Otley Chevin is the perfect place to explore any time of years and with plenty of different areas to explore and trails to follow there is something for all the family to enjoy! Aside from the breath taking views the best part about Otley Chevin is that there are so many paths even if it is a busy day you don’t have to be surrounded by lots of other people and can fully enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
The Otley Chevin Geology Trail
Car Park: Suprise View Car Park, Otley (LS21 3DG) or East Chevin Quarry Car Park (LS21 3DD) Walk Distance: 3km. Approx 1.5 hours or 4km. Approx 2 hours Amenities: No toilets, Ice Cream Van in the car park during Summer Buggy Friendly? The walk does include some steeper terrain and paths can be muddy. Not all paths are suitable for a pram so a carrier is advised.
Eight stone carvings make up the 3km geology trail helping to explain how the Chevin’s steep slopes and gritstone crags and boulders were created. At each stone, you can stop and read the relevant information about the geological features. The trail is designed to explain how the rocks and fossils of The Chevin were formed and to show how the landscape of the area is related to the rock types and geological processes that have taken place in the last 300 million years. There is also an audio trail available on the Friends of Chevin Forest website. This will take you around the trail and give you additional information on the rocks and the landscapes, with a fuller description of the views you can see on the trail.
The trail passes by Jenny’s Cottage and some fantastic rocks for the kids to climb plus the views over Wharfedale are spectacular!
The Geology Trail was set up by a partnership between Leeds City Council, The Friends of Chevin Forest, the West Yorkshire Geology Trust and the Leeds Geological Association. It has been funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a larger history project called “Chevin Through Time”.
From Surprise View on a clear day, you will be able to see as far as Simon’s Seat, Norwood Top, Almscliffe Crag and the White Horse near Sutton Bank from the path that runs along the top edge!
The Otley Chevin Heritage Trail
Car Park: Otley Chevin Car Park (LS21 3DD) Walk Distance: 2.5km. Approx 1 hour Amenities: No toilets, Ice Cream Van in the car park during Summer Buggy Friendly? The walk does include some steeper terrain and not all paths are suitable for a pram so a carrier is advised.
The beautiful views and peaceful forest make the perfect circular walk. The Heritage Time Trail includes Nine timber sculptures created by Local Artist, Shane Green which make up a 2.5km route walking you back in time through the Chevin’s history. The trail starts with a mountain bike with a compass and a climber, this is to represent the Fawkes family donation of the Danefield areas to the public. Ending the trail is a 7ft caveman holding a stone-tipped spear! With the stunning views from the Chevin, it really is a beautiful walk.
Directions: Leave the car park and follow the path straight ahead. This has been a favourite of ours for years and we first attempted it with little legs back in 2018 when she was almost 4 and it took us 70 minutes from start to finish. There are plenty of paths off the main route so you are unlikely to bump into many people during your walk.
The path leads you up and round the Chevin and back to the car park starting point making the perfect Circular Walk. For more local circular walks click here
Otley Chevin Dry Stone Wall Maze
Car Park: Jonny Lane (LS21 3JL) or East Chevin Road Car Park, Otley (LS21 3DD) Walk Distance: 5 minutes from Jonny Lane or 1km. Approx 40 minutes from East Chevin Road. Amenities: Toilets and cafe available at The White House Visitors’ Centre for The Chevin Forest Park Buggy Friendly? The walk does include some steeper terrain and not all paths are suitable for a pram so a carrier is advised.
Members of the Otley and Yorkshire Dales Branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association have built an amazing dry-stone maze in the woodland in the Chevin Country Park.
The Maze is located about 300m to the west of the White House at the top of Johnny Lane. The Maze is constructed of a series of interconnecting circular walls. Using about 150 tonnes of recycled sandstone, kindly provided by the Chevin Park rangers, providing a source of entertainment for visitors for years to come.
The White House & Chevin Steps
Car Park: Jonny Lane (LS21 3JL) or East Chevin Road Car Park, Otley (LS21 3DD) Walk Distance: 1 Hour or 2 Hours Amenities: Toilets and cafe available at The White House Visitors’ Centre for The Chevin Forest Park Buggy Friendly? The walk does include some steeper terrain and not all paths are suitable for a pram so a carrier is advised.
We started at the bottom of Johnny Lane, the lane itself is steep and this continues all the way to The White House itself. The White House is steeped in Otley History and the views are spectacular so it is well worth the walk! Walking through the White House Courtyard you can follow the path until you reach the Chevin Steps – all 217 of them from this start point! If you walk a little further down the path before you take the steps you can also see the Otley Chevin Fairy Tree and check for treasures! Once you take the steps (these vary in size but both my kids easily made it to the top) you can see one of the beautiful carvings by local Artist Shane Green and the Vaca Wall – substantial and ancient wall built of large upright stone slabs. No-one seems to know it’s original function, but theories range from a boundary marker, something with Roman origins, to a barrier for keeping cattle from straying – hence the name – “vacca” meaning cattle in Latin. From here you can head either right or left, up or back down. We headed up the hill to the top and then back down the steps.