Beck Hole, North York Moors
Beck Hole, North York Moors

One of the smallest of the National Parks, the North York Moors comprise a high plateau bounded on the north by the Plain of Cleveland and on the south by the vales of Pickering and York. The park is at its scenic best in August and September, when the purple heather is in bloom.

On the north and south the moors are etched by deep valleys, or dales, and the eastern boundary of the park ends in a spectacular coastline.

One of the most popular dales with visitors is Farndale, where the springtime daffodil displays bring people flocking to the walk between Low Mill and Church houses.

For a memorable walk, trace the course of the defunct Rosedale Railway over the moors from Rosedale to Ingleby Greenhow. These high moors are home to a variety of birdlife, including curlews, golden plovers, and merlins.

Danby Beacon
Danby Beacon

The Cleveland Way National Trail hugs the rim of the moor, and a trip along it provides excellent views. Along the trail is the distinctive Roseberry Topping, which looks, if you use your imagination, like a miniature version of the Matterhorn. This region is home to Captain Cook, whose father worked on a farm at the foot of the Topping.

Worth Seeing:

Moors Centre (Danby) - information centre for the park, with 13 acres of woods and meadow walks.
Esk Valley Walk - 33-mile trail between Farndale Moor and Whitby following the route of the Esk Valley Railway and the Esk river to the sea.
Ravenscar Geological Trail - walks of 2.5 and 4.5 miles following the course of the Peak Fault, past disused alum quarries. The area is rich in fossils.

Duncombe Park - 18th-century landscape garden surrounding an Italianate mansion
Helmsley Castle - 12th-century Norman fortress overlooking the market town of Helmsley
North Yorkshire Moors Railway - a popular steam railway linking Grosmont and Pickering
Pickering Castle - 11th-century castle begun by William the Conqueror
Rievaulx Abbey - this extremely popular medieval abbey sits in woodland bisected by 12 lovely walks.
Rievaulx Terrace - a Georgian landscape garden overlooking the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey
Robin Hood's Bay - a picturesque smugglers' village
Staithes - pretty coastal harbour
Whitby - historic port town, famous for its medieval abbey ruins


Ordnance Survey maps covering the North York Moors:
Explorer OS maps (Scale: 4cm = 1 km / 1: 25000) - best for walking
EX027 North York Moors - Eastern Area
EX026 North York Moors - Western Area

Landranger OS maps (Scale: 2cm = 1km / 1: 50000)



North Yorkshire Moors National Park
The Old Vicarage, Bondgate
YO62 5BP

Visitor Centres
Sutton Bank

All photos © David Ross and Britain Express

Yorkshire Travel Guide
Northeast England

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