York’s Hidden Spaces – Knavesmire Wood

Join us as we discover hidden green spaces in our blog series

Knavesmire Wood, at the southern end of the Knavesmire in Dringhouses, is a hidden gem, with plenty to explore

At Move the Masses HQ we’re always marveling at how many green spaces there are to explore in York – many within walking or cycling distance of the city centre. And that’s not to mention the wonderful countryside we have a little further afield with the Dales and Moors on our doorstep.

For now though, we’re keeping it local and championing some hidden – and not so hidden – green spaces that you may not know exist in this fabulous city. This is the third blog in our series – check out the others here.

Don’t forget to let us know if you visit anywhere new as a result – we always love to hear from you! Likewise, if you have anywhere you think others should know about, please get in touch and we’ll feature it soon: hello@movethemasses.org.uk  

Happy exploring! 


Looking up at the beautiful tree-lined walkway through the centre of the wood


The woodland in full bloom in spring/ summer

How to access Knavesmire Wood…

In spite of its proximity to the ever-popular Knavesmire (the racecourse), Knavesmire Wood is comparatively very peaceful and less well-known. Located at the very southern end of the Knavesmire, in Dringhouses, it can be reached by three entry points. At one end, it can be accessed from the cycle path (National Cycle Route 65) that links Bishopthorpe village to the Knavesmire itself and, at the other end, it can be accessed from Bracken Road in Dringhouses. There is also a path leading to the middle of the wood from Dringthorpe Road.  It is best to visit on foot or by bicycle, as there is no dedicated car park, albeit you may find some on-road parking on a nearby residential road. It is also possible to access the wood by bus: the nearest bus stop, if travelling from York, is Slingsby Grove. 
Show location on Google Maps.

What can I do here?

Knavesmire Wood’s main feature is a hard-surfaced walk through an attractive tree-lined avenue that dates back to the Victorian era. There are a number of different pathways to explore that run off the main path. It’s a great place for children  – look hard enough and you’ll find dens, rope swings and plenty of trees to climb!

It’s also great for spotting birds. wildlife and spring flora – although please be careful about straying too far from the paths as the Woodland Trust is currently in the process of restoring some of the Ground Flora that has been damaged due to increased footfall.


Please stick to the paths as the Ground Flora is being preserved


It’s the perfect place to make a den

Did you know…

Knavesmire Wood likely began life as the wooded gardens of a stately house! Even though there are no remains of the house today, the wood is a beautiful legacy.


Knavesmire Wood is managed by the Woodland Trust


A well-placed bench to rest on

The Woodland Trust works hard to conserve the beautiful woodland for us to enjoy. Find out more about the work of the Woodland Trust here.

We’d really recommend paying Knavesmire Wood a visit – if you do, please take a snap and let us know!

You can always tag us on @mtmcharity on Instagram, or feel free to drop us an email: hello@movethemasses.org.uk 

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