I love a nice family 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 the perfect way to spend the day, below you will find 10 Yorkshire family walks with an accompanying child friendly café.
1. Saltaire Canal Walk & 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 you can download a map of the Saltaire walks
- Parking: Pay and display in the village of Saltaire – there are many parking options to choose from
- Salts Diner is located in the stunning Salt’s Mill where you can grab a coffee or have a 3-course meal surrounded by works by David Hockney. The hamburgers are fantastic and I have always found it to be very family friendly.
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 the energy to run off.
2. Yorkshire Sculpture Park walk & 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 £6 per person for over 18’s, Under 18’s free
- 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 Walk & 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.
- 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.
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. From April to October the Welly Walk is great fun too!
4. Hardcastle Crags Walk & 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
- 6 miles of mostly flat walking, some tarmac, circling back. You can make the route shorter or longer ifyou like Find a map here.
- Parking: Limited parking on the roadside, small car park
- 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. It’s a great walk in the warmer months as there are plenty of great paddling spots and stepping stones too!
6. Druid’s Temple Walk & Cafe Bistro at Swinton Bivouac
- High Knowle Farm, Knowle Ln, Ripon HG4 4JZ
- The walk from the car park at Switon Estate to the Druid’s Temple Folly is a beautiful one mile circular walk which can be extended.
- Parking: Parking near Cafe Bistro at Swinton Bivouac
- Cafe Bistro – This café at Swinton Bivouac has snacks, coffee, cake, and meals made from local produce. The split-level cafe has a family den with toys for kids.
The Druid’s Temple walk starts at Swinton Bivouac near Masham in North Yorkshire. It is a short, easy walk with stunning views, a 200 year old stone temple to explore and a lovely cafe for a treat at the end.
There is even a few birds of prey to visit, a swing and some play equipment if the kids still have some energy to burn off!
7. St Ives Easte & The Ivy Kitchen
- St Ives Park is located at St Ives Estate just a mile away from Bingley town centre. (If you’re using a SatNav set the postcode for BD16 1AT
- There are three main walks that can be done on the Estate and lots of geocaches to be fond along the way
- Parking: Free parking near the play area
- The Ivy Kitchen – This café serves up food, home baked cakes and even treats for dogs!
We have had a few visits to St Ives Park in Bingley and what a fantastic day out it is! The adventure playground is great for a range of ages, there are some interesting walks, lots of geocaching to be done, ducks to feed and a nice little cafe for coffee and a treat. It’s easily one of our favourite family parks in Yorkshire.
8.& Jem’s Pit Stop
- Bradford Road, Batley, WF17 0AS
- There are paved trails in the woodland leading up to the delightfully quirky Bagshaw Museum.
- Parking: Free
- Jem’s Pit Stop is perfect for an ice cream treat and an American diner style feast!
Wilton Park has a nice play area with free parking on both ends of the lake. It’s a steep but lovely walk from the park up to Bagshaw Museum and where you can see a collection of quirky exhibits including a real mummy!
Jem’s Pit Shop is only a 5-minute walk away from the park and a super treat for kids. They do milkshakes and American-style diner food. You might even get lucky and get to sit in a VW bus!
Oakwell Hall & The Dancing House Cafe
- Nutter Lane, Birstall, WF17 9LG
- Oakwell Hall is over 100 acres in size with kid friendly trails and a LoveExplore app
- Parking: Free
- The Dancing House has breakfast, lunch and nice treats and afternoon tea!
Oakwell Hall is the perfect place for a family walk, pond dipping, or a play in the playground. You can also find a cafe, visitors centre, and ice cream vans on site. There is an entry fee if you wish to tour Oakwell Hall, a furnished as a family home built in the 1690s. However, there are 100 acres of country park to explore as well as the walled gardens of the home which have no entry fee and plenty of free parking.
The Dancing House is just a few minutes away from Oakwell Hall and is a family-run, family-friendly cafe and dance studio. In warm weather, there is a great outdoor seating area and slides and toys on the lawn for kids to play with.
10. Falling Foss Waterfall & Tea Garden
- Midge Hall, Whitby YO22 5JD
- Parking: Free for customers
- Falling Foss Waterfall & Tea Gardens have gorgeous treats and light food
Just a 10-minute drive from Whitby, Falling Foss Waterfall and Tea Garden is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. There is a free parking lot at the top of a hill about a 10-minute walk away from the tea garden and waterfall. The forest woodland surrounding the tea garden is full of little surprises like trees with faces, a troll under the bridge, and a stream that would be perfect for paddling in warmer weather. The walk to the tea garden is a bit steep but would be suitable for a sturdy pram and little legs.
More Walking 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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.