The best pub walks in Yorkshire

31st October 2019

Hiking boots

With miles of beautiful countryside, jagged coastlines and shoebox villages, Yorkshire is truly a walker’s paradise. One of the best things about the county’s walking routes is that they’re great all year round, from the seeing the green rolling hills in summer to the paths covered in autumn leaves later in the year. However, to make these walks even more enjoyable, a stop-off at a traditional country pub to enjoy a hearty meal (and a pint!) can’t go amiss. In this guide, we reveal some of the best pub walks in Yorkshire for those hoping to walk Yorkshire’s spectacular sites and refuel with a warming meal.

Malham

Malham Cove

Situated in the southern part of the Yorkshire Dales, Malham is a small village with surrounding areas of natural beauty. It’s a popular spot for walkers thanks to Malham Cove, a limestone dry-stone cliff face featuring unique patterns eroded stone. Once walkers reach the top of the cove, which is approximately 80 metres high, they’ll find a limestone pavement split into fascinating patterns due to ice and water erosion that happened millions of years ago.

There an array of walks to choose from that will lead you to the magnificent cove. If you’re looking for a short easy walk you can start at the Malham National Car Park in the village and walk straight to the cove and back. It will take about half an hour each way, and it’s only a 2 mile walk round trip.

If you’re hoping to see more of the sights of the Yorkshire Dales including Gordale Scar, a huge gorge with a cascading waterfall, then you could consider embarking on a circular walk around Malham’s natural attractions. The distance is 7.6 miles and should take under 3 hours, although it may take more if you’re stopping to appreciate all the stunning views! For more information on directions, visit the Dales Walk website.

After exploring the national park, and climbing over the rock formations at Malham Cove, you’re bound to be craving a drink and some food, which you will be sure to find at The Buck Inn in Malham Village. We spoke to Ashleigh from the team at the Inn to find out more: “Malham is a very popular walking destination. Although it is a small farming village, the sights of Malham Cove, Malham Tarn, Gordale Scar and Janets Foss are well known, with people coming from all around the world to take them in. Plus, there are walks to suit most abilities! Malham is a very dog-friendly village. Our pub particularly welcomes dogs and muddy boots.

“We are a very popular starting/endpoint for walkers and have been featured on several TV programmes about the area. We offer well-kept local real ales, hot drinks, a full menu, excellent Yorkshire hospitality, free parking to the side of the pub, plus free WIFI. We also have a large beer garden to the rear of the pub as well as lots of outdoor seating to the front and side. We’re well known for our pies, particularly our Beef & Ale Pie. This was featured in the Julia Bradbury programme and we still have people coming on her recommendation to this day!”

We also asked Ashleigh why she thinks pub walks are so popular: “I think for a lot of people; a pub walk is a great combination of exertion and a nice reward at the end. It's all part of experiencing the area, sampling a local beer, the hospitality and the food, really gives you a feel for a place”

Robin Hood’s Bay

Robin Hood's Bay

Staying in accommodation in Robin Hood’s Bay is popular amongst walkers, as the surrounding areas and coastline is the perfect playground for people who like to get out in the fresh air and discover wonderful views.

One of the walks you can enjoy is the Robin Hood’s Bay to Boggle Hole route, which begins in the Bay’s station car park. This is a short, circular walk with 2 miles and a duration of approximately 2 hours. The route will lead you across the clifftops of the coastline, unveiling postcard-worthy sea views, before you reach Boggle Hole, one of Yorkshire’s hidden gems and once the location for notorious smuggling activities. For more information on this route, read the National Trail’s guide here.

For walkers looking for more of a challenge, then a longer walk route for you to enjoy is the one-way route to the neighbouring seaside town Whitby. The route is roughly 6.5 miles and will even lead you past the famous Whitby Abbey. Once you’re in the town, you can explore the shops and attractions of another one of Yorkshire’s popular locations. If you’re interested in heading out on this walk, find some further details on Where2Walk.

Once you’re back in Robin Hood’s Bay, reward yourself to a delicious meal at one of the village’s many cosy pubs. One pub you will be sure to tuck into something delicious is Smugglers, who specialise in fresh seafood and locally sourced steak.

Grassington

Craven Arms

The Grassington circular is a popular choice for those looking for a great pub walk in Yorkshire. On this route, you’ll be walking along some of Yorkshire’s most stunning countryside, and following the River Wharfe, passing meadows, woodlands and waterfalls. In summer, people even stop to take a dip in the natural pools that the river creates, although even in winter the river is beautiful, making it a hotspot for photographers and artists. The walk starts and ends at Grassington National Park Centre and the 11 miles will take roughly 5 ½ hours to complete.

Once you’re back in the town, make sure to stop by traditional pub The Craven Cruckbarn. We spoke to Robert from the team to find out more: “We have many walkers drop by as we are just of the Dales way a popular route that follows the banks of the River Wharfe. As it happens, we have just been featured very recently in The Guardians ‘20 great pub walks, chosen by nature writers’ guide’.

“A popular meal amongst walkers is The Theakstons Old Peculier Ale served from the wooden casks is always a hit coupled with our homemade steak & Ale Pie is a favourite, but we have lots of choice on the menu!”

There are plenty of pub walks to be enjoyed across Yorkshire, so if you find yourself in the county with your walking boots and a hungry stomach, be sure to embark on one of these walking trails and end with a rewarding meal.