The North York Moors is one of 15 National Parks in the UK. It’s also one of two National Parks in Yorkshire alone – the other of course is the Yorkshire Dales.
The North York Moors comprises heather clad moorland, open skies that are perfect for stargazing, a selection of lovely towns and villages and a pretty spectacular coastline.
All in all we think it’s the perfect destination for a family holiday to Yorkshire. Here are some of our favourite things to do on a family holiday to the North York Moors National Park.
#01 Head to the coast with a bucket and spade
The North York Moors includes 26 miles of heritage coastline with lots of sandy beaches to play on along the way.
You can enjoy a traditional British seaside experience at one of several seaside villages including Staithes, Sandsend and Robin Hoods Bay and enjoy some of the freshest fish and chips around.
#02 Follow in the footsteps of Captain Cook
Did you know that 2018 is the 250th anniversary of Captain Cooks first expedition to the South Seas?
You can follow in the footsteps of this famous explorer by visiting the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum in Great Ayton, walking up to the Captain Cook monument on the Cleveland Way then heading to the popular seaside town of Whitby.
Here you’ll find the Captain Cook Museum and even a replica of his famous HMS Endeavour ship.
#03 Enjoy the view from Sutton Bank
The spectacular view from Sutton Bank is one of the finest around and heading here is a great way to experience the beauty of the North York Moors National Park.
Here you’ll also find the Sutton Bank National Park Centre which includes bike hire, an adventure play centre and a selection of walks to try.
We recommend heading along to the nearby Kilburn White Horse – an iconic landmark since the 19th century.
#04 Take a picnic to Dalby Forest
Dalby (known as the Great Yorkshire Forest) is a great choice for a day out – especially if you take a summery picnic along too. It’s located on the Southern slopes of the North York Moors and comprises of more than 8,000 acres of beautiful woodland that’s just waiting to be explored.
There’s play areas for children, special events throughout the year (including stargazing and concerts) and fun activities such as Gruffalo Orienteering.
You’ll find plenty of walking trails to try with picnic tables along the way so you can stop for a bite to eat too.
#05 Sit by the stream at Hutton-le-Hole
There’s so many pretty villages to choose from in the North York Moors with options like Thornton-le-Dale, Rosedale Abbey and Osmotherley all offering tearooms, ice cream and village shops for a relaxing mooch about.
One of our favourites though has to be Hutton-le-Hole where you’ll find sheep grazing on the village green and a very pretty stream flowing right through the middle of it.
You’d be hard pushed to find a more idyllic spot to stop and rest a while AND you can pay a visit to the Ryedale Folk Museum.
#06 Watch Birds of Prey in Helmsley
The National Centre for Birds of Prey is located at Duncombe Park in Helmsley and has three flying areas (including one indoors) and over 40 averies. Bird species include owls, hawks, eagles and falcons.
As well as flying demonstrations (taking place daily at 11.30am, 2.00pm and 4.15pm), there’s 300 acres of parkland and 2 marked trails to enjoy.
#07 Explore historic castles and abbeys
The North York Moors National Park is filled with historic castles, abbeys and stately homes to explore.
There’s Whitby Abbey which was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Helmsley Castle which dates back over 900 years and Byland Abbey which was once one of the greatest monasteries in England.
#08 Visit Harry Potter’s ‘Hogsmeade Station’
If you have any Harry Potter fans in your family then a must to Goathland Station in the North York Moors is a must. A stop on the heritage North York Moors Railway (which runs from Pickering to Whitby) it was used as Hogsmeade Station in the Harry Potter film series.
Goathland is a lovely village to spend some time in too – it was used as Aidensfield in the popular TV series Heartbeat and the surrounding moorland (including Mallyan Spout Waterfall) is well worth exploring.
If you would like help planning your next family holiday to the North York Moors, give the team a call on 01642 263 249.