5 Yorkshire walking locations with great cafes
- Credit: Paul Kirkwood
What are the essentials for a stroll or a holiday hike in Yorkshire? Great views and a brew at the end?
Leeds: Meanwood Valley trail
Distance: 7 miles.
Save this walk for the golden days of late October as it passes through near continual woodland. I rate it as the best urban walk in Yorkshire. Starting from Hyde Park in Leeds, proceed north along the trail as it wends north through or along Woodhouse Ridge, Meanwood Park, Adel Woods and Golden Acre Park. An ideal walk of exploration for young families. Look out for the memorial to polar explorer Captain Oates in Meanwood Park and the Slabbering Baby drinking fountain. Take the regular X84 bus from Golden Acre Park back into the city.
Cafés: The Three Cottages Café at Meanwood Park. threecottagescafe.co.uk.
Yorkshire Dales: Keld.
Distance: 6 miles.
In my view Upper Swaledale provides the finest walking in the Dales. The classic and my favourite route runs from Muker to Keld beside the Swale then back along the rim of Kisdon Hill with stunning views of the river as it bends. Half way round is the Rukin’s Park Lodge café which is part of a farm campsite. You won’t find a pub as Keld was a Quaker village so hostelries were forbidden. Alternatively, try the Muker tea shop. Leave plenty of time to have a nose around both villages. They are well worthy of their regular depiction in calendars. Beautiful Yorkshire, indeed.
Eat at: Rukin’s Park Lodge, Keld. rukins-keld.co.uk
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South Yorkshire: Pennine Barnsley
Distance: 8½ miles.
The region to the south-west of Barnsley provides excellent and little appreciated walking. Partly running beside the River Don, this route is intricate with lots of ups and downs, ins and outs and around and abouts maintaining interest and requiring confident map reading. Coincide your walk with a Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday before early November then you can visit Wortley top forge, a water-powered heavy iron forge dating back to at least 1640.
Eat at: The Countess tea room, Wortley
Distance: 2½ to 9 miles.
Barely with need for a map and simply keeping the sea on your right, you can make this walk as long or short as you like. Start from the stylish new Cow Shed Tea Shop (yes: it did used to house cattle!) at Fraisthorpe then simply walk along the beach and/or the coastal path north into Bridlington (2½ miles), Sewerby (4¼ miles), Flamborough South Landing (6½ miles), or right out to Flamborough Head (9 miles). When you’ve had enough take a taxi back to the start. Check low tide times before you set off to maximise beach walking.
Café: The Cow Shed Tea Shop , Fraisthorpe. thecowshedatfraisthorpe.co.uk
York: Sheriff Hutton.
Distance: 6¼ miles.
Quarmby’s Deli is almost worth a trip out in itself. You don’t find many villages with a modern café of this quality. But tea, cakes and paninis always taste better if you’ve worked up an appetite first. I recommend a route from Thornton Clay so the café comes half way round. Don’t miss (it would be hard to) the stark ruins of the 12th century Sheriff Hutton Castle. You can’t enter them but you get a very good view from the footpath and there is an explanatory panel. An ideal, gentle and accessible route for an autumn or winter’s day.
Café: Quarmby’s Deli and Tea House, Sheriff Hutton. Note: open only Wed to Sat, 9am to 4pm. Search Facebook.