The Best Winter Wonderland Walks in Harrogate

Are you ready to don your bobble hats and woolly gloves to head outside for some fresh, Yorkshire air? Here we’ve listed our best, tried and tested winter walks in Harrogate for you. Most of the places listed include a nearby coffee shop and playgrounds to keep the small ones (and you) warm and occupied en route.

RHS Harlow Carr Gardens

Harlow Carr is always a go-to walk for us as there is something for everyone. From playgrounds dotted around the woodlands to a scenic walk around the Queen Mother’s lake. Plus there’s the bonus of being able to grab a take out hot chocolate from Bettys and the chance to warm up and buy some treats in the gift shop afterwards.

Harewood House

Another gorgeous place to visit in winter, and all year round for that matter, is Harewood House. Not quite in Harrogate I know, but its only 20 mins from the town centre and easily accessible by public transport too. Make sure not to miss the farm animals, HUGE adventure playground and if you can, take some food for the ducks and swans on the lake.

Fountains Abbey

Part of the National Trust, Fountains Abbey is also a world heritage site. Take a walk along the riverside to the Studley Royal Water Garden and then on to St Mary’s Church and see if you can spot any deer! Over the Christmas period they normally run a festive trail to keep the kids entertained on their way around. Adventure out in the late afternoon and you may catch ‘Music and Lights’ in the cellarium. Find out more here.

Brimham Rocks

There’s nothing like a bracing walk in the moors. If your fingers aren’t too numb, you can scale some of the rock formations and enjoy the spectacular views. There’s no play parks here but the rocks become natures playground for any children who visit, plus it’s just a short walk and you’ll find the little kiosk to treat yourselves to a hot beverage.

Yorkshire Showground/Crimple Viaduct

Take in the breath-taking beauty of the Yorkshire countryside on a walk favoured by many locals. It’s incredibly close to the town centre and you can walk for as long as you like. Park near Oatlands woods or by Fodder farm shop and treat yourself to a hot drink and bacon butty from ‘Fodder on the hoof’.

Knaresborough Riverside

In my opinion this is one of the most underrated walks in the district. Park at Conyngham Hall or do as we do and park at St James’ retail park for free (just make sure you are back to your car in the three hour time limit). This walk has everything from countryside and riverside views, sculptures, the viaduct, the famous black and white buildings, as well as great cafes and shops along the way. The kids never get bored when we take them here.

Fewston & Swinsty Reservoirs

A great tradition of ours is to head here for a Boxing Day walk to burn off all the excesses of Christmas Day. The walk around Fewston is around 3.7 miles and Swinsty is 3.1 miles so both are perfect for little legs. To keep the kids occupied take something to feed the ducks and geese with and we always have great fun having stone skimming competitions.

Ripley Castle

Just 10 minutes from Harrogate town centre is the beautiful Ripley Castle Estate. This is another place to spot deer if you are lucky. There is a circular walk around the lake giving you the chance to see the waterfalls and Ripley Castle from all angles. Amongst the trees in the woodland area you’ll also find a little playground.

Izzy and I don’t get out on walks as much as we should but we are always inspired by The Reluctant Explorers page. Sam has so many walks on there from short pram friendly walks to longer hikes for the more adventurous. We are hoping to tick off some of her Waterfall Walks next summer.

Where is your favourite walk in Harrogate?

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