You have a lot of choice when it comes to woodland walks in North Yorkshire. Our county is the largest in England and we boast not one but two National Parks as well as several recognised Areas of Outstanding National Beauty.
So, if you’re visiting North Yorkshire and fancy escaping into the trees for a gentle stroll or serious hike, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at some of our favourite woodland walks in the area and start planning your trip today.
You’ll find Mulgrave Woods in Whitby, a unique seaside town that has captured the hearts of visitors for many centuries. This woodland is part of the larger Mulgrave Estate and are connected to lots of local folklore and ghost stories. Enter if you dare…
The Great Yorkshire Forest is huge! It’s packed full of walking routes to enjoy, as well as mountain bike routes and a Go Ape tree top adventure. It’s an official Dark Sky Discovery Site and there are regular forest bathing and mindfulness sessions hosted here. Covering 8,600 acres, you can find both tranquilly and adventure.
Part of the Bolton Abbey Estate, a walk round the Strid Wood is beautiful at any time of year. There are lots of different routes you can take, but one of our favourites takes you through the ancient woodland and down to the Strid itself, a sudden narrowing of the river.
The Northwood Fairy Sanctuary
The Northwood Fairy Sanctuary is a paid for woodland experience that is definitely worth the money! Just 20 minutes outside York, Northwood is full of magic and mystery with lots of nature trails winding through. Your children will love spotting the fairy villages, challenging themselves in the willow maze, and playing in the natural play area.
Somewhat of a hidden gem, Yearsley Woods in Yearsley (no surprises there!) are a fantastic place for a walk. There are plenty of paths to follow and some reservoirs of water to discover as you explore the area. This spot is also a favourite for mountain bikers, and we’ve even had deer wander out in front of us while enjoying our walk.
The Yorkshire Arboretum
In the heart of the Howardian Hills, you’ll find the Yorkshire Arboretum with over 6,000 trees and shrubs. You can wander by yourself or take a guided tour of the site to get an interesting introduction to the collection and see the seasonal highlights.
Freeholders Wood at Aysgarth
While many visit Aysgarth for the dramatic waterfalls, a wander through Freeholders Wood should not be missed. It’s a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as a Nature Reserve. In the spring, the woodland floor bursts with colour from bluebells, orchids and daisies.
You’ll find Hackfall Woods near Masham in the Yorkshire Dales. While it appears to be unspoiled wilderness, it’s full of hidden follies from the 19th century, as well as lakes and waterfalls. It’s a great spot for bird watchers, with plenty of paths for a leisurely wander or hike trails for the adventurous.
At Garbutt, down a steep trail from the Sutton Bank National Park Centre, you’ll find ancient wildwoods. Here, you’ll get a real sense of what the landscape of the North York Moors would have been like thousands of years ago. For serious hikers, you’ll also be able to find Gormire, the only natural lake in the North York Moors.
Blubberhouses tree trail
The three mile walking tree trail at Blubberhouses is a very popular route for visitors and locals. The riverside walk takes you through a diverse woodland and shows glimpses of Nidderdale’s industrial heritage. You might also want to check our Thruscross reservoir while you’re in the area.
You’ll find Silton Forest near Thirsk on the edge of the North York Moors. There is a network of different paths to follow through the trees, some of which lead up to parts of the Cleveland Way. Some of the hill climbs aren’t for the faint hearted, but the views from the top are definitely worth it.
We hope we’ve inspired you to take a woodland walk next time you visit North Yorkshire. Did you favourite route make our list? Chat to us on Twitter!