Walking, cycling and horse riding route

Information about walking, horse riding and cycling routes in North Yorkshire.

When setting out on a ride or a walk, ensure you have a map, suitable clothing and food and water. Check the weather and let someone know your plans. For a safe and responsible experience, follow the countryside code.

Local circular walks

Many short walks and day walks are available throughout North Yorkshire. The county includes two national parks, two areas of outstanding natural beauty, wild moors, rolling hills and rugged coastline.

View local circular walks

Long distance walks

There are a range of spectacular long distance walks in North Yorkshire. Details of both national and leisure trails can be found below.

View long distance walks

National trails

National trails are long-distance routes for walking, cycling and horse riding. There are 15 in total and three walking trails pass through North Yorkshire. They are shown in green on the map.

The Cleveland Way National Trail

Distance: 109 miles
Duration: 9 days
Start: Helmsley
Finish: Filey Brigg
The Cleveland Way crosses the North York Moors and makes its way along the North Yorkshire coast. It passes many historical points of interest, including Whitby Abbey, Scarborough Castle, Rievaulx Abbey and Mount Grace Priory. A good level of fitness is needed to walk the whole route in one go, but shorter stretches can be done in a day. Find out more about the Cleveland Way.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail

Distance: 79 miles
Duration: 6 days
Start: Hessle, East Yorkshire
Finish: Filey
The Yorkshire Wolds Way travels through some of the most tranquil and gentle countryside in Yorkshire. From the Humber estuary, along wooded slopes and through serene valleys, the walk climbs gently to the tops of rolling hills. The final section finishes on the headland of Filey Brigg. This route is a big undertaking in one go, but it is possible to walk shorter stretches. Find out more about the Yorkshire Wolds Way.

The Pennine Way National Trail

Distance: 268 miles
Duration: 16 days
Start: Edale, Derbyshire
Finish: Kirk Yetholm, Scottish Borders
The Pennine Way starts in the Peak District and heads over the Pennines into North Yorkshire for a short distance between Thornton-in-Craven and Eshton before continuing into the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Howgills. It finishes in the Scottish Borders. Find out more about the Pennine Way.

Leisure trails

A great variety of long-distance leisure trails use North Yorkshire as their backdrop. The leisure trails are shown in blue on the map.

Long-distance walks completely in North Yorkshire

Centenary Way (North Yorkshire)

Distance: 83 miles
Start: York
Finish: Filey Brigg
This route celebrates the 100th anniversary of North Yorkshire County Council. It runs across the Howardian Hills and Yorkshire Wolds via Castle Howard and Wharram Percy, linking York and the Foss Walk with the Yorkshire Wolds Way and Cleveland Way National Trails. Meeting the Derwent and Foss, it combines riverside walks in deep valleys with forest tracks.

We have published a new 48 page guide to the Centenary Way. You can purchase a hard copy for just £4 from your local library or Amazon or download the Centenary way it as an e-book here.

Find out more about the Centenary Way.

The Nidderdale Way

Distance: 53 miles
Start: Pateley Bridge
Finish: Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire

The Nidderdale Way is a circular walk mostly within the Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty. The route follows the river Nidd and leads up the valley above Scar House Reservoir before heading back down and through the village of Ripley. Find out more about the Nidderdale Way.

The Ripon Rowel

Distance: 50 miles
Start and finish: Ripon
The route travels through the villages of North Stainley, Mickley, Masham, Dallowgill, Grantley, past Fountains Abbey and then Markington and back up to Ripon through South Stainley and Bishop Monkton. Find out more about the Ripon Rowel.

Foss Walk

Distance: 28 miles
Start: York
Finish: Easingwold
The walk follows the river Foss from where it meets with the Ouse in York to its source at Pond Head, four miles from Easingwold. The walk passes through Strensall, Sheriff Hutton, Crayke and Oulston. Find out more about the Foss Walk.

Harrogate Ringway

Distance: 20 miles
Start and finish: Harrogate
A trail encircling the spa town at a radius of three to four miles on country lanes and river paths. Can be divided into shorter stages or linked with Knaresborough Round to form a 36-mile route. Find out more about the Harrogate Ringway.

Knaresborough Round

Distance: 20 miles
Start and finish: Knaresborough
The route runs along the river Nidd then follows country lanes through villages to the north and east of Knaresborough. It can be divided into two stages or linked with the Harrogate Ringway to form a 36-mile route. Find out more about the Knaresborough Round.

Long-distance walks that start in North Yorkshire

Ebor Way

Distance: 76 miles
Start: Helmsley
Finish: Ilkley, West Yorkshire
The Ebor Way (named after the Roman name of York, Eboracum) heads south through the Howardian Hills area of outstanding natural beauty, taking in York before heading west to Ilkley. Find out more about the Ebor Way.

