Howardian Hills AONB Walks
Howardian Hills AONB Walks

hikes in Howardian Hills AONB

Region in England, United Kingdom
Howardian Hills AONB Trail Map

Howardian Hills Walks

Situated in the north of England between North York Moors National Park, the Vale of York, and the Yorkshire Wolds, the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a picturesque region that is well-suited for outdoor exploration. Geographically, this area features 79 square miles of terrain that is made up of rolling hills, high ridges, and swathes of woodland that overlook the surrounding countryside. This makes the Howardian Hills AONB an excellent option for a fun walking adventure through some undulating terrain.

Named for the Howard family, a noble house that was founded in 1483 and still holds lands in the area, this region features no towns, which helps the area retain its quaint and quiet nature. Instead, you will find charming villages and hamlets scattered amongst the tree-covered hills, as well as the ruins of several once prominent abbeys - such as Kirkham Priory - that were disestablished by King Henry VIII in 1538.

While tourism infrastructure in the Howardian Hills AONB might not be the strongest, the proximity of several larger towns nearby, namely Malton and Helmsley, make the area an easily accessible place for exploring the natural beauty of the outdoors. If you are looking for somewhere with a laid back atmosphere and beautifully scenic terrain for your next adventure, then why not try planning a weekend away in the Howardian Hills.

10 Great Walks In the Howardian Hills AONB

Although the region may be small, the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty features a wide range of walking routes that will allow you to explore the local history and picturesque landscape of the surrounding area. Absent of any towns, the Howardian Hills are a quiet area that will allow you to leave the chaos of the city behind to slow down and reconnect with the outdoors. From charming village walks to open swathes of farmland and magically atmospheric woodlands, there is sure to be a walking route in this lovely place that will suit all of your needs. Check out this list of our favourite Howardian Hills AONB walks below:

  • Yearsley Woods Circular Walk: This is an exceptional walking route in the Howardian Hills AONB that will allow you to experience the beauty of the serene forests and charming lakes of the region, all while doing so with your canine companions!
  • Hovingham and the Howardian Hills Walk: Featuring some truly characteristic Howardian Hills terrain, this walk offers an excellent opportunity to leave the village behind and get out onto the trails to explore the undulating hills and picturesque forests of the region.
  • Welburn and the Castle Howard Circular Walk: If you are looking to explore the grounds of an extravagant estate in addition to the beauty of the Howardian Hills, then you will want to check out the Welburn and the Castle Howard Circular Walk. This well-manicured estate has been in the hands of the Howard family for 300 years, making this a fascinating walk steeped in local history.
  • Westow and River Derwent Walk: This is a fantastic adventure in the Howardian Hills Area of Natural Beauty that will showcase the beautiful countryside as you walk along the winding banks of the River Derwent.
  • Appleton le Street to Malton Walk: A fantastic one-way route with a variety of scenery, this walk will enable you to experience views of charming villages, grand estates, and the Howardian Hills, before ending in the market town of Malton.
  • Castle Howard Walk: This amazing walk in the Howardian Hills will showcase the estate of the Howard family that has held lands in the area for 300 years. In addition to the well-maintained estate, you will also enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding hillscape.
  • Norton and Auburn Hill Walk: Situated on the edge of the Howardian Hills AONB, this walk will take you through the town of Norton-on-Derwent to experience its historic streets and the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.
  • Malton and Saint Mary's Priory Walk: This is an exceptional journey along the edge of the Howardian Hills that will take you to visit a number of interesting historical sites within the town of Malton. Additionally, you will also have some amazing views as you stroll along the banks of the River Derwent, making this a splendid walk for nearly all ages and skill levels.
  • Stamford Bridge and River Derwent Walk: Located just to the southwest of the Howardian Hills AONB, this trail follows an amazing route along the River Derwent that will expose you to some interesting historical sites, including that of the famous 1066 CE Battle of Stamford Bridge, where the Norse army of Harald Hardrada was defeated and drive out of England.
  • Wharram le Street and Wharram Percy Walk: Another fantastic walk just outside of the Howardian Hills AONB, this trail will lead you across the picturesque Yorkshire countryside to visit the location of a Medieval village that was abandoned sometime around the turn of the 16th Century.

Scroll down to find all the best walks in the Howardian Hills.

When is the Best Time to Walk in Howardian Hills AONB

The best time to visit the Howardian Hills AONB is during the warmer months of the year (June-September), as the trails will be dry and the weather will be the most favourable. While this might make for great walking conditions, it will also mean that more visitors will flock to the region to explore its natural beauty. Luckily, the Howardian Hills are accessible year-round; so if you want to avoid the crowds and don’t mind flirting with the potential of walking in some wild North Yorkshire weather, then you can plan your trip for the time of year that best suits your needs.

Other Outdoor Activities in Howardian Hills AONB

Due to the undulating landscape, open fields, and swathes of woodland terrain that can be found within the Howardian Hills, walking is overwhelmingly the most popular activity here. Other activities that can be done in the region include cycling and stargazing from atop the area’s many hills, as well as horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, and shooting.

