I’ve been on a mission for the last three months. A mission to find some new family-friendly walks.
For us, that means they need to be two miles or under, ideally with no roads or safety hazards. That way, we’re out in the fresh air for a couple of hours – ideally with a picnic or hot chocolate en route – and it keeps the whinging to a minimum.
I’ve asked friends and followers on social media for their recommendations, so here is a list of 21 of the best family walks in Yorkshire under 2 miles. We haven’t done all of them yet. My aim is for us to complete them and update this post with more information as we go along.
Where are your favourite family walks in Yorkshire under 2 miles? Let me know in the comments below.
1. Woodlesford Lock
Route: This is a pretty 2-mile circular walk. From the car park and lock, follow the tarmac path to the next lock, cross the canal and walk back down the other side. This is a flat route which should be fine for most buggies. One side of the canal is tarmac and the other side is a footpath. Just be aware that you have to cross the locks at each end of the route.
Facilities: There is a small car park and roadside parking. There are picnic areas along the route. There was a catering van in the car park when we were there on a Saturday. No toilets.
2. Rawdon Billing
Route: A 2.1-mile circular walk that begins and ends at the entrance to the Billing opposite Jubilee Hall on Layton Avenue in Rawdon.
3. Yeadon Tarn
Route: There is an easy and flat circular walk, just under a mile long, around the pretty lake. Park at Tarnfield Park public car park using postcode LS19 7AA. There are two other car parks: to the south west of the park off Cemetery Road and at the North West of the park off Cemetery Road.
Facilities: Toilets are available in the Tarn activity centre. I couldn’t find any information as to whether the toilets are currently open so I’ll update when I get more information. There is a playground and BMX track plus a picnic area.
4. Otley Chevin – Heritage Time Trail
Route: This is a 1.2-mile circular route with a fairly good surface and two steeply sloping sections. There are eight timber sculptures created by a local artist along the route. There are other longer routes but for the Heritage trail, start from Lower Shawfield car park and go along Chippendale Ride.
Facilities: There are benches for picnics. Park at Lower Shawfield car park, East Chevin Road, Otley, LS21 3DD
5. Golden Acre Park
Route: The flat circular route around the lake is perfect for young families and great for kids’ scooters and bikes too. There are lots of paths within the park itself so you can extend the route if you fancy a longer walk. The postcode for the main car park is LS16 8BQ.
Facilities: A car park, picnic benches just off the main path, benches along the main path. Grassy areas for picnics, and toilets (currently closed I believe). There is also a cafe (takeaway only at the time of writing), which isn’t cheap but has indoor and outdoor seating with views overlooking the park.
6. Paul’s Pond
Route: In the middle of my mission to find family walks in Yorkshire under two miles, I discovered this gem which is now our new favourite walk. We loved it so much the first time that we went back again the next day! You can approach it from Bramhope, Cookridge or Golden Acre Park. From the main Golden Acre car park, take the bridge to the right of the underpass tunnel and follow the path through the wood to Paul’s Pond. At the time of writing (June 2020), there is a fairy door treasure hunt through the woods with 91 painted doors to find. Print out a free 100 square from in the internet and tick them off as you go. Top tip: Take wellies. The kids will love splashing through the streams in the woods. You can do walks of various lengths through the woods but if you head straight for the pond and back it’s about 1.5 miles or a bit further if you walk around the pond itself. Suitable for pushchairs.
Facilities: None on the walk itself but it’s next to Golden Acre Park which has a cafe (takeaway only at the time of writing) and toilets (currently closed I believe)
7. Roundhay Park
Route: There are a number of different routes you can do, all of which are under two miles long. The walks around the Upper Lake and Lower lake are mainly flat and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The 1.7 mile Secret Gorge Walk through woodland is the quietest route. The walk has rough, good quality footpaths with sections of steep ground. Check out the website to download a map and for car parking details.
Facilities: There are two cafes with toilets in the park: The Garden Room Cafe at The Mansion and the Lakeside Cafe at the Lower Lake (currently closed). Lots of grassy areas and benches for picnics.
