Walks in Yorkshire, The White Rose Way

Beck Isle Cottage, Thornton Le Dale Having been a keen walker most of my adult life and having completed many challenge walks and National Trails, my thoughts began to turn to writing a
walking book of my own.

My home city of Leeds seemed to be the perfect place to start, being surrounded by countryside and only a short distance to the Yorkshire Dales and Wolds.

But, where to finish?

Keep going until I fall into the sea was the answer, and a finish point on the East coast beckoned, with Britain’s first seaside resort of Scarborough, being the selected destination.

The Old Street, Roman Road between Tadcaster and York I decided on a step-by-step guide, obviating the need for maps, so that absolute beginners could take part.

To add to the interest for walkers, I also decided to include local and natural history points of interest, relevant to the areas through which the walk passed. Thus began an intensive twelve months of poring over maps, internet searches and library visits, not forgetting the important bit of actually doing the walk myself. Once the route had been decided, and with the assistance of friends, we walked the whole of the 104 mile route and individual sections several times, to make sure that my notes were accurate and easy to follow.

Wharf Bridge at Boston Spa Bed and Breakfast accommodation along the route for the benefit or weary walkers was an important factor and many of them were visited during my travels. Photography was the key to attracting people to the walk and I took scores of pictures to show what the route was like and to form a gallery on the supporting website.

The walk itself is very varied and traverses some absolutely beautiful countryside. There are no mountains to conquer, nor even any significant hills and can be achieved by anyone who is reasonably fit. The walk commences at the Black Prince statue in Leeds City Square. Passing from the ultra modern centre, it goes through Victorian housing developments and quickly into fingers of parkland. The countryside surrounding Leeds is soon reached and passes the outdoor film set of the fictional village of Emmerdale before entering the grounds of Harewood House.

Derwent Valley The River Wharfe valley is then followed, as the walk passes through the village of Linton, and on to the historic market town of Wetherby. Still following the Wharfe, picturesque villages come and go as an ancient countryside Roman Road is taken to Fulford, a suburb of York. From here, the walk crosses vast agricultural plains to the battle site of Stamford Bridge where in 1066, the Viking invaders were repulsed for the final time on English soil.

The route then goes upriver, following the River Derwent through the Howardian  Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to Kirkham Abbey and Malton. The chocolate box village of Thornton Le Dale is next, before entering the North York Moors National Park and the impossibly beautiful forests of Wykeham and Dalby.

A brief respite at remote Harwood Dale precedes a last push to the coast. The last few miles follow the cliff path before a beach and headland walk brings you to the finish line at Scarborough’s South Bay.

There are so many interesting buildings, places and local history facts within the book that it would be a long job to list them all, but as a mere taster:

  • The Dinosaur Coast at Scalby Where was the world’s first moving picture exhibition and what fate befell the inventor?
  • Which town is equidistant from London and Edinburgh?
  • Why did feuding brothers build breweries next to each other?
  • Which race-horse’s bloodline is contained in 85% of all British race-horses today?
  • Where is the world’s longest railway station seat?

The walk may be viewed at www.whiteroseway.co.uk where copies of the book at £7.99 plus p&p are now available to purchase.

Happy walking!

Paul Brown is a retired Police Inspector and has held a lifelong passion for the outdoors.  He is an experienced fell and mountain walker and has completed many challenge walks and National Trails.

197 people found this helpful

Share Article:


Outdoor enthusiast

Leave a comment


Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

With over 7,000 years of history, Malta is the ultimate holiday destination for any history buff!…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.