Staying in York or Beverley? Go west of the Wolds and you'll find spectacular views of breeding avocets, huge flocks of waterfowl and waders - a wildlife watcher's treat!

About the Vale of York

The flatland west of the Yorkshire Wolds boasts one of the finest floodplain meadows in the country, as well as YWT North Cave Wetlands which is home to the most northerley outpost of avocets in the UK.

Best places to visit

  • YWT North Cave Wetlands is noted for its avocets and other breeding waders in summer. This large nature reserve, with four viewing hides along a one mile circular route, is fantastic at any time of year, with over 200 bird species having been seen on site.
  • During the winter months, the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve hosts 30,000 ducks, geese, swans and waders. Visit YWT Wheldrake Ings and Bank Island near the village of Wheldrake for the best views.
  • In spring, watch adders basking in the morning sun at YWT Allerthorpe Common
  • Take a trip aboard a barge along the beautiful Pocklington Canal

Staying in the Vale of York and looking for more wildlife?

  • From YWT North Cave Wetlands it is only a half hour drive to RSPB Blacktoft Sands. Visit for bitterns, marsh harriers and bearded tits.
  • From YWT North Cave Wetlands it is a 40 minute drive to Tophill Low. Visit for otters, barn owls, gull roosts and winter ducks.
  • Or take a look at the interactive map below - use the white 'list' icon in the left hand corner of the map to select what you are interested in. To view this map full screen click here.

Travelling times (by car)

From Hull: 20 minutes to YWT North Cave Wetlands, 1 hour to Wheldrake

From York: 25 minutes to Wheldrake; 1 hour to YWT North Cave Wetlands

From Beverley: 20 minutes to YWT North Cave Wetlands; 45 minutes to Wheldrake

From Bridlington: 1 hour to Wheldrake; 1 hour to North Cave Wetlands

Wigeon © Mike Richardson

Adder © Elliott Neep