8 peaceful places to enjoy the outdoors in Yorkshire

Woodland at Adel Dam - Joanna Richards

Woodland at Adel Dam - Joanna Richards - Credit: Archant

We can walk, we can escape, so here are some pockets of peace in Yorkshire

Rivelin Valley Nature Trail, Sheffield, S6 5SL

Being active has a whole range of benefits when it comes to mental wellbeing. For starters, it improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue. If you fancy getting your heart pumping, this nature trail near Sheffield is not only scenic, but it has an array of different walking trails to choose from. Boasting plenty of space, you’re guaranteed to find a little pocket of peace somewhere around here. 

Adel Dam Nature Reserve, LS16 9JY

This county definitely leaves you spoilt for choice with its abundance of secluded spots. This Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve, Adel Dam is a little gem of a woodland and wetland nature reserve that gets you away from the hustle and bustle of town. From dramatic canopy trees to popular woodpecker and mandarin duck residents, it is incredible to think this tranquil nature reserve is tucked so out of sight. A great place to take five minutes and turn down the pressure in your life.

Hayburn Wyke, Cloughton

Even if you are outside for 15–30 minutes a day, it can significantly boost your wellbeing by feeling exhilarated, relaxed and refreshed. This hidden cove on the Heritage Coast is a secluded spot between Scarborough and Whitby. With the beach and woodland to discover. Tip – be sure to see the double waterfall!

Howardian Hills, North Yorkshire

The Howardian Hills is one of North Yorkshire’s best-kept secrets; walk through open fields and woodlands for the ideal peaceful escape. This designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a hypnotising landscape that encourages you to get lost in the moment and blow the cobwebs away.

Garbutt Wood Nature Reserve, YO7 2EH

Most Read

This ancient woodland is part of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. A remnant of the wild woods that extended across the North York Moors thousands of years ago, it encourages you to switch off and embrace the present moment. Spot all sorts of wild creatures, from secretive roe deer to birds such as jackdaws and rooks. 

Langsett Reservoir, South Yorkshire, S36 4GY

Pick up the pace around Langsett Reservoir. Located on the edge of the Peak District National Park, a walk combined with views across open moorland, gives you an opportunity to take in the lovely fresh air and views.

Wheldrake Ings Nature Reserve, YO19 6EN

Wheldrake Ings Nature Reserve is a place for reflection. Did you know, time spent outside and in nature is thought to help relieve stress and anxiety by reducing levels of the hormone cortisol in the brain?

Yorkshire Dales National Park

Big spaces and miles of distance are what we need right now. The Yorkshire Dales National Park has more than 1,600 square kilometres made up of impressive hills, moorland and gentle valleys, so you are bound to easily find some alone time and distance.

The Hollies, Meanwood Park, Leeds, LS16 5PA

The Hollies is a secret old oak woodland and natural botanical garden featuring a wide array of bright, colourful flowers, including azaleas to rhododendrons.

Get the light

Fresh air is the best medicine for us at the moment believes Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist at Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing.

‘The benefits of reconnecting with nature during turbulent times are magnified. As well as boosting our mood, exposure to these types of environment reduces the overwhelming feelings of anger that often manifest when we get trapped in an isolation depression cycle.

‘These natural settings also soothe and help us to feel relaxed. The exposure to natural light stimulates serotonin production, leaving us feeling happier and more content.’


It’s important to be respectful of the countryside and people living there now more than ever. Useful websites with the latest information before you set out include: