Walking in Yorkshire: Visitors flock to Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors in last year, according to map data

The number of people heading for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors has risen dramatically, according to the latest map data from Ordnance Survey (OS).

With record numbers of people opting to take their holidays at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, visitors to Yorkshire' s beautiful National Parks has shot up.

The OS has been studying the nation's outdoor habits throughout the summer months through routes logged by the British public on its OS Maps app.

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It showed in the North York Moors National Park, where the number of routes logged and shared by walkers, runners and cyclists had risen by 37 per cent compared to 2020, with 18,380 routes in 2021 compared to 13,422 last year.

Walkers take a break and lookm down on Ribblehgead from the summit of Whernside

In the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it rose by 42 per cent with 36,126 routes in 2021 compared to 25,390 last year.

Their data also revealed that the average walk was now 12km long, up by four per cent, but the elevation has dropped by 36 per cent, suggesting that more newcomers are taking to the outdoors.

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OS managing director for leisure, Nick Giles, said: “This summer has revealed a significant upward trend in outdoor activities. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, we have seen people build new connections with the outdoors and demand for OS mapping and the OS Maps app highlights how people are exploring both locally and further afield.

“The big headline is that across walking, cycling and running, there has been about a 30 per cent rise in the numbers of routes people have recorded, and an increase of a third in the total distance covered.

“It seems not only are more people creating routes, they are tending to be slightly longer too. This is also reflected by an increase in the average route distance across all three disciplines.

“It appears people have tended to seek flatter routes this year with a significant decrease in the average elevation change across all three activity types – a potential suggestion of more newcomers taking to the outdoors and exploring less challenging routes.”

Nick added: “Over the same four-month period the number of users in the OS Maps app increased by 50 percent suggesting an upward trend in outdoor activity in Britain over the summer months.”