On sunny days, be sure to pack a picnic bag before heading out, as you’ll find some great places to stop and enjoy the view while you refuel. Afterwards, be sure to make a stop in the village to check out its local shops and pubs. Or read our guide on things to do in Robin Hood’s Bay.

Cottage nearby: Seawinds is a charming three-bedroom cottage just a five-minute drive from Robin Hood’s Bay. Accommodating up to six guests, it makes a wonderful retreat for families – there’s even a spacious enclosed garden for alfresco dinners together.

4. Glaisdale and Egton Bridge

Walk length: Five miles

How challenging?: Quite a long walk, but you’ll be following field and woodland tracks.

Make the most of the great British countryside with the Glaisdale and Egton Bridge Trail. This delightful walk in North Yorkshire takes you through the beautiful Esk Valley, stopping at the picturesque Beggar’s Bridge along the way. It doesn’t really matter where you start from – you can begin the route from either town as they’re both stops on the Esk Valley Railway.

Parts of this historic route are paved with stone slabs, which originated from medieval monks who would travel through the area. The section through East Arncliff Wood is an excellent example of these ancient slabs.

Cottage nearby: Limber View in Grosmont is a former village school that has been converted into a luxury accommodation for up to four guests. The cottage is just a 15-minute drive away from the village of Glaisdale.

Glaisdale and Egton Bridge
Runswick Bay

5. Runswick Bay

Walk length: Two miles

How challenging?: Nice and easy, you’ll follow a mostly level grass path.

Yet another charming coastal village along the North Yorkshire coast, you’ll find plenty of great walks around Runswick Bay. This short linear route is perfect for those who just want a quick stroll. It follows the picturesque Cleveland Way National Trail, taking you along the harbour at Port Mulgrave and toward Staithes.

There is a choice of sandy bays to stop at during your walk – great for those taking their dogs along for the journey. Before heading back home, be sure to stop at Runswick Bay to enjoy some fresh seafood from one of the local restaurants.

Cottage nearby: Enjoy a relaxed stay in the two-bedroom Huckleberry, a cosy lodge equipped with all the home comforts you could possibly need. Set on The Pines in Runswick Bay, you are within easy walking distance of this lovely route.

6. Ravenscar

Walk length: One and a half miles

How challenging?: A short and easy walk, yet with plenty of rewarding views.

This short walking route through Ravenscar follows a ‘figure-of-eight’ loop around part of the Cleveland Way National Trail. The small resort of Ravenscar doesn’t quite have the amenities and attractions of Scarborough and Whitby, but the sea views are more than worth it.

Along the way, you’ll get to enjoy amazing views across the Blea Wyke inlet and glimpses of Robin Hood’s Bay in the distance. The cliffs are particularly gorgeous in the spring and summer months, as they’re blanketed with vibrant wildflowers as far as the eye can see.

Cottage nearby: Harbour House is a centrally-located cottage in Whitby, just a 25-minute drive from Ravenscar. This spacious four-bedroom home is ideal for family holidays or much-needed reunions with friends.

Staithes and Port Mulgrave

7. Staithes and Port Mulgrave

Walk length: Four miles

How challenging?: There are some steep sections, but it mostly follows quiet lanes.

The Staithes and Port Mulgrave walk follows a circular route that takes you through the historic fishing village of Staithes before trailing through high cliffs to reach Port Mulgrave. The views from here are absolutely spectacular – it’s worth bringing a flask or a picnic bag and spending half an hour or so enjoying the sights from up there.

On your way back, you’ll stroll through lovely woodlands – giving you the best of Yorkshire’s coast and countryside in one beautiful route!

Cottage nearby: Set along the seafront in Staithes, you don’t get much closer to that coast than Roxby Cottage. This stylish cottage offers amazing views of the coast, while also being within walking distance of all the village’s amenities.

8. Grosmont to Whitby

Walk length: Eight miles

How challenging?: Quite a long walk, but most of the route is along level bridleways.

If you’re planning on spending the whole afternoon out on a walk, this Grosmont to Whitby route might just be what you’re looking for. Starting in the quaint village of Grosmont, you’ll make your way through fields and woodlands before arriving at Whitby’s bustling pier. If you’re staying in the town, you can always complete the route the opposite way!

Once you’ve arrived in the town, the only thing to do next is to treat yourself to a tasty tray of fish and chips. Or, head into one of the local bars for a cold (and well-earned) drink. Looking for more walks in the area? Here’s our list of best walks in Whitby.

Cottage nearby: Preacher’s Rest in Grosmont> is a fabulous chapel conversion, sleeping up to five guests. Surrounded by open countryside, guests can enjoy complete tranquillity while also being close to the town of Whitby.

Grosmont to Whitby

Walking is one of our favourite things to do in Yorkshire, with plenty of scenic walks in North Yorkshire to enjoy. Looking for some more walking options? Take a read of our top coastal walks in Yorkshire.

During your walking holiday, why not stay in one of these luxury coastal cottages. Set in some of the most scenic regions of the county, the perfect cottage is just a few clicks away.