Yorkshire is blessed by some of the best running trails in the UK. The variety of landscapes means trail running in this part of England might include a gentle 6-mile run from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay, to a brutal 24-mile slog over the famous Three Peaks. Dave Jelley, whose company Jelley Legs offers running holidays in the area, describes what's on offer.
Trail running in Yorkshire can be broadly divided into four areas. Heavily urbanised South and West Yorkshire border the rugged trails of the Pennines. In East Yorkshire there are some beautiful long undulating trail runs over the Wolds. Further up, the North York Moors are criss-crossed by a multitude of upland trails and finally, west of the A1, the huge expanse and variety of terrain in the Yorkshire Dales make this area the jewel in the crown of UK trail running.
Browse trips run by our local travel partners
• Base: Kettlewell (car parking just over bridge)
• Distance: it’s up to you
• Terrain undulating at times boggy and rocky; some easy riverside running
• Route: can be followed in either direction. It’s easy to make a circular route using an OS map. There are great hills on either side to tempt you: try Great Whernside and Buckden Pike, but chose a clear day as it can get confusing on the tops in low cloud.
• Cafés and accommodation: Kettlewell and Grassington
• OS maps: OL2, OL30
• Base: Ramsgill
• Distance: 12-20 miles
• Terrain: hilly and rocky in places, some fast grassy sections
• Route: follow the Nidderdale Way to Middlesmoor west of the river, then the main track to Scar House reservoir. A longer route goes up to Great Whernside. Continue over the reservoir dam and up to the high path – well marked - then back to Ramsgill.
• Cafés and accommodation: Pateley Bridge – nice pub in Middlesmoor
• OS map: 298 Nidderdale
• Base: Osmotherley
• Distance – many options from 10 miles to 110
• Terrain: incredibly varied: some paved trails, some woodland, heather moorland
• Route: the Cleveland Way passes through Osmotherley so you can head south towards the White Horse or North towards Roseberry Topping. If you can follow a footpath on a map it's very easy to make up a circular route using the Cleveland Way.
• Cafés and accommodation: Osmotherley
• OS map: OL26
• Base: Reeth
• Distance 10 miles to Richmond (or bus to Richmond and run back) 12 miles to Keld, or 20 miles Keld and back by the river route
• Terrain: grassy trails, some hard-packed tracks and slippy rocky paths
• Route: the route is well described with maps by Martin Wainwright’s guide. Circular routes can be devised in all parts of the Swaledale section.
• Cafés and accommodation: Reeth and Grinton (YHA and Mountain bike centre have cheaper accommodation)
• OS map: OL30
• Base: Hawes
• Distance – 10 to 270 miles
• Terrain: hilly – and can be boggy in places
• Route: all routes are up hill from Hawes but you are rewarded by some spectacular views. Try the route up Great Shunner fell or south towards the head of Wharfedale until you meet a minor road. Turn northwards and then branch northeast on the dead straight Cam high road (an old Roman road) to Butterset and then back to Hawes.
• Cafés and accommodation: Hawes
• OS map: OL30
Best times to go:
Trail running in Yorkshire is possible throughout the year. However, it can be very bleak on the hill tops in midwinter. So if you fancy a winter running break, you either need to choose the valley trails like the Dales Way from Kettlewell, or if you want to do the higher routes in the North York Moors and Dales you need to follow sensible safety practice ( see below).
Spring running is wonderful in Wharfedale. June is a special month in Swaledale, with all the meadows carpeted in brilliant yellow buttercups. Autumn is a good time for the wooded valleys around Hebden Bridge. Frosty/ snowy winter runs on the moors can be magnificent.
SAFETY ON THE HILLS
Make sure someone knows where you are going
Run with a friend if you can
Carry a backpack with full waterproof top and bottoms,waterproof hat and gloves, an extra base layer, a whistle, compass, and foil bag or mini bivvy
Take some food and drink, even when it is cold you still need to rehydrate
Take extra gear in winter: if you twist an ankle and have to walk off the hills slowly, you will need warm clothes. And winter running with a backpack is excellent training.
Want to list your trips?Find out about advertising here
Want to feature your destination?Find out more here
Sign up now & get the latest event updates in your Inbox every week!
Varied cycling routes, welcoming coastal towns and unique trails, the island offers something for everyone!
Join over 4,000 Santa’s for a 5K or 10K and get into the festive spirit, indulging in a free mince pie too!
Europe’s wonderful winter wonderlands provide majestic settings for an amazing range of exhilarating activities!
Don your best Halloween outfit for a stroll in aid of serving and ex-Service men and women who've lost limbs.
Successful in the London Marathon ballot? Raise £200 for Roy's Runners for a chance to win!
Walk, jog or run! Stunning coastal path route from Chale, past the Needles, along cliffs & sandy beaches!
Returning for a 2nd year - be a #WishHero and grant life-changing wishes as you pass iconic landmarks!
Our first national park offers a diverse range of scenery and is easily accessible from all over the UK!
A 13.1 mile closed-road route through half of it's of Royal Parks in their absolute splendour!
Discover world-class hiking opportunities through the varied, vast and spell-binding landscapes on offer across Europe.
Visit Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, and indulge in the various holiday treats at the Zagreb Christmas Market.
A 360 mile journey from the UK through France and Belgium to every cyclist's dream destination - Amsterdam!
Secure your entry in one the biggest events for any runner and join 50,000 at the start line!
The Valley of Kings is perfect for gentle pedalling with gentle gradients through verdant landscapes!
Choosing your debut marathon can be tricky - here's 5 of our favourite UK marathons suitable for first-timers.
£100 REG FEE - Trek to the Sacred Valley of the Incas & Machu Picchu with Marie Curie in 2019!
Andrzej Bargiel became the first person to descend K2 on skis. It's your turn to test your limits and rule the snow!
Challenge yourself to ride from the 'salt fortress' of Salzburg to the biggest festival in the world!
The ultimate backdoor ski resort - part of the sunniest resort in the French Alps with fantastic beginner slopes!
Push to the peak of London’s iconic skyscraper - ‘The Cheesegrater’, in this exhilarating stair climb!