Looking for a circular walk in York? As they make the ideal family walk and we’ve listed over 10 great circular walks in York that are family-friendly.
Circular walks are really great for when you go out for a walk with children. Without the dread of the ‘we just need to walk back to the car’ or moaning about walking all the way along the same path! Plus, circular walks mean you can enjoy even more of the sights and sounds of York!
A great way to see the sights of York from a different perspective! The walls are open from about 8am until dusk and it takes about 2 hours to walk all the way around. If anyone does get fed up on the way around, there are plenty of places to exit into the city centre. There are too many steps and the odd narrow section that unfortunately means it isn’t one isn’t buggy friendly.
Millennium Bridge to Scarborough Bridge & back, York
For this 3 mile walk along the River Ouse, you need to start at either Millennium or Scarborough Bridge. Whilst it’s not strictly ‘circular’ you get to zig-zag over York City Centre as you cross over the various bridges, so there is plenty to spot along the way from boats, to buildings along the river to ducks as you walk along both sides of the river! If you’ve got any energy left, you can also pay a visit to Rowntree Park as you walk past.
Buggy friendly: Yes Dog-Friendly: Yes, keep on leads Circular: Yes Distance/time: 3 miles and takes about an hour For more information see the map below
Fulford to Germany Beck and Heslington Tillmire & back, York
This walk from iTravel York starts at Main Street, Fulford and takes you around Germany Beck Nature Reserve. This new nature area has several lakes that have been created to prevent flooding in the area. You will then head past Fulford Golf Club and pass through Heslington Tillmire – don’t forget to look out for sheep! You’ll then go back towards Fulford and past Fulford Allotments. There is plenty of wildlife you can spot along the way and tick off on the map!
Buggy friendly: Yes Dog-Friendly: Yes, keep on leads Circular: Yes Distance/time: 6.5 miles and takes about 3 hours For a map and more information see iTravel York
Bishopthorpe to Acaster Malbis & back, York
Another great walk from iTravel York, which starts in Bishopthorpe and offers plenty of things to see along the way! Head along Ferry Lane towards the River Ouse. Continue walking along the river until you reach Acaster Lane. You will then walk along a series of public footpaths and through several fields before reaching the York to Selby Cycle Route and back into Bishopthorpe.
Buggy friendly: Yes, but there are two stiles to pass over so not ideal if you are the only adult! Dog-Friendly: Yes, keep on leads Circular: Yes Distance/time: 4.5 miles and takes about 1.5 hours For a map and more information see iTravel York
Riccall Circular Walks, near York
Riccall is approximately 9 miles south of York City Centre. Riccall Parish Council has detailed two circular walks to allow you to explore the history in and around Riccall. If you want a longer walk, you can easily combine both routes. The walks start at the Regen Centre, Landing Lane, where there is plenty of parking, toilet and refreshment available.
Buggy friendly: Yes Dog-Friendly: Yes, keep on leads Circular: Yes Distance/time: Walk One is 5 miles/2.5 hours and Walk Two is 6 miles/3 hours For a map and more information see Riccall Round Walks.co.uk
The Aldwark Ramble, near York
The Aldwark Area Parish Council has created ‘The Aldwark Ramble’ which is a 4-mile circular walk starting/ending Aldwark, 13 miles north of York city centre. There are lots of fascinating historical facts on the walk map for you to enjoy and hopefully some wildlife to spot along the way too.
Buggy friendly: Yes Dog-Friendly: Yes, keep on leads Circular: Yes Distance/time: 4 miles/2 hours For a map and more information see Boroughbridge.org.uk
Bishopthorpe via Middlethorpe & the Knavesmire Circular, near York
York Council has produced a map for a lovely walk around Bishopthorpe. You can do the full walk or easily shorten it to 3 miles. You will start in Bishopthorpe and walk past York Racecourse and the old Terrys factory. You’ll then walk along a large section of the River Ouse as you head back towards Bishopthorpe.
Buggy friendly: No as two stiles to climb over Dog-Friendly: Yes, keep on leads Circular: Yes Distance/time: 5 3/4 miles/2 hours – or can be shortened to 3 miles For a map and more information see York.gov.uk
Stockton on the Forest Circular, near York
Starting in Stockton on the Forest, just 4 miles to the north east of York, this almost 4 mile circular walk from York Council is easy to follow. Starting on Main Street you head towards Bean Land Lane and then onto a path by open fields. You’ll then go onto s Rudcarr Lane, past Brockfield Farm and then back towards Stockton on the Forest along Carrbank Lane. The forest part of the name ‘Stockton on the Forest’ refers to the Forest of Galtres, a once heavily wooded area to the north of York.
Buggy friendly: No as three stiles to climb over Dog-Friendly: Yes, keep on leads Circular: Yes Distance/time: 3 3/4 miles/ 1 1/2 hours For a map and more information see York.gov.uk
Beningbrough River Walk, near York
This fantastic circular walk takes you along River Ouse with views of Beningbrough Hall & Grounds to your other side. You will also go past a Victorian Water Tower, that used to bring water to the hall and the skating pond! You can park at National Trust Beningbrough Hall car park even if you are only visiting the parkland. (Note: Entrance fees/membership required if you wish to visit Beningbrough Hall & Gardens).
Buggy friendly: Possible but there are plenty of exposed tree roots and it can be muddy, especially if the river has recently flooded Dog-Friendly: Yes, keep on leads Circular: Yes Distance/time: 3 1/5 miles/ 1 1/2 – 2 hours For a map and more information see National Trust.org.uk
Some very short circular walks in York… for little legs
If you have a young child or toddler then some of the walks above might be too long. However, enjoying a family walk and discovering nature is really fun with young children. They enjoy learning and spotting things you might have not even noticed. Below we’ve listed three great places to visit if you only have time for a short circular walk in York or you have younger children in tow!
Askham Bog is just off the A1036, close to Copmanthorpe. There is free car parking at the entrance and there is a boardwalk looped walk that is accessible at all times and buggy friendly. Wellies are required if you go off the path as it is, as the name suggests, boggy! Find out more on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust website.
Moorlands Nature Reserve, near Skelton, York
Moorlands Nature Reserve is always recommended by Mumblers! It is the perfect toddler friendly walking location – with decent footpaths, wooden sculptures and a nature trail there is plenty to do! Parking is allowed on the verge near the entrance gate but space is limited. Dogs are not allowed into the Nature Reserve. Find out more on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust website.
Millennium Green, Nether Poppleton, York
This 5 acre site is near St Everilda’s Church in Poppleton and run by a registered charity. It is a great location for a shortish walk and has a sundial and enclosed area with a bamboo tunnel to play in. If you want a longer walk, the River Ouse is close by. It’s also an excellent location for some of train spotting for any young train enthusiasts! Plus if that wasn’t enough, there is also a duck pond at the entrance, so you could also feed the ducks! Find out more information on the Millennium Green Facebook page.