Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year and what better way to see it in all its glory then to get out and about in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. The Yorkshire Dales at this time of year shows off the Dales to its full potential. It comes alive and take on a whole new level of stunning! It is also a lot quieter than in the summer so you can enjoy the peace, tranquillity and soak up the great outdoors.
Read on for my top 3 Autumn walks in the Yorkshire Dales.
Strid Wood, Bolton Abbey
My favourite place for autumn walks in the Yorkshire Dales is Bolton Abbey. The whole of Bolton Abbey is epic at this time of year but my favourite part has to be Strid Wood. This particular walk through the woods follows the banks of the River Wharfe. This path is both pram and wheelchair friendly as it is wide, flat and stoned. The walk offers dramatic scenery and breath-taking views.
There are a number of routes through the wood but the bottom path is the easiest and is also the location of the annual Pumpkin Trail. This themed halloween trail runs in the October half term week so does get incredibly busy during this time.
The reason I love this walk so much is because the trees line the river and there is such a wide range of colours displayed. The reflection in the river compliments the (hopefully) blue skies. Just stunning.
The walk is 4km long there and back. This is starting at the Cavendish Pavilion cafe and walking to The Strid and back. You can extend the walk further all the way up to Barden Aqueduct or Barden Bridge and cross over the river to come back. You can also extend in the opposite direction back to the Priory and incorporate the Welly Walk which is another themed walk great for the kids.
The Strid itself is a sight to behold but it is incredibly dangerous. Keep a tight grip on little ones hands as the rocks can be slippy and the narrow passage of water is deceptively deep. Once you stand back you appreciate this striking dramatic landscape.
Finish off with a hot chocolate and cake from the Cav or any of the tea rooms in the village.
Stainforth Force, Settle
This walk is best done in October / early November as not only will you see the autumnal colours but you will see another natural spectacle in the Salmon! If you have never experienced this before then you really must. Every year the Salmon make their way upstream to lay their eggs. This is not an easy journey going against the current but imagine trying to jump up a waterfall?! That’s another level!
Stainforth Force is only a short walk down from the Yorkshire Dales National Park car park. The waterfall is situated in a picturesque location with a packhorse bridge in the background. The waterfall, or foss, is a couple of drops and you can get pretty close to the edge. From here you can sit patiently (not too long) and wait for the Salmon to make their attempt. Last year when we visited we witnessed around 5 trying to make the journey all within 15 minutes.
Once you have watched the Salmon doing their thing then you can extend the walk further by heading downstream following the river to Langcliffe. From here you can do a long circular up towards the Caves and see many a Settle highlight. The other option is to head back out the other side of the car park up towards Catrigg Force. Catrigg Force is another splendid waterfall.
Skipton Woods, located behind the grand Skipton Castle at the top of the town is a great child friendly walk. This walk is fab all year round but in the Autumn it is so much more peaceful. The sun is always shining through the trees in different areas too.
There are various routes that you can do around the woods. There are numerous entrances/exits and there is also an accessible route. Check out my blog post for more details on the route.
Have you ever tried geocaching? If not then download the app for free and check it out. This is a fun activity to do with children and there are quite a few geocaches hidden around the woods!
With the sun lower in the sky casting its golden sparkle, the trees ever changing and the crisp fresh air, the Yorkshire Dales is a real spectacle. Dig out the wooly hat, fill up your flask with hot chocolate and get out there! If you are lucky enough you may even get to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
What are your favourite autumn walks in the Yorkshire Dales?