8. Meanwood Valley Trail and Park
Route: There are lots of paths to follow along the Meanwood Valley Trail. Park in the main Meanwood Park car park. There are lots of paths and routes to follow on the Meanwood Valley Trail. North Leeds Mumbler suggests following the paths from the car park keeping the beck on your left. Cross the small stone bridge over the beck where the tarmac path ends and follow the path on the opposite side along the stream walkway, over waterfall bridge and back through the woods to the open fields and cafe. The route is just under 2 miles.
Facilities: Three Cottages Cafe (takeaway only at the time of writing) with a toilet and a playground.
9. Townclose Hills Local Nature Reserve (Billy Wood)
Route: There are two circular routes of about 1.5 miles each through meadows and woods. The walks are well signposted but may not be suitable for pushchairs.
Facilities: Free car parking at Kippax Leisure Centre. There are also a few picnic benches and a field plus a bench at the entrance to the route itself.
10. Room on the Broom Adventure Trail at Anglers Country Park
Route: This 2-mile circular route around the lake at Anglers Country Park has got everything you need when looking for family walks in Yorkshire under two miles. You can follow the trail, find sculptures, look for animal footprints, trace rubbings and have fun doing activities along the way. It’s accessible by foot, cycle, buggy or wheelchair but it does get muddy in places so wellies are recommended. Activity packs can be purchased from the cafe for £2 while the visitor centre is closed.
Facilities: The pay and display car park (postcode WF4 2EB) is free until September 2020 but toilets and other amenities are closed until further notice. The Woodland Cafe is currently open for take away service every day from 10am to 3pm. For up-to-date information, visit Wakefield Council’s website.
Read: Yorkshire Tots’ Top Tips For Free Room On The Broom Adventure Trail for more tips.
11. New Millerdam
Route: Newmillerdam Country Park features a 1.5-mile walk around a central lake. The wide flat route makes it suitable for buggies and wheelchairs’ although it can be muddy in places.
Facilities: The pay and display car park (postcode WF2 6QQ) is free until September 2020 but, toilets and other amenities are closed until further notice. For up-to-date information, visit Wakefield Council’s website.
12. Pugneys Country Park
Route: There are a few different walks you can do at Pugneys. The circular walk around the main lake is 1.6 miles. Or you could do a 2-mile walk to Sandal Castle and back. Walk to the end of the car park at Pugneys and pick up the path that runs around the lake and carry on to Sandal Castle in front of you and back. You can see Sandal castle on the skyline ahead of you. For more information about walking routes, visit Wakefield Council’s website.
Facilities: The car park is open with free parking until September 2020 but, toilets and other amenities are currently closed. The Boat House Cafe is currently closed. Pugneys’ Light Railway – the miniature railway operating within the park is also closed. For up-to-date information, visit Wakefield Council’s website.
13. Digley Reservoir
Route: Situated just within the Peak District National Park boundary, Digley Reservoir sits just below Bilberry Reservoir. The 1.5-mile circular path is muddy and uneven, so wellies are recommended.
Facilities: There are two car parks situated to the north and south of the reservoir. Toilet facilities are currently closed. For walking routes and up-to-date information, visit Yorkshire Water’s website
14. Ogden Water
Route: This 1.2-mile level walk runs around the edges of Ogden Reservoir, taking you near the Spice Cake Hills plantation and passing over Ogden and Skirden Clough streams, the main feeders for the reservoir.
Facilities: The car park (£1 parking charge) and toilets (currently closed) are run by Calderdale Council. The car park can be accessed from Ogden Lane just off the A629. For more information and a walking route, visit Yorkshire Water’s website.
15. The Pinewoods
Route: There are a number of walks through and around The Pinewoods. Parking for cars is available off Crag Lane, near RHS Harlow Carr. Many of the paths through the woods are relatively flat. One of the most popular walks is the route which links Harlow Carr on Crag Lane and Valley Gardens, which is locally referred to as either mile or memorial walk. Walking English Gentleman also suggests a 1.5 mile circular walk, taking in the best of what The Pinewoods has to offer.
Facilities: Bettys at Harlow Carr and Ripley Ice Cream and Cafe in Valley Gardens (currently closed). Toilets open at Valley Gardens.
