Get back to nature with a visit to the Nork York Moors, a national park that covers nearly 1500 square kilometres and includes forests, hills, scenic walks, market towns, castles, abbeys and much more.
With so much to see and do your only challenge will be where to start.
The North Yorks Moors Railway
The perfect way to see some of the spectacular scenery of the North York Moors , this beautifully preserved steam and heritage diesel railway dates back to 1836 and is the world’s most popular heritage railway. It will transport you back in time as you travel the 18 miles of track from Whitby to Pickering.
Relax in traditional wood panelled carriages and call in at some great village stations en route. Goathland station was used in the first Harry Potter film and there are a choice of pubs and shops in this charming village while Levisham station is a great choice for a picnic.
Dalby hosts one of two dedicated visitor centres for the area (the other is at Sutton Bank) so you can gather lots of information on the North York Moors while you’re here. The forest itself is an official Dark Sky Discovery Site meaning it is one of the best places to go stargazing in the UK.
There is also a range of activities for the whole family – give Go Ape a try if you fancy swinging through the trees on a zip wire or exploring the forest on a Segway. If you prefer travelling by bike, there are lots of cycle tracks in the area including the 14.5 mile Dalby Forest Loop.
Towns and villages
Many of the towns in the North Yorkshire Moors have regular markets where you’ll find high quality local produce and home-made crafts. A market is held in the popular town of Helmsley every Friday and here you’ll also find the remains of a medieval castle, a walled garden and the tranquil Rievaulx Abbey which is well worth a visit. We have a real soft spot for Helmsley, it should be on everyone’s North York Moors Bucket list!
The town of Malton has a market each Saturday and is a great choice for food lovers with small artisan producers and lots of great places to grab a bite to eat. There is a dedicated food market on the second Saturday of each month with cooking demonstrations and live music.
Hutton le Hole is a picturesque village which just defines the North York Moors. Lying in a natural hole (hence the name) the village includes limestone headlands, the Hutton Beck natural stream and the open-air Ryedale Folk Museum. This museum in the heart of the village consists of a number of reconstructed historical buildings such as a tudor mansion, iron age round house and craft workshops where you can see many local items being made. Kids will love splashing about in the beck with their wellies and the grown ups will love cosy pub lunches in the excellent pub there.
Of course one of the main reasons to visit this beautiful part of Yorkshire is to explore the great outdoors and you can’t beat doing this on foot. There are a number of classic walks you can try to see the best of the area or alternatively why not set off with a map and compass and see where you end up.
If you are fairly fit than we recommend tackling the climb up Roseberry Topping. Its 1000 feet high so on a clear day you will get some great views of the North York Moors. If this seems a bit steep you can always try the gentler ascent from Gribdale to see Captain Cook’s Monument.
A challenging but satisfying walk is the 8 mile Wainstones Walk which takes in Cold Moor to the Wainstones rocks. The route takes in the highest point of the moors, Urra Moor, so there is some spectacular scenery on offer.
If you only have a couple of hours then the White Horse Walk is a perfect choice which will take you from Sutton Bank National Park Centre to the iconic White Horse of Kilburn. You can’t miss the horse, it is 318 feet long, 220 feet high and was originally cut into the hillside in 1857.
Of course there are lots more walks to choose from and so much more to see and do in the North York Moors. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to take in the best of what The North York Moors has to offer, and all the better to base yourself in the comfort of the finest North York Moors Holiday Cottages.
Tags: Captain Cooks Monument, Danby Forest, Gorgeous Guide, Guide to North York Moors, Helmsley, Hutton-le-Hole, Malton, North York Moors Railway, NYMR, Rievaulx Abbey, Roseberry Topping, Sutton Bank, Urra Moor, Wainstones Walk, White Horse Of Kilburn, White Horse Walk