Pennine Journey

Distance: 247 miles
Start and finish:Settle
A challenging circular walk based on a 1938 route walked by Alfred Wainwright. It heads north through the Yorkshire Dales along the eastern side of the Pennines and crosses the moors of County Durham to reach Hadrian's Wall. After following the wall, it returns south along the western side of the Pennines through the Eden Valley. Find out more about the Pennine Journey.

Long-distance walks that end in North Yorkshire

The Coast to Coast Walk

Distance: 192 miles
Duration: 14 to 21 days
Start: St Bees, Cumbria
Finish: Robin Hoods Bay
Devised by Alfred Wainwright, the Coast to Coast walk takes in stunningly varied countryside and crosses three national parks - the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. 2013 was the 40th anniversary of the publication of Wainwright's guidebook. Find out more about the Coast to Coast.

The Ribble Way

Distance: 73 miles
Start: Longton, Lancashire
Finish: Gayle Moor
The Ribble Way starts on the estuary west of Preston and follows the River Ribble through Lancashire into North Yorkshire to finish at its source at Gavel Gap near Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The walk takes in ancient abbeys and landmarks from the industrial revolution and incorporates tidal marshes, open moorland and limestone gorges. Find out more about the Ribble Way.

The Six Dales Trail

Distance: 38 miles
Start: Otley, West Yorkshire
Finish: Middleham
The trail covers the length of the Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty to Middleham. It crosses five watersheds, separating in turn Wharfedale, Washburndale, Nidderdale, Colsterdale, Coverdale and Wensleydale. It also passes the ruins of Jervaulx Abbey and Middleham Castle. Find out more about the Six Dales Trail.

Long-distance walks which run through North Yorkshire

The Trans Pennine Trail

Distance: 215 miles
Coast to Coast route
Start: Southport, Merseyside
Finish: Hornsea, East Riding
The Trans Pennine Trail is an exciting route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders linking the North and Irish seas, passing through the Pennines, alongside rivers and canals and through historic towns and cities. It is signposted all the way, mainly traffic-free and surprisingly level. Easy gradients and surfaced paths make many sections suitable for families, gentle exercise and people using wheelchairs and pushchairs. Find out more about the Trans Pennine Trail.

The Dales Way

Distance: 78 miles
Start: Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Finish: Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria
The route goes through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Howgill Fells and the south-eastern part of the Lake District. It passes over Cam Fell, into Dentdale and follows the River Dee to Sedburgh then the River Lune and River Kent. The section over the watershed at Cam Fell is steep and exposed and can be challenging. Find out more about the Dales Way.

Pathways to health

Inactivity is bad for people's health, with experts describing it as a 'silent killer'. Many adults spend more than seven hours a day sitting down and for people aged 65 and over this can rise to ten hours or more.

Being more active can reduce the risk of major illnesses and walking is a great way to start. Walking is also good for reducing stress and fatigue, increasing your energy levels and improving your concentration.

To help people get out and about walking in their local communities we've created 'pathways to health' walks in Selby and Scarborough. See the Selby and Scarborough trails below.

Scarborough trails maps

The Castle Trail

A 2.3-mile route with a small incline (200ft). Discover Scarborough monument, John Sheilds Ryalls' grave, Peasholm Pagodas, Scarborough Castle, St. Mary's Church, Butter Cross, the Grand Hotel, Spa Bridge and the Spa.

Download  the Castle Trail map (pdf / 2 MB).

The Mere Trail

A 3-mile route with a small incline (300ft). Discover the Dell, Oliver's Mount, the Historic War Memorial and the Mere.

Download  the Mere Trail map (pdf / 708 KB).

The Railway Trail (Cinder Track)

A 3.6-mile flat route, with very little incline. Discover Safe Ways Park, the Circle and the Cinder Track.  

Download  the Railway Trail Map (pdf / 490 KB).

The Sitwell Trail

A 1.4-mile route with a small incline (140ft). Discover Stephen Joseph Theatre, Woodland Creative, Scarborough Art Gallery and Crescent Arts, Rotunda Museum, Bland's Cliff, Maritime Heritage Centre and St. Mary's Church.

Download  the Sitwell Trail map (pdf / 1 MB).

The Woodland Trail

A 4.4-mile flat route, with very little incline and benches along the way. Discover Peasholm Lake, Champion Trees, Lily Pond, Secret Garden, Jonno's Field and Valley Gardens.

Download  the Woodland Trail map (pdf / 635 KB).