16. Skipwith Common National Nature Reserve
Route: One of the last remaining areas of northern lowland heath in England with a wide variety of plants and animals. There are three waymarked trails. The shortest – the Bombs and Lizards walk – is a wide flat level route, which takes you around part of this National Nature Reserve following the old WWII runways and tracks. Park at the King Rudding Lane car park. Download a map here. There are accessible boardwalks and the option of visiting a raised observation tower.
Facilities: No cafe or toilets but there are picnic benches along the route.
17. Aysgarth Woods and Waterfalls
18. Worsbrough Mill Country Park
Route:Visitors looking for family walks in Yorkshire under two miles are spoilt for choice here. There are different walks of varying lengths you can do within the boundaries of the park. The shortest is the Fox Walk – a fairly flat 1.2-mile route with a few inclines. The 2.1-mile Badger Walk is also fairly level walk following Worsbrough Reservoir with only very slight inclines in places. Both are suitable for pushchair and wheelchair access.
Facilities: Leaflets about the walks are available free of charge from the Mill shop (currently closed) and Millers Tea Room. The tea room is currently offering a limited take away service only from Wednesday to Sunday 11am-3pm. The mill is located off the A61. From the M1 follow the brown signs from J36 of the M1. For more information visit the Worsbrough Mill website
19. Longshaw Estate
Route: Ok, we’ve not been here yet but it’s on our list of places to go very soon. The National Trust estate lies on the edge of the Peak District near Sheffield and is full of short family waymarked walks.
For a short walk that is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs, follow the pink arrows from the tearoom to the pond. Usually you can pick up a Boggart Trail map from the shop and look out for boggarts, stopping off at natural play places like boggart rise and boggart burrow. The shop is currently closed.
To venture a little further, follow the pink arrows on a 1.5 mile circular walk to Padley Gorge, where you can have a picnic and go paddling. The circuit continues along the brook and back through twisting woods on a stone track, past boulders that you can picnic and play on.
There are two other waymarked walks, both starting from outside the tea-room. The orange walk is about 1 mile and is accessible with a buggy. The blue walk is also accessible but is a bit longer – about 3 miles. Visit the Longshaw website for more information.
Facilities: All Longshaw’s car parks are currently open, including the main Woodcroft car park (SK2670980065) with limited parking. It’s not possible to pre-book. The car parks are free for National Trust members. Otherwise, the charge is £3.50 for up to 4hrs and £5 for over 4hrs. There are temporary toilet facilities in the main Woodcroft car park between 10am and 4pm. Longshaw’s cafe and shop are currently closed.
20. Danes Dyke Nature Reserve
Route: The 1.9-mile circular Tree Trail starts from the display panel in the car park. You can also explore the trail in two shorter walks; a 0.6-mile walk through the woods in the south passing the beach, or a 1.2-mile walk through the woods in the northern half of the reserve. Due to the natural landscape of Danes Dyke ravine, the Tree Trail features several flights of steep steps, with flights having up to 100 steps.
A walk using the unsurfaced paths of the reserve also starts at the display panel. This walk has only one flight of steps to descend on returning to the car park. Turn right off the Tree Trail at the Pay and Display machine, and walk past the overflow car park. Continue alongside the exit road and take the path on the right towards Flamborough village. Turn off this path through Needles Plantation and enter the woods of the reserve again. Descend the flight of 25 steps, which bridge the gap in the earthwork to return to the car park. For more information, visit the website.
Facilities: One main pay and display car park and two overflow car parks. Access to the beach can be gained by walking from the car park down the steep surfaced road. Picnic tables, and public toilet and cafe in the car park. I couldn’t find any information as to whether the toilet is currently open so I’ll update when I get more information.
21. William’s Den Woodland Walk
Route: William’s Den has opened its connected woodland to the public during Covid-19 while its indoor/outdoor play centre is shut. There are various circular woodland routes ranging from 20 minutes to an hour. The walks start and finish in the William’s Den Main Car Park. The walk is free but booking is essential. Visit the website for more details.
Facilities: Free parking. The William’s Den cafe is open for take aways. Toilets are open in the main building but the play area is closed so best to prepare the kids to avoid a meltdown.
- Where’s are your favourite family walks in Yorkshire under two miles? Let me know in the comments below.
- If you enjoyed reading 21 of the best family walks in Yorkshire under two miles, read: Find Joy in Summer Nature Exploration