Lovely North Yorkshire walks for families

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If you’re anything like us, you’ve spent the last few days in a fog of food, drink and presents which has left your house a tip and the kids climbing the walls. If ever there was a time to get outside, it’s now! Visit Ryedale has launched a collection of 20 walks, with digital walking guide business iFootpath, with something for all ages and abilities (including family-friendly options).

Each walk begins in one of Ryedale’s five market towns – Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside, Pickering, Malton and Norton-on-Derwent. The routes are described, photographed and mapped via GPS meaning it’s easier than ever to avoid wrong turns. Walkers can download and print the PDF guide for free or download the iFootpath App, which gives a smarter walking experience with live GPS-powered maps that show your progress as you walk. The app is for Apple and Android devices and costs a one-off price of £1.49, giving access to hundreds of walking guides in the UK.

Families with young children and grandparents in tow might prefer one of the easy access walks that start in Helmsley (Britain’s Best Market Town 2015) and Malton. As well as being shorter, they have things to do and tend to avoid the rivers and muddy woodland paths, so are as ‘all-weather’ as possible. Parking is quick and easy and each town has an excellent range of facilities: pubs, tea-rooms, and public toilets (check festive opening times). These two walks are particularly family friendly:

Helmsley Discovery Trail Suitable for a rugged pushchair or disability buggy, this 1.2 mile (2km) easy access circular trail around the market town of Helmsley takes in several of the town’s key attractions including the bustling market place, the pretty beck, the imposing castle, the magnificent walled gardens and a short stretch of the Cleveland Way.  Allow one hour.

Malton and St Mary’s Priory A three-mile (5km) easy access circular walk from the market town of Malton. The route explores the town’s market place, a beautiful stretch of the River Derwent and a number of historic sites including St Mary’s Priory, Orchard Fields (the site of an old Roman fort) and the site of the old castle.  Allow two hours.

View details of the market town routes
For a more rural walk, Howardian Hills has also launched a series of rambles. At this time of year the villages of Welburn and Hovingham make good starting points because they each have a pub (check festive opening times) and the trails have scenery in spades with history and wildlife thrown in at every turn. In the following leaflets, there are three walk choices from the same starting point depending on how far you want to go, with very easy signposting on each route. Wrap up warm, grab your wellies and go!

Visit the Howardian Hills website

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