The Wetlands Trail

A 0.5 mile flat route, with very little incline and disabled access. Discover Burton Riggs Nature Reserve, birdlife and wildflowers. 

Download  the Wetlands Trail map (pdf / 1 MB).

The Ghost Trail

A spooky history 2.1 mile flat route, with very little incline. Discover the creepy side of Scarborough at North Bay Railway and Sky Trail Adventure, St Mary's Church yard and Scarborough Castle.

Download  the Ghost Trail map (pdf / 1 MB).

The Cornelian Trail

A 4.9 mile walk with some incline ( 200ft). A slightly longer circular walk, suitable for people looking to spend a few hours out walking and exploring. Discover nature and history on this walk from Knipe Point; with views of Cornelian Bay. The route takes you to smugglers bay, and past the golf course.

Download  the Cornelian Trail map (pdf / 170 KB).

Selby trails maps

The Abbey Trail

A 1.2 mile flat route with very little incline. Discover Selby Timeline, Selby Abbey, Market Cross, Disappearing Street and Westfield cemetery.

Download  The Abbey Trail (pdf / 242 KB).

The Waterways Trail

A 2.8 mile flat route with very little incline. Discover Selby lock basin, David Mayne's sculpture, moored canal boats and Brayton bridge.

Download  The Waterways Trail (pdf / 807 KB).

The Oak Trail

A 3.8 mile flat route with very little incline. Discover Selby park, Selby wildlife pond, Brayton Barff Woods and Fairy Pin Well.

Download  The Oak Trail (pdf / 994 KB).

Horse and bike rides

North Yorkshire has more than 10,000km of public rights of way and offers off-road routes for cyclists and equestrians.

These routes cater for all abilities. They use mainly bridleways, green lanes and some unclassified roads. Some routes are rugged and hilly. Most of the routes are suitable for both horse riding and biking, but please read individual route guides for detailed information.

View horse and bike rides on a map

View horse and bike rides on a larger map.

Map key

Green map pin
Horse rides
Red map pin
Bike rides
Blue map pin
Suitable for horse or bike rides

Long-distance cycling trails

The following routes are promoted by third party organisations.

Le Tour Yorkshire - The Grand Depart

Distance: 242 miles
Stage 1: Leeds to Harrogate 
Stage 2: York to Sheffield
Find more information about riding all or part of the route at Le Tour Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Wolds cycle route

Distance: 146 miles
Time to cycle: 18 hrs
Time to walk: 48 hrs
Start: numerous start points - Beverly, Malton, York
The route takes in country houses, nature reserves, historic priories and fascinating landmarks, using parts of the national cycle network. Find more information at Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route.

Walney Island to Sunderland or Whitby - Sustrans cycle route

Distance: 179 miles to Whitby
Time to cycle: 13 hrs
Time to walk: 36 hrs
This challenging route starts at Walney Island on the south western tip of Cumbria's Irish Sea coast. At Barnard Castle, the route splits and you can follow National Route 165 to Whitby via the Esk Valley through the North York Moors. Find more information about the Walney Islands route.

Way of the Roses - Sustrans cycle route

Distance: 170 miles
Time to cycle: 22 hrs
Time to walk: 59 hrs
Start: Morecambe
Finish: Bridlington via York
This spectacular coast to coast route passes through North Yorkshire. Highlights include the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Nidderdale AONB, the Vale of York and Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal World Heritage Site near Ripon. Find more information a Way of the Roses.

York to Beningbrough - Sustrans route

Distance: 9 to 11 miles each way
Time to cycle: 1.5 hrs each way
Time to walk: 3 hrs each way
This ride starts from York and wends its way north towards the National Trust property, Beningbrough Hall. Find more information about the York to Beningbrough route.

Malton to Pickering cycle route

The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development logo

Distance: 12 miles each way
Time to cycle: 1 and a quarter hours
Start: Malton Train Station
A relatively new cycle route, funded from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, connects the market towns of Malton and Pickering. Cycle through a 'secret' river valley, surrounded by lush farmland and beautiful villages, as well as key attractions including Beck Isle Museum, Eden Camp, Flamingo Land, Malton Museum, North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Pickering Castle. Find out more information about the Malton to Pickering route.

Moor to Sea cycle trail

Distance: 80+ miles
Time to cycle: 3 or 4 days
Start: multiple start points
Crossing the North York Moors National Park, the route links Scarborough, Pickering and Whitby. It uses forest tracks, green lanes, minor roads and the dismantled railway from Whitby to Scarborough. The route is suitable for family cycling, although it does pass through remote countryside. Directions are provided in stages that can be cycled over several days or as shorter rides. Find more information at Moor to Sea trail.