Adventure Tours Near the Howardian Hills AONB

If the thought of planning your own walking adventure seems like a daunting task, but you really want to take on a challenging and unique experience, why not leave the logistics to professional outdoor enthusiasts and check out the most amazing adventure tours in Yorkshire.

Frequently Asked Questions About Howardian Hills AONB

Where are the Howardian Hills?

The Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be found in the north of England, between the Yorkshire Wolds, Vale of York, and North York Moors National Park.

Why are they called the Howardian Hills?

The Howardian Hills take their name from both the undulating landscape of the region, as well as the Howard Family that is a prominent group of landholders in the area.

Find other spectacular walking regions in the United Kingdom

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The best hikes in Howardian Hills AONB

Yearsley Woods Circular Walk Map

01. Yearsley Woods Circular Walk
Difficulty

4.1mi 650ft 1.5-2.5h

The Yearsley Woods Circular Walk is a fantastic family-friendly adventure in the Howardian Hills Area… Read More

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Hovingham and the Howardian Hills Walk

02. Hovingham and the Howardian Hills Walk
Difficulty

4.8mi 797ft 2-3h

The Hovingham and the Howardian Hills Walk is a pleasant journey across the North Yorkshire… Read More

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Welburn and Castle Howard Circular Walk

03. Welburn and Castle Howard Circular Walk
Difficulty

5.6mi 846ft 2.5-3h

Walking the Welburn and Castle Howard Circular route is a fantastic excursion that will showcase… Read More

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Westow and River Derwent Walk Map

04. Westow and River Derwent Walk
Difficulty

3.4mi 466ft 1.5-2h

The Westow and River Derwent Walk is a beautifully scenic walking route on the edge… Read More

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Appleton le Street to Malton Walk

05. Appleton le Street to Malton Walk
Difficulty

6.9mi 1,158ft 3-4h

The Appleton le Street to Malton Walk is a fantastic adventure in the Howardian Hills… Read More

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Castle Howard Walk

06. Castle Howard Walk
Difficulty

5.3mi 922ft 2.5-3h

The Castle Howard Walk is a fantastic adventure in the Howardian Hills AONB of North… Read More

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Norton and Auburn Hill Walk Map

07. Norton and Auburn Hill Walk
Difficulty

5.9mi 427ft 2-3h

The Norton and Auburn Hill Walk is a laid back adventure just outside of the… Read More

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Malton and Saint Mary’s Priory Walk Map

08. Malton and Saint Mary’s Priory Walk
Difficulty

2.9mi 282ft 1-1.5h

The Malton and Saint Mary’s Prior Walk is an amazing city adventure that will take… Read More

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Malton and Swinton Walk Map

09. Malton and Swinton Walk
Difficulty

6.1mi 715ft 2.5-3.5h

The Malton and Swinton Walk is a fun excursion that will lead you from the… Read More

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Kirkham Priory and River Derwent Walk

10. Kirkham Priory and River Derwent Walk
Difficulty

4.6mi 528ft 2-2.5h

The Kirkham Priory and River Derwent Walk is a fantastic adventure in the Howardian Hills… Read More

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Yes, there are more than 10

Howardian Hills AONB is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Howardian Hills AONB that you should take a look at as well

Norton and Menethorpe Walk Map

11. Norton and Menethorpe Walk
Difficulty

6.5mi 915ft 2.5-3.5h

The Norton and Menethorpe Walk is a fun, but slightly overgrown route just east of… Read More

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Terrington Mowthorpe Lane Walk Map

12. Terrington Mowthorpe Lane Walk
Difficulty

2.5mi 312ft 1-1.5h

The Terrington Mowthorpe Lane Walk is a short but scenic walking route in the Howardian… Read More

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Freers Banks and Fryton Moor Walk Map

13. Freers Banks and Fryton Moor Walk
Difficulty

3.7mi 449ft 1.5-2h

The Freers Bank and Fryton Moor Walk is a fun and fairly quick adventure in… Read More

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Byland Abbey and Mount Snever Observatory Walk

14. Byland Abbey and Mount Snever Observatory Walk
Difficulty

3.5mi 794ft 1.5-2.5h

The Byland Abbey and Mount Snever Observatory Walk is a fantastic outing in the Howardian… Read More

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Stamford Bridge and River Derwent Walk Map

15. Stamford Bridge and River Derwent Walk
Difficulty

3.3mi 331ft 1-1.5h

The Stamford Bridge and River Derwent Walk is a beautifully scenic adventure to the southwest… Read More

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Wharram-le-Street and Wharram Percy Walk

16. Wharram-le-Street and Wharram Percy Walk
Difficulty

4.9mi 965ft 2-3h

The Wharram-le-Street and Wharram Percy Walk is a pleasant adventure to the southeast of the… Read More

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