Yorkshire has some of the country’s finest scenery – and there’s no finer time of year to enjoy it than spring.
So why not get out for a good long walk and see everything from the new season’s greenery to spring lambs and ducklings .
We’ve picked out five picturesque walks that take in waterways, hills, woodland and valleys. All are dog-friendly, although at this time of year, with lambing in full flow, animals should be kept on a lead.
Walk the Marsden Moor Estate managed by The National Trust in this eight-mile linear walk from Marsden to Wessenden Head Reservoir and back again. The route, which should take about four hours, hugs the edges of the Butterly, Blakely and Wessenden Reservoirs, and is part of the Kirklees Way. It offers expansive scenery and unspoilt countryside. Look out for wildfowl babies on the reservoirs. Start at Marsden railway station. For detailed instructions visit nationaltrust.org.uk and search for Wessenden Head. There’s a map as well as a written guide.
Another National Trust property, the Calderdale beauty spot near Hebden Bridge has thick woodland, a river walk and visitor centre with cafe and toilet facilities. There are multiple trails around the site and over the Easter period there are several events planned for children and families. From April 10 to 14 there are daily activities, ranging from making a bug hotel to an Easter egg hunt. Entry to Hardcastle Crags is free but there are charges at the car parks and for the visitor centre. For more information visit nationaltrust.org.uk/hardcastle-crags.
Strictly speaking this is not a Yorkshire walk, although it used to be, and follows a section of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal from Delph to Dobcross in Greater Manchester. It’s a six-mile route, circling Saddleworth (once part of the West Riding), taking in historic Pennine routeways, and is part of the Royal Geographic Society’s Discovering Britain series. Visit discoveringbritain.org to download detailed instructions, which include a guide to places to visit and where to get refreshments along the way. Sections can be quite challenging but there’s plenty to interest older and younger walkers alike.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens
This stunning North Yorkshire National Trust site has lashings of history, large-scale landscaping, a deer park, visitor centre, cafe and waterway. As well as the Cistercian abbey, there are miles of footpaths through the tranquil and well-kept grounds. At this time of year visitors can expect to see primroses by the score, as well as wild garlic, ducklings and goslings. On Saturday, April 8, there’s a guided primrose walk from 11am and later in the month rangers will be leading a spring deer watch (Saturday, April 22, 2pm until 4pm). Entry is £6.80 for children and £13.60 for adults.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Another beautifully-manicured Yorkshire parkland that offers visitors the chance to stroll through green dells and woodland with the added attraction of outdoor art. The West Bretton venue is free, with charges for parking only, and has a host of activities on offer over the Easter holidays. At this time of year there should also be flocks of new lambs and a good showing of spring meadow flowers in the 500 acres that comprise the park. From Saturday, April 15, there’s a new WILD Explorer Nature Walk around the Upper Lake. There are some restrictions on where dogs are allowed. Visit ysp.co.uk for details.