Spring Walks in Yorkshire – THE best places to spot all the Spring flowers
Spring is definitely my favourite time of year. There’s something to be said about a spring walk in Yorkshire, especially in Yorkshire.
There is nothing better than the great outdoors and exploring our beautiful county. From snowdrops to bluebells, daffodils to crocus, spring blossom to primroses, there is something for everyone at this time of year. The temperature rising month on month, the brown staleness of nature starting to fade away, colour seeping in, the day light hours getting ever so slightly longer… no wonder people seem to be happier in the Spring!
With that said here is the lowdown of where to go over the next few months to experience Yorkshire in all its Spring time glory.
Such a delicate white flower, the snowdrop is one of the first signs of Spring and certainly lifts the mood after the excessively long month that is January. There are over 2500 species of snowdrop and Yorkshire is awash with them throughout February and early March. You will find them in most gardens and woodlands but if you want a more monumental display then check out these epic snowdrop events and Spring walks in Yorkshire throughout February.
Snowdrop strolls in North Yorkshire
National Trust properties are renowned for being brilliant all year round with seasonal sights. Snowdrop sightings are no different and in North Yorkshire we are blessed with two amazing properties to visit; Fountains Abbey, near Ripon and Beningbrough Hall, York. Great days out for all the family.
Goldsborough Hall in Knaresborough, take snowdrop season seriously with a couple of legendary snowdrop days hosted. This year they are occurring on Sunday 6th and 20th February. There will be talks, guided walks and the chance to buy some snowdrops to take home. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Kiplin Hall in Richmond, is a private hall and gardens which reopens on 4th February for their Snowdrop Strolls. The gardens are beautiful with a walled garden, ponds, open space as well as a playground, zip line and garden games for the children.
Mount Grace Priory in Northallerton, an English Heritage site is another location to enjoy a Spring walk in Yorkshire. The Priory includes the ruins, formal gardens, lake, open space and property to explore.
Thorpe Perrow Arboretum, in Bedale is a private home set in stunning grounds which are open to the public. The beautiful formal gardens with wild woodland and a lake as well as having its own bird of prey centre, mammal area and an epic playground. There are plenty of events on throughout the year too to entice the kids and adults including Snowdrop Month this February. There are 41 varieties of snowdrop planted in the ground for you to admire. However whatever time of year you will visit you will be blown away by the beauty.
Snowdrop strolls throughout the rest of Yorkshire
Burton Agnes in Driffield, will reopen on 5th February through to 6th March for you to enjoy a woodland walk amongst the snowdrops. There is plenty to explore in addition with a walled garden, grounds, the hall as well as an adventure playground.
Nostell Priory in Pontefract is another National Trust property that again is a fab place to visit with the whole family at this time of year. There are a variety of walks in the grounds, a brilliant adventure playground and plenty of facilities.
York Gate Garden in Leeds, originally a private family home, is now run by a charity. They are opening the garden up this half term (15th -20th February) for Snowdrop Week. With over 60 varieties on display this garden is for the keen green fingered. Tickets to be purchased in advance.
Brodsworth Hall in Doncaster, is an English Heritage property with extensive formal gardens. The snowdrops here are delightful. There are plenty of walks around the grounds, activities on over February half term for the kids too as well as a great tea rooms.
For many, daffodils are the real first sign of spring as their bright yellow flowers cheer up everywhere. They transform areas in an instant and their sunny disposition is summed up by William Wordsworth in his famous poem… “And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils.”
Flowering mainly around March (but can come earlier if we have had a mild winter), they are a sign of hope and rebirth leading us into the Mother’s Day and Easter celebrations. They are hardy things and come back year after year, very reliable! They can be found in grass verges all over but for carpets of them then check out these inspired Spring Walks in Yorkshire.
Daffodils in North Yorkshire
Farndale, in the Yorkshire Wolds. Now this is the most famous place in Yorkshire to visit to see thousands of wild daffodils lining the river banks. This free Spring walk in the North York Moors National Park is 3.5 miles long (there and back) following the river from the village of Low Mill to Church Houses.
York Museum Gardens in the heart of York are a free to visit attraction renowned for their Spring flower displays. There are over 10 acres to explore plus an interactive Squirrel Trail for the kids.
Castle Howard, Malton is another spectacular place to visit in the Spring. The daffodils are out in force and there is so much to do and see that you can spend the full day there. With the best adventure playground around – Skelf Island – you may not be able to tear the kids away to explore the beautifully presented gardens!
Parcevall Hall in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales is a hidden gem. Having been closed a lot over the past few years due to the pandemic the Hall and Gardens are reopening in April in time to show off their wonderful daffodil displays. With formal, intricate gardens centred around the main Hall there are over 24 acres to explore and a quaint little tea room for after.
