I love a good walk almost as much as I love a good piece of cake. For me a great family day out combines the two! If this also sounds like your idea of a nice way to spend the day, below you will find 5 Yorkshire family walks with an accompanying child friendly café.
1. Saltaire Canal & Salts Diner
- Start from outside the Tourist Information Centre, 2 Victoria Road, Saltaire, West Yorkshire
- 45 minutes for the short walk, 1 hour and 15 minute for the longer walk – downloadable map
- Parking: Pay and display in the village of Saltaire – there are many options
- Salt’s Diner – Salts Diner is located in the fantastic Salt’s Mill where you can You can grab a coffee or have a 3-course meal surrounded by works by David Hockney.
The walk at Saltaire is a buggy friendly, mostly flat canal footpath for the short walk, and a woodland path for the extended walk. If you’re looking for an even bigger walk, you can continue to 5 Rise Locks in Bingley, with another great café and views of the locks. Don’t forget to bring food for the ducks and geese (no bread please but they love peas!).
You can end the walk with a play in Robert’s Park. The park is very clean, well-maintained and has been restored to a Victorian design with planting, promenades and large grass areas. Roberts Park also has an adventure playground and skate park if the kids still have energy to run off.
While you’re in Saltaire, you can also pay a visit to Salt’s Mill, home to works by David Hockney and a great bookshop on the top floor with lots of kids books and Salt’s Diner. I can highly recommend the hamburgers!
2. Yorkshire Sculpture Park & YSP Cafe
- West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF4 4LG
- Open Daily 10-6
- With 500 acres to explore, you can really tailor the walk to suit your needs (or energy levels).
- Parking: Entry is free but there is a £8 all day charge or £5/2 hour charge to use the parking lot
- YSP Café Although more expensive than some places on the list, the YSP café serves very nice cakes and coffee as well as a range of food. It is very child friendly and if you’re looking for a more formal option with a great view you could try the YSP Restaurant as well.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open air gallery with over 60 works of art. Children can touch the exhibits, find hidden dens and step on musical sculptures. The walks in the surrounding woodland and lake-side have exciting things for children to discover including a Greek-style summer house, an Obelisk, Stepping Stones and a magical Shell Grotto. With older children you can try the Young Explorers Trail.
There are baby changing facilities, picnic areas and gift shops on the grounds as well.
3. Bolton Abbey & Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour
- Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 6EX
- Over 80 miles of footpaths, some pram friendly. To plan your walk download maps here.
- Parking: £7 per car or £8 per car during holidays and summer season
- Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour – Ice cream, fabulous milk shakes and yummy American diner-style food, Billy Bob’s is worth the drive just a few minutes away from Bolton Abbey. It is very popular though, so make sure you pre-book your table here.
Highlights of a trip to Bolton Abby include walking in the ruins of a 12th century monastery, activity trails, the River Wharf and lots of great picnic space. It’s one of our favourite places for a walk, read our 10 Reasons to Visit Bolton Abbey.
4. Hardcastle Crags & Weaving Shed Cafe
- Hollin Hall, Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire HX7 7AP
- There are three walks to choose from at Hardcastle Crags or you can walk the car park to Gibson Mill and back on a hilly but pram friendly path.
- Parking: Pay and display parking lots £5 all day parking
- Weaving Shed Café – The cafe can be found in an old cotton mill and serves fantastic soup and even nicer cakes, I have to admit we went back for more when we ‘forgot’ to leave any for the kids! There is both indoor and outdoor seating.
Hardcastle Crags is a beautiful walk with a lovely stop or midway point at the picturesque Gibson Mill with a café, gift shop and visitors centre. As it is part of the National Trust, there are free nature sheets and activities for kids as well.
Walking next to the water was great fun, fine with the kids in back packs but not pram friendly (there is a pram friendly alternative see above). There are also activities on during school holidays, we got to try out hand at wild art!
5. Rivelin Valley Nature Trail & Rivelin Valley Cafe
- Rails Rd, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
- 4.7 miles of mostly flat walking, some tarmac. Find a map here.
- Parking: Limited parking on the roadside
- Rivelin Valley Café – This lovely café offers inside and outside seating, and in the summer there are even paddling pools to cool off in!
The Rivelin Valley Nature Trail has views of the river, mills, wildlife and there is a playground for kids as well. I have not done this walk myself yet but it comes highly recommended.
More Suggestions from the Yorkshire Tots Community
When I was looking for places to walk for this post, I got some great ideas for Yorkshire family walks from the Yorkshire Tots Facebook Page. If you’re looking for more walking inspiration, here’s some more recommended Yorkshire family walks. Many of these I haven’t done myself but I am looking forward to trying them soon!
- “Yeadon Tarn is always nice, lake, ducks, swans, park, ice cream and right next to the runway – airplanes too”. – Sharon G.
- “There HAS to be a good cafe!! Temple Newsam, Lotherton Hall, Golden Acre Park, Roundhay Park, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (a particular favourite of mine), Harewood House.” Frances D.
- “St Ives in Bingley is great – nice walk and a great playground and sandpit for kids.” – Andrea W.
- “Otley Chevin is lovely, several objects carved out of wood including a chariot and a chair, placed along the path, with a boardwalk heading out to some fab views! Burnsall to Grassington and vice versa is a beautiful walk, with plenty of cafés to choose from. Also around Malham too, including Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss. A little closer there is Swinsty Reservoir and Eccup Reservoir! Fairburn Ings and Cow & Calf at Ilkley too!“ Elizabeth G.
- “Falling Foss Cafe in Whitby, wonderful walk by stream then back to the fab cafe and waterfall and kids play area. Steep walk down from car park.” Joanne G.
- “Pugneys is great and flat for kids to take bikes. Yeadon tarn is nice too just a nice distance for little legs. The strid at Bolton Abbey……..I could go on!” Claire A.
- “Woodlesford locks, boats, lock and wood carvings, gruffulo and others, no cafe but picnic benches.” Anne-Marie D.
- “St Aidens Bird Reserve is a lovely walk, but you’d have to check if the cafe was open.” Faye K.
- “Buckwood @ Thackley, Appley Bridge Canal, Saltaire – Hirstwood canal, Roberts park @ Saltaire, Northcliffe park & wood” Jerri H.
- “Nostell Priory is our favourite at the moment. Hoping to try out Brimham Rocks in the next few weeks.” Michelle B.
- “It has to be Brimham Rocks for me!!” David H.
- “Shipley glen” Michelle H.
Thank you to everyone on Yorkshire Tots who gave me great suggestions for this article. If you’ve been here or somewhere else in Yorkhire with the kids for a walk, please share your tips below!