Walks to Britain's Historic Sites

Fountains Abbey
Fountain's Abbey, one of England's finest monastic ruins

This section of the Walking Englishman takes you on a journey around Britain's ancient land and within it I have created a series of walks which visit some of the finest, most important and fascinating historical remains found since the first settlers came to explore, wander and settle in Britain. Indeed many of the paths you will tread on from the walks in this section will have been created by those first of our ancestors. Imagine when you walk why they took the tracks they did, why the course is as such it is. Some will have been to make the easiest transit, some will have been the first clearings through forest, some will have been dictated by avoiding natural obstacles, or even to avoid others who had settled first. I find historic walks always an interesting experience. I hope you do too.

Interactive map of the walks


Walk Miles Description
Dalby Forest, The Bridestones and Dove Dale (North Yorkshire) 1.9 A wonderful walk to superb sandstone outcrops forged into perculiar shapes over millions of years of erosion. The walk is within a National Trust managed area.
Abbey Road, Wood Sculptures and Knaresborough Castle (North Yorkshire) 3.0 This short walk packs lots in. It visits a chapel in rock, wood sculptures, an abbey, a hermits cave, woodland, Blind Jack and the ruins of Knaresborough castle.
Holy Island (Northumberland) 3.4 Step back into history on the pilgrims trail in one of the North of England's revered places. Why the early settlers chose this place is obvious, it is so beautiful.
Hethpool, Great Hetha and Elsdonburn (Northumberland) 4.0 A lovely four mile walk from College Valley in the beauty of rural Northumbeland. Easy going bar one short climb to the iron age hill fort on Great Hetha.
Brecon, River Usk and Monmouthshire Brecon Canal (South Wales) 4.3 A short walk from the centre of Brecon, outbound from Brecon alonside the bank of the River Usk and then inbound on a walk along the canal towpath.
Avebury Stone Circle, West Kennett Long Barrow and Silbury Hill (Wiltshire) 5.4 Visit some of Britain's most spectacular sites during this easy half day walk. You will not want to hurry while visiting three unique sites steeped in ancient history.
Boroughbridge, Kirby Hill and the Devil's Arrows (North Yorkshire) 5.4 A varied terrain walk of town, countryside, riverside, old buildings and pre-historic monoliths. Even before the romans came people were building monuments here.
Middleham Moor and Coverdale (North Yorkshire) 5.8 Walk in history exploring the childhood places of Richard III around the village and local countryside and then find a forbidden corner near Coverdale.
Deep Hayes Country Park and Caldon Canal(Staffordshire) 5.9 A walk of six miles in Staffordshire with lots to explore, particularly if you're interested in the industrial heritage of coal and clay extraction in this historic county.
Barlaston and Wedgwood Pottery(Staffordshire) 5.9 A six mile walk south of Stoke in the heart of heritage rich Potteries country with an optional visit to one of the iconic pottery factories.
Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey (North Yorkshire) 6.2 This walk links two of the North York Moors most visited places. Helmsley is an inhabited one and Rievaulx Abbey is a ghostly deserted place.
Haworth Moor and Top Withins (West Yorkshire) 6.8 A walk on the 'Wuthering Heights' moor that inspired Emily Bronte. Included on the circular route is a park, open moor, a waterfall and the deserted farmstead.
Dunstanburgh Castle and Craster (Northumberland) 6.8 Scenic Northumbrian coastline walking is enjoyed all the way here. The castle ruins sitting on the edge of land is one of the most evocative in all of England.
Church Minshull, the River Weaver and the Shropshire Canal (Cheshire) 7.0 Ken Brockway visits the rural heart of the county of Cheshire for this lovely seven mile walk which finds Tudor splendour still survive.
Swainby and Whorlton Castle (North Yorkshire) 7.4 A scenic walk from Swainby on the edge of the North York Moors to the Cleveland Hills and then down to the enigmatic ruins of Whorlton Castle.
Hartwith Heritage Walk (North Yorkshire) 7.8 A lovely circular walk in central Nidderdale. Walk through woodland used in the Iron Age and you can try to find the unique 'Adams Ale' rock.