Thorp Perrow again in Bedale have another event on this Spring. There is a special daffodil guided walk on 7th April followed by champagne afternoon tea (tickets must be booked in advance). The daffodils line the woodland paths making Spring certainly one of the best times to visit.
Daffodils in the rest of Yorkshire
Sledmere House, Driffield is East Yorkshire’s finest house. With extensive grounds, a house and museum to explore, its own café and shop, walking trails, and for the kids a farm and playground it is certainly worth a visit. The daffodil displays again are stunning and well worth a visit.
Renishaw Hall and Gardens, near Sheffield is a private home that reopens on 23rd March. The italian inspired gardens are gorgeous with daffodils and Spring flowers everywhere. The grounds are paid entry to explore but they do have a variety of events on including an Easter Trail so there is something for all the family.
Harewood House, Leeds is a beautiful place to visit for a Spring walk in Yorkshire. The West Garden and the Lakeside walk are covered in daffodils throughout March and April. Harewood House itself is a wonderful paid attraction to explore with something for the whole family for the full day out. A small zoo, formal gardens, wild areas, the lake, cafes, amazing adventure playground, the house… the list goes on.
Nostell Priory, in Pontefract the National Trust property (as well as Fountains Abbey) deliver yet again during March and April with hundreds of daffodils on display.
From April through into May, bluebells are the spring flower of choice with woodlands all over Yorkshire flooded with a rich purple carpet. Bluebells are a sign of ancient woodland and as such our native bluebells are protected. It’s actually illegal to pick or destroy areas of bluebells so please be careful where you are trampling to get that perfect photo as it can take 5 years for them to come back if they do at all. The non native ones are larger and come in a variety of shades from white through pink to purple.
Bluebell Woods in North Yorkshire
Skipton Woods, behind Skipton Castle is a great pram friendly walk featured in another of my blogs ‘Pram friendly Walks in the Yorkshire Dales. The main route up through the woods following the beck is strewn with wild garlic and the tops are then mixed in with the bluebells blankets… quite the aroma!
Newton Woods located under Roseberry Topping is high on my list to visit this year after I named in in my Yorkshire bucket list of 2022! What better way to reach the summit of Roseberry Topping than to walk through the bluebells first on this 2 mile walk. Short but challenging it’s the perfect way to work up an appetite for lunch.
Oxenber Woods in Austwick near Settle is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and a designated ancient woodland so you know you really are somewhere delicate with that many titles. There are various circular walks that can be done in the area all from the village of Austwick taking in Oxenber Woods, Wharfe Woods and stopping for a pit stop at the legendary Elaines Tearoom in Feizor. The walk up to the woods is a slight climb but it offers you panoramic views out over towards Ingleborough so worth it.
Bluebell Woods in West Yorkshire
Middleton Woods in Ilkley, is renowned for the bluebells and is an annual visit for us. The woods that span from the River Wharfe right up Curly Hill are a brilliant place to explore with bluebells covering the whole of the wood. The entrance to the woods can be found opposite the footbridge on Denton Road and there is free parking in the large layby.
Newmillerdam, in Wakefield is another amazing woodland to explore at this time of year with pockets of bluebells throughout the woods. You never know when they are going to spring up next. There are a variety of walking trails to follow including the Gnome Roam which is great for kids.
St Ives Estate, in Bingley has a lovely small woodland at the bottom of the estate littered with bluebells. There is also the lure of the fabulous playground just above which makes this a great free trip out. There are numerous routes to wander around the estate taking in the tarn and view points over Bingley.
Hardcastle Crags in Hebden Bridge is a National Trust area. The car park is therefore free for members. Bluebells line the woods on the walk down towards Gibson Mill where you will also be rewarded with a café and the lovely sight of the mill and the water. There are lots of walking trails around the wood, you can wander for miles!
Bluebell Woods in the rest of Yorkshire
Moss Valley woodlands in Sheffield are managed by the Woodland Trust. This ancient woodland is south facing so you can see why the bluebells love it here. That sunlight makes it the perfect place for a picnic. There are plenty of trails through the woodland so you can make your walk as long or as short as you would like.
Ecclesall Woods near Sheffield are another ancient woodland that have a beautiful display of bluebells in the Spring. The area is a local nature reserve. There are over 300 acres to explore so take a picnic or try the café located in the car park.
North Cliffe Wood Nature Reservie in Market Weighton is a small reserve with a 3km circular path that meanders around the wood. There is no car park but there are a few road side spaces. The perfect short walk for little ones.