From the Lake District to the Dales and North Yorkshire Moors, there are some great places that families can head this summer for a day's walking that's not too harsh on little legs. Just make sure you wear sturdy boots or walking shoes and bring bottles of water with you, so you don’t dehydrate. Why not pack a picnic too? Here are our top 5 recommendations:
Lake District National Park
Arguably the most assessible place to go for a walk with your family is the Lake District National Park. There are 48 different routes that don’t have stiles, ideal if you’re pushing a pram or buggy.
If you take the Scout Scar route, you’ll be able to see for miles and miles. It’s a short route and steep, but well worth the climb. You’ll be able to see all of the southern lakes and if you keep going to the mushroom shelter at the top, you’ll be able to see all the fells and maybe even Blackpool Tower, weather permitting.
Little ones will love exploring the woods along the Tarn Hows route. It has beautiful scenery and is a circular route. Once you return to the car park you could reward yourselves with an ice cream.
North York Moors National Park
A great walk to do with children of all ages in the North York Moors National Park is the Forge Valley Woods route. There’s so much to see, whether you come in the spring or summer, autumn or winter. The route is easy, it’s on a wooden boardwalk so is fairly flat and linear. The woods are some of the best England has to offer and the river is beautiful.
Northumberland National Park
Northumberland National Park is the most northern national park in England. One of their best family-friendly routes is through Harwood Forest near the Simonside Hills. The Simonside Hills route is picturesque, with beautiful trees and an outcrop of fell sandstone called Little Church Rock.
Whichever route you take, you’ll be inundated with wildlife. It’s a great place for wading birds such Snipes, Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Golden plovers. It’s also home to two types of grouse, several varieties of bumble bees, red squirrels, goats and roe deer.
Peak District National Park
The Peak District National Park is at the southern end of the Pennines. The Bakewell and Haddon Hall route is a five miles long circular walk and should take you under three hours to complete. It can get muddy so is best attempted on dry days. The river is very pretty and your children will love letting off steam in Burton Ashes Wood.
It would be a crime to visit Bakewell and not try some delicious Bakewell tart, so make sure you call at one of the tea rooms or bakeries for a pre/post walk treat.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park
If you have a baby or toddler, perhaps consider the Burnsall route as there are no stiles and the pathways are level. This walk runs between the villages of Burnsall and Loup Scar. Your children will love spotting different birds as you walk along the river.
Another popular walk with families is the Malham Cove route. If you visit between April and the end of August, you’ll be able to meet wardens and volunteers from the RSPB who will be able to share facts about the birds that you can see in the Cove.
So, there you have it, our five favourite places to go for a family walk in Northern England. We hope this guide has inspired you to root out your walking boots and get active.