5 great spring nature walks in Yorkshire

PUBLISHED: 00:00 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:24 25 April 2020

Red squirrel, Snaizeholme, near Hawes Les Gibbon / Alamy Stock Photo

Red squirrel, Snaizeholme, near Hawes Les Gibbon / Alamy Stock Photo

Credit: Les Gibbon / Alamy Stock Photo

David Scotland is an outdoor expert based in Yorkshire. These are some of his favourite spring walks to spot the best of seasonal flowers and wildlife

Reflection, Snaizeholme by Andy O'BrienReflection, Snaizeholme by Andy O'Brien

Best for red squirrel spotting


If you're nuts about wildlife then Snaizeholm squirrel trail is a great option. Grey squirrels are relatively common on woodland walks - however their red cousins are a much rarer sight. This well-marked trail will take you past a designated viewing point, where you can watch the colony of red squirrels that have made the surrounding woodland their home. Although the route is relatively short, there is an initial steep descent, numerous steps and a muddy field to pass through. Parking spaces are very limited, however the Little White Bus (which requires pre-booking) runs from the market town of Hawes and takes around 10 minutes.

Distance: 5 miles circular trail


Along the Meanwood Valley Trail by Terry Madeley (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) via https://flic.kr/p/26ggEP1Along the Meanwood Valley Trail by Terry Madeley (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) via https://flic.kr/p/26ggEP1

Best for a taste of the countryside in the city

Meanwood Valley Trail

This route takes you through Meanwood Valley Urban Farm, which is an ideal day out for those looking for a taste of the countryside in the city. It's a great day out for families, as children can learn about the various farm animals (including rabbits, goats, chickens, donkeys, etc.). There is also a woodland and garden area to explore, a shop and a cafe. At the time of writing, entry is £2 for adults and 50p for children. It's easily accessible by public transport, located near Headingley and a 12-minute car journey or 45-minute walk from Leeds train station.

Distance: 7 miles


Ingleton waterfall trail by Anna WhiteleyIngleton waterfall trail by Anna Whiteley

Best for waterfalls

Ingleton Waterfalls Trail

Ingleton Waterfalls is a popular circular route which starts in Ingleton and offers a variety of different photo opportunities from gushing waterfalls in the woodland to sprawling views of the Yorkshire Dales. Wildflower meadows bloom in the late spring, offering a colourful backdrop. The route involves lots of steep steps that are sure to get your heart pounding and can be very slippery if there is frost on the ground (which isn't out of the question in spring). That being said, it is a popular route for families and dog walkers. Entry is £7 per adult and £3 per child, with plenty of parking available. It is not easily accessible by public transport.

Distance: 4.3 miles


Daffodil time at Farndale Richard Smith / Alamy Stock PhotoDaffodil time at Farndale Richard Smith / Alamy Stock Photo

Best for flowers

Farndale Daffodil Walk

When thinking of spring, it's hard not to picture beautiful yellow daffodils. This relatively easy walk along the River Dove gives you the opportunity to see plenty of the glorious flowers in bloom. This trail in Farndale, also known as 'Daffodildale', goes from Low Mill to Church Houses and back. Depending on the weather this year, you can catch the daffodils in full bloom at some point between mid-March and mid-April. Car parking is available at Low Mill Car Park.

Distance: 3.5 miles


Puffins on Flamborough Clifftops by Julie TaylorPuffins on Flamborough Clifftops by Julie Taylor

Best for a soaring coastal experience

Flamborough Head

This clifftop circular trail offers a refreshing, if not bracing walk in the spring. Watch the waves crash against the rocks 200ft below the largest seabird colony in the UK. Spring is nesting season, so bird watchers can see puffins, gannets, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes (bring binoculars!). There is also a small chance you may see seals in the waters below. In addition to the wildlife, the walk also involves passing a lighthouse, the remains of Flamborough Castle and a church. Flamborough is accessible by bus, which is where the walk starts. Car parking is also available on Chapel Street in the village centre.

Distance: 6.3 miles


6 great spring walks in North Yorkshire

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