The City of York is always crowded – but a stone’s throw from the castle area are beautifully-peaceful riverside walks. Just south of Skeldergate Bridge is New Walk, a promenade that follows the bank of the River Ouse. Lined on both sides with trees, it was laid out in the 18th century. The Walk leads over the iron Blue Bridge to York’s latest crossing, the shining steel Millennium Bridge. You can complete the circle by turning north through the attractive Rowntree Park, which has sports facilities, a skateboard park, a play area for children, a reading café packed with books, and plenty of flowerbeds and stately trees. Waterfront headed down over the sunny Bank Holiday weekend to meet the cyclists, runners, dog walkers and locals making the most of this glorious riverside spot while the rest of York bustled with visitors.
Anthony Gray, cyclist
I cycle by the river because it’s safer here – you’ve got a Sustrans cycle track – and the fact that it’s level; that doesn’t bother me, but it suits my wife! I cycle in all weathers, but I do like to get out when it’s nice. Coming along the riverbank is part of my normal cycling routine.
Dominic, Maria and family
We live in a village nearby and we’ve come in to York today to walk by the river; it’s easy with the children and they can run free. We’re going into town then back on the other side by Rowntree Park. It’s nice to get the walk in, nip into town and make a nice circuit under the trees that’s easy to do with the kids.
Karen and Mark Hayhurst, dog walkers
We like walking along this part of the river as it’s so beautiful all year round. In spring the leaves are new, in the autumn the trees are beautiful, and in winter it’s the bare branches – and Rowntree Park is lovely all year, too. The river changes as well – with the pleasure boats going up and down; it’s lovely.
Denise and Mike Brockless, dog walkers
We live nearby so this is one of our regular walks. We like the scenery and the shade. We usually go through Rowntree Park, over the Millennium Bridge and come round along New Walk. We do it in all weathers unless it’s really icy or very rainy – our dog, Oliver doesn’t like the cold and wet.
Rebecca Boulton, runner
This is my regular running route and this is the third time I’ve been out here in three days. I run at least four times each week. I like running along the riverbank because it’s very pretty and there are other runners – and it’s not in the hustle of the town centre. Plus, it’s flat – I’m definitely not liking hills!
Keren Fiore, local resident
This is a regular walk – we live nearby and come along through the park, where we usually have a coffee, then do a circular walk over the bridge. We walk by the river because I love water. I like York, but I need to be near an open space like this. We have friends who are buying a place in York because we took them on this walk!
Karen Wheeler, cook at Dyls Café
I love being by the river, it’s great! The sun catches everything, we see the boats going up and down, It’s a superb place, even in the winter. Sometimes the winter floods take a toll, but it’s wonderful to be by the water.
Imogen Hay, ice cream seller
I spend lots of time on this spot beside the river selling ice cream from the boat. It’s nice to have the fresh air and see the wildlife – there are kingfishers about – and it’s great to feel the movement of the water, as well as to meet the customers.
What’s your favourite cycling route, towpath café or place to unwind beside water? We love hearing why our waterways have a place in people’s hearts. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know favourite stretch.