I have said this before – I love the outdoors! In the last couple of weeks, I’ve managed to get out in the countryside and go for some easy walks in Yorkshire. It’s been great and all three places are gorgeous, in their own rights. These are three easy walks in Yorkshire that anyone can do. They’re around 1-2 hours drive away from Leeds. Flamborough requires a car but the other two (Ilkley and Lumb Waterfalls) are also accessible via public transport.
I have been to Flamborough before, ages ago. I even wrote a post about it then as well. That time I didn’t go to Flamborough head and didn’t see the lighthouse so this time it felt like going for the first time again.
I absolutely love it here. It’s my favourite east coast spot. I like it because of the cliffs and the coral blue sea. If you go early enough, the tide is low so you can walk fairly far out in the sea down by the cliffs. It’s great for photos. There’s also a 8 mile walk along the cliff tops which makes for great views.
There are plenty of picnic spots to sit down for a rest and to soak in the views but if you don’t bring your own nibbles, by the lighthouse, there’s a restaurant with plenty of food and big portions. They also have an ice cream kiosk outside and a souvenir shop not letting you forget that you’re at the seaside.
I’ve been to Ilkley twice before as well but funnily enough, not walked the route we took this time, so again, it felt like the first time. We only spent four or so hours but that included a stop half way through at the pub. Yes, the Ilkley Moors has a pub at the top: The Cow and Calf. I’ve heard of it and assumed it was a remote quaint little pub only walkers could reach. On the contrary, it turns out it’s on the side of a main road so anyone can access it, and even stay over. It’s a lot bigger than I thought. It’s still a lovely pub and a great post walk spot, or in our case, a mid way through rest spot. We didn’t eat here but I have eaten at another Village Inn pub so I can vouch for the food being tasty.
We started off our walk by passing the old bath house (White Wells), walking along the Rocky Valley, crossing Backstone Beck before reaching the pub. On our way back we walked on the Rocky Valley, which makes for great photos and views, and continued upwards. We didn’t have time to reach the highest point of the moors (next time) but continued straight until reaching a path taking us back down again along Spicy Gill. A smaller beck, less prominent to Backstone.
In all, a very easy walk so if you only have a couple of hours to spare or if you also want to spend time in the cute village that is Ilkley, it’s a perfect Saturday or Sunday day out. Bring your own picnic to enjoy overlooking the views, or leave room for food at the pub.
A completely new place for me is Lumb Falls. I’m so happy to have gone. This was the first time I’ve ever swam in open water in the UK. As much as I love the coast, the northern seaside doesn’t tempt me to go further in than knee high. In clear and fresh water like at Lumb Falls it’s different. It was really refreshing and in hindsight, perhaps I should have saved my dip until the way back.
We decided to park the car nearby the waterfall, only a short stretch downhill to get to it. There is also the option to park at Hardcastle Crags but they charge a fee and it’s also quite a long walk to the waterfalls from here. If you only want to explore the crags and the Gibson Mill, this is a good spot to park. If you’re only after the waterfall, I’d suggest parking where we parked.
The waterfall is a hidden gem but still very popular. Once you know about it, I noticed that a lot of people go here. Groups of people bringing picnics and blankets to stay a full day, treating it like a summer day out. I doubt you’ll ever have the place to yourself on a nice day but an early start and it shouldn’t be too crowded.
Down by the Hardcastle Crags there are plenty of picnic spots, the mill has a cafe and along the walk in to Halifax, there’s even a small quaint pub.
Have you ever been to any of these places? Where else in Yorkshire is good for easy walks? Anywhere else I should go and try open water swimming in the UK?