Wildlife Walks

Walking in the Yorkshire Wolds © VHEY

If you prefer rambling through nature to sitting in a viewing hide, then you'll be delighted by the sheer number of fantastic walks on offer in Eastern Yorkshire that incorporate a spot of wildlife watching along the way.

1. The Yorkshire Wolds

The Yorkshire Wolds are a walker’s haven, with a vast network of trails running over the rolling hills, down the secluded valleys and through chocolate box villages. Add to this natural splendour the sight of a red kite soaring high above, or a barn owl floating by at dusk and you have a perfect wildlife walk. Try:

  • Thixendale: The 16 dales that radiate off this village leave you spoilt for choice, with the nearby Robert Fuller Wildlife Art Gallery a great place to stop off for a full day out.
  • Londesborough Park: This impressive parkland is home to red kites
  • The Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail: This 79 mile footpath follows the backbone of the Yorkshire Wolds, and is the starting place for many a circular day walk
  • The Top Ten Experiences along the Yorkshire Wolds Way: The Yorkshire Wolds Way team have put together a series of 10 guides to the best days out along the Yorkshire Wolds Way.

2. The Yorkshire Coast

Be it a bracing winter walk to the sound of crashing waves below or a summertime stroll past clouds of seabirds swirling round the cliffs, the coast has something to offer in all seasons. Try:

  • The Cleveland Way: The latter half of this 110 mile walk follows the coastline from Saltburn all the way to Filey Brigg, and affords dramatic views out to sea. On a still summer’s day, keep your eyes peeled for the distinctive shape of a fin above the water. Whales can be seen offshore, or maybe add to your walk with a whale watching boat trip from Whitby
  • The Flamborough Headland: The public footpath around the headland takes you along YWT Flamborough Cliffs nature reserve and RSPB Bempton Cliffs, offering amazing views of the seabird colony which is present between April and July.
  • Spurn Point: The ‘end’ of Yorkshire, this 3.5mile sandy peninsula sticking out into the Humber really is like no other place in Yorkshire. In autumn and winter, the mudflats are filled with thousands of wading birds, a truly spectacular sight. Do be careful about tide times – at high tide the end of the peninsula is cut off from the mainland so plan ahead.

3. The River Hull Headwaters

You may be surprised to read that East Yorkshire boasts some of the UK’s finest chalk streams, a habitat more commonly associated with Hampshire. Just south of Driffield, you will find crystal clear waters, with wonderful water crows foot displays in June. Try:

  • Skerne to Wansford: Walk alongside the River Hull on one of the prettiest sections of the river
  • Around Tophill Low: Whilst not technically on the River Hull itself, this large Yorkshire Water reservoir and nature reserve lie immediately adjacent to the river, with otters crossing over the riverbank to the holts that lie within the nature reserve. The nature reserve itself is big enough to spend a full day walking around the trail

Useful websites

  • Walking the Riding: Managed by the Countryside Access Team and Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, this website has an easy to use walk finder and details of over 100 walks across East Yorkshire
  • Yorkshire Wolds Way: The official website of the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail
  • Tophill Low: The website for Yorkshire Water's Tophill Low Nature Reserve
  • Yorkshire Walks: A collection of 600 walks in Yorkshire
  • Walking Britain: Over 15,000 pages of walks from across Britain
  • The Ramblers: The offical website of Britain's leading walking charity