Captain Cooks Monument and Roseberry Topping (North Yorkshire) 8.3 Gisborough Moor, Captain Cook's Monument and Roseberry Topping all feature here on a walk which is very popular with the folk of Teesside.
Romans, Raydale and Semer Water from Bainbridge (North Yorkshire) 8.3 Begin by walking back in time over 2,000 years with the romans before visiting Raydale and Semer Water which is the second largest of the Yorkshire Dales lakes.
The Bronte Sisters and Railway Children Walk (West Yorkshire) 8.5 A walk in the Oxenhope and Haworth area of the Worth Valley. as well as the literary connections there is much variety with moor and valley to enjoy.
Stoodley Pike and Hebden Bridge (West Yorkshire) 8.7 A classic Calderdale walk from Hebden Bridge which includes moor and canal. Stoodley Pike is one of the Victorian ages greatest hill monuments.
Bewerley Industrial Trail (North Yorkshire) 9.0 A walk which features wonderful meadow and moorland and visits sites of the the industrial past including the disused Providence Mine workings.
East Witton, Ellingstring, Jervaulx Abbey and Cover Bridge (North Yorkshire) 9.1 An invigorating Wensleydale walk with Jervaulx Abbey and the River Ure being particularly pleasing. The walk passes through much of the monks former estates.
Fountain's Abbey and Studley Park (North Yorkshire) 10.0 A walk in lush countryside with a visit to probably the most extensive abbey ruins in northern England. After experiencing the abbey enjoy Studley Deerpark.
Standedge Trail and Oldham Way (West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester) 10.0 A spectacular Pennine walk from Marsden across county boundaries with industrial heritage featuring on both sides of the Pennines. A canal enthusiates walk.
Byland Abbey and Sutton Bank (North Yorkshire) 10.6 Once one of the greatest monasteries in England, Byland Abbey inspired the design of church buildings throughout the North. Sutton Bank is awesome.
Kinder Trespass Anniversary Walk (Derbyshire) 15.3 This walk celebrates the Kinder Trespass pioneers and follows the route of one group up to Kinder Scout. This walk also explores the industrial heritage of the area.
Walk Miles
Dalby Forest, The Bridestones and Dove Dale (North Yorkshire) 1.9
Abbey Road, Wood Sculptures and Knaresborough Castle (North Yorkshire) 3.0
Holy Island (Northumberland) 3.4
Hethpool, Great Hetha and Elsdonburn (Northumberland) 4.0
Brecon, River Usk and Monmouthshire Brecon Canal (South Wales) 4.3
Avebury Stone Circle, West Kennett Long Barrow and Silbury Hill (Wiltshire) 5.4
Boroughbridge, Kirby Hill and the Devil's Arrows (North Yorkshire) 5.4
Middleham Moor and Coverdale (North Yorkshire) 5.8
Deep Hayes Country Park and Caldon Canal(Staffordshire) 5.9
Barlaston and Wedgwood Pottery(Staffordshire) 5.9
Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey (North Yorkshire) 6.2
Haworth Moor and Top Withins (West Yorkshire) 6.8
Dunstanburgh Castle and Craster (Northumberland) 6.8
Church Minshull, the River Weaver and the Shropshire Canal (Cheshire) 7.0
Swainby and Whorlton Castle (North Yorkshire) 7.4
Hartwith Heritage Walk (North Yorkshire) 7.8
Captain Cooks Monument and Roseberry Topping (North Yorkshire) 8.3
Romans, Raydale and Semer Water from Bainbridge (North Yorkshire) 8.3
The Bronte Sisters and Railway Children Walk (West Yorkshire) 8.5
Stoodley Pike and Hebden Bridge (West Yorkshire) 8.7
Bewerley Industrial Trail (North Yorkshire) 9.0
East Witton, Ellingstring, Jervaulx Abbey and Cover Bridge (North Yorkshire) 9.1
Fountain's Abbey and Studley Park (North Yorkshire) 10.0
Standedge Trail and Oldham Way (West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester) 10.0
Byland Abbey and Sutton Bank (North Yorkshire) 10.6
Kinder Trespass Anniversary Walk (Derbyshire) 15.3
Feedback and Suggestions:

I am always pleased to received feedback on the structure and content of the website. I also welcome suggestions on how I can improve the website which may include new areas to cover, new walks or route alterations to existing walks. To contact me with feedback and/ or suggestions you can either complete the Walking Englishman Feedback Form or by email. Thank you.

(Note: Walking without proper preparation can be dangerous. Information and downloads on this website are provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check the material and use accordingly. Postscript: My walk reports are not route guides and should not be treated as such. They are written with personal reflections of my walks)


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