Pram friendly walks in the Yorkshire Dales
A round up of pram friendly walks in the Yorkshire Dales ensuring that you get to see some of the best sights even if you have a pram (or wheelchair).
Over the years we have sampled lots of walks in and around the Yorkshire Dales but a lot of them are really not accessible. There have been many a time that we have had to abandon the pram and come back for it later (hiding it somewhere and carrying the baby!) or had to lift it over a wall/stile.
Here is my go to list of walks that are suitable for a pram so will save you all the hassle!
From the village of Malham you can walk right up to the base of Malham Cove with a pram. There is a section of road walking before it joins the path which is wide and flat all the way to the base of the Cove. This is one of the most beautiful walks in the area and you really do not need to go on top of the Cove to appreciate its greatness. This huge limestone amphitheatre is one of the most famous landmarks in the Yorkshire Dales which is why it is top of the list!
Once you get close to the Cove there is a stream that you follow and this is great for little ones in the summer as it is shallow to paddle. There is plenty of space to sit and relax on the grass so take your blanket and a picnic.
The walk from the village to the Cove and back again is 3 miles in total.
Again this is another Yorkshire Dales spectacle not to be missed! Gordale scar is a huge limestone gorge with a waterfall at the top end. There is a stream running the length of the path so it is another great spot to have a picnic and a paddle.
Parking is at Gordale Scar layby (limited parking) or you can walk from the village along the road. The distance from Gordale Scar layby to the top and back is 1 mile.
This is the longest walk in the Malhamdale area that is pram friendly. The distance is 7.5km all the way round but you can choose to do shorter sections.
Malham Tarn sits on the tops above Malham and is very very quiet. The walk is a mix of terrain including track, field (not muddy), road and board walk. It is pretty exposed too so wrap up warm.
The Tarn itself is lovely and the views over it are stunning. There is a National Trust section which includes a property so there are a few interesting things to find along this section. There are a few information boards dotted around too. Parking is free in the car park.
Skipton Woods – via Chapel Hill
Skipton Woods is a regular one for us being so close. It is ideal as you can make it as short or as long as you want and there are lots of things to see. Babies in prams especially like the woods as there is so much to take in with the trees and the light shining through. I remember my little one was always fascinated by the glistening and the changing colours.
The accessible route is via Chapel Hill (do not follow the board walk behind the Castle as there are a few steps to encounter). This road entrance brings you to the main gates of the woods. The accessible route is following it straight up to the top as far as you can go and then returning on the same path. This route takes in the main highlights and follows the beck.
The Leeds Liverpool canal that runs through Skipton goes from, you guessed it Leeds right through to Liverpool so there are plenty of sections that you can do. In our area the best section would be from Aireville Park to town so you can then incorporate the Park. You could do a much longer walk if you prefer and do the linear walk to either Bradley, Kildwick or Gargrave, all of these villages have a playground. If you are walking to Gargrave there is a small section that is on the road which is not advisable to walk with a pram so it would be best to park in the layby at Niffany Bridge.
Canal towpaths are great as they are wide and flat and there is usually lots to spot with the barges, ducks and views across the fields.
Strid Wood, Bolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey is a great place for pram friendly walks in the Yorkshire Dales. There are numerous routes that are suitable around the estate with all main paths stoned up and wide enough.
The return walk from The Riverside carpark (home of the Cavendish Pavillion café) up to the Strid is 4km long. This section is the most accessible on the estate and is the location of many themed walks such as Christmas, Halloween and Easter trails which are not to be missed.
This walk is through the woods so is ideal for babies to watch the change in light and hear the sound of the river flowing alongside.
Bolton Priory can be accessed from the village car park via the road down to the Church. There is then a path that leads down to the river. This area is great for little ones to paddle, picnic and run after ducks! There is always an ice cream van parked down here too.
From the Priory you can continue the walk on to the Cavendish via the Welly Walk. Be warned though that this route is tough going as there are quite a few big hills. It is doable with a pram just requires a lot of puff (or someone else to push!). From the Cavendish you can then follow the road back up to the Memorial and back past the church to the village. This full loop is 4 miles.
The Cumberland Trail at Strid Wood, Bolton Abbey
The lesser known walk in Bolton Abbey is the Cumberland Trail. This is a short accessible path located at the Strid Wood car park. The trail is 1km long through the woods and there are a few bird hides too to sit and watch out. To extend this walk further (or you could just head to the tea room instead!) you can walk to Barden Bridge. On this side of the river the path is suitable for prams. You can head back down the other side of the river but there is a section on grass that can be muddy sometimes and also you will need to negotiate Barden Aqueduct. If you have help and a lightweight pram then this is doable but certainly not advisable so just stick to this side of the river and head back.
Swinsty Reservoir, Nidderdale
Located near Harrogate, next to Fewston Reservoir, this is the easiest / flattest of the reservoir walks in the area. It is a 3 mile circular. Car parking is free and there is usually an ice cream van in the car parks. There is also a beach and a picnic area which makes this walk more of a day out. The paths are wide and stoned with a few sections of track. This is a great walk whatever the weather as there is a lot of shelter under the trees.
Fewston Reservoir, Nidderdale
Located near Harrogate, next to Swinsty Reservoir this circular route is 4 miles. This is slightly more challenging than Swinsty reservoir as the paths are more undulating with a few bigger hills thrown in for good measure! The walk is a mix of terrain on good paths.
Grimwith Reservoir, Grassington
Grimwith reservoir is located outside of Grassington. This 4.5 mile circular walk is pretty exposed so wrap up warm. This reservoir is super picturesque with the most beautiful thatched hut which I love! The paths are a mix, a lot of track but there are also a few sections of grassed areas which can get quite muddy after rain so be aware. This walk has lots of interesting things to spot and is quite active with watersports. There is a picnic area too by the car park.
From the car park at the top of Wells Road this route is 1.5km in total. The tarn overlooks the town of Ilkley and is a fab little place to explore with little ones. It is a great introduction to Ilkley Moors and climbing rocks as well as feeding the trillions of ducks on the water!
At the car park there is also a nature reserve and a mini maze!
Ilkley riverbank is an easy area to explore with little ones and the full route is pram friendly. You can walk alongside the river both sides (only one side is fully tarmac paths however) with a pram to make the route around 2 miles long. There is a park as well a few pebbly beaches to throw stones in. You are in easy distance of the town centre too for all its amenities.
The route alongside the river from Burnsall to the suspension bridge at Hebden is a fabulous walk whatever the weather. The walk is 2.2 miles there and back. There are a couple of extra large kissing gates to negotiate at the start but you can easily fit a pram through. There are also a couple of sections which are rocky so take extra care but on the whole the route is great. This section of the river is one of my favourites as there is so much to take in; the wildlife, the river rapids, the bridges and even a wild swimmer or two. Burnsall village green is an ideal spot for afterwards too to relax with an ice cream or have a paddle in the water.