Crag House Farm is immersed in nature and wildlife with dark skies above and the National Park wrapped all around. We love it. We delight in exploring this amazing area and want to share some of our favourite people and places with you. Just click on the links below to find out for yourself.

Nature & Wildlife

What better way to retreat from the humdrum of everyday life than to wander through peaceful, beautiful walled gardens and our favourites are Scampston Hall A beautiful Regency house and grounds with an award winning contemporary 21st century walled garden designed by Dutch landscaper Piet Oudolf set within the 18th century kitchen garden and surrounded by ‘Capability Brown’ Parkland.  Helmsley Walled Garden  a gentle, community run garden overlooked by the grand ruins of Helmsley Castle. More good news is that they both have mega lovely cafes!

While in Helmsley please don’t miss The National Centre for Birds of Prey. Learn about and watch in flight Eagles, Hawks, Owls and more with 3 daily flight demo’s, this is a special place!

Want an adventure? We’ve got just the ticket. Multi Award winning ‘ Yorkshire Coast Nature’ offers incredible birding and wildlife discovery days from the coast, moors, forests and wolds. Wildlife photography courses, safaris, tours and workshops all year round – Stunning.

Love Dinosaurs & fossil hunting? Well who doesn’t! This is fun for all ages! Just head off to the very popular family friendly Hidden Horizons to learn more.

And Relax…be mindful. ‘Restore, Reconnect, Rewild’ with Alison and Adventures for the Soul.

Crag House Farm wildlife
Crag House Farm wildlife
Twixt Kettleness and Sandsend
Crag House Farm North York Moors National Park

Action Packed

So you want some action!  This is a great base for a spot of walking with hills and views to die for and all straight from your doorstep. The North York Moors National Park has a plethora of downloadable walks to choose from – absolutely spoilt for choice. Bring your own bike or hire from Yorkshire Cycle Hub a terrific bike shop and cafe located just over the hill in the scenic and jolly named Great Fryup Dale. Explore spectacular Dalby Forest by bike or segway with its amazing tracks and trails for every age group and ability. While you’re there why not ‘Go Ape’ I did!

Experienced or a beginner – surfing off the Yorkshire Coast is fun, fun, fun. Our closest surf school is at Saltburn on Sea just 15 minutes away. They cater for age 8 and upwards and can supply the gear, a fun bunch of people.  Horse riding across the moor is what we did, in fact the barns were full of ponies and horses before our 4 sons left home, but that is another story. We highly recommend Friars Hill Stables in Sinnington for a memorable day in the saddle.

And finally if you still need a bit more action then a flight in a glider over the stunning cliffs of Sutton Bank is a sure fire must for you.


Castles & Culture

Castle Howard is Yorkshire’s No.1 stunningly beautiful historic house and grounds. In 1981 and again in 2008 it was the backdrop to the filming of Evelyn Waugh’s novel ‘Brideshead Revisited’.

Bring your National Trust cards with you and take a tour around Nunnington Hall, Beningborough Hall, Fountains Abbey and Rievaulx Terrace. English Heritage cards gets you into Rievaulx Abbey and Whitby Abbey – Watch out for Dracula!

We adore visiting Ryedale Folk Museum set in 6 acres in Hutton le Hole, arguably the prettiest village in Yorkshire.

The Heritage North Yorkshire Moors Railway steams through this stunning countryside from Pickering to Whitby via Grosmont and Goathland aka Hogwarts station, a treat for all ages.

Just up the road from us at the Moors National Park Centre in Danby you will find the ‘Inspired by’ Gallery. An art gallery that showcases work by artists and makers who draw their inspiration from the landscape, life and colour of the North York Moors.

Alan Ayckbourn is still very much at the heart of the attractive Artdeco Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, always such a treat to take in an afternoon or evening performance.

A day in historic York is the icing on the cake for us.

Daffodils in Farndale
Farndale's River Dove banks awash with wild daffodils
Crag House Farm North York Moors National Park
Crag House Farm North York Moors National Park

Besides the Sea

This wonderful heritage Yorkshire Coast is choc full of history taking in such things as dinosaurs, Captain James Cook, smugglers, the whaling industry, Victorian jet jewellery, Britains first seaside resort, Dracula and the Gothic capital of the world.

Each coastal town and quaint fishing village has its own distinctive and often mysterious folklore and stories to tell.

From north to south our favourites are Saltburn on Sea, Runswick Bay, Staithes, Sandsend, Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay & Boggle Hole, Ravenscar and Scarborough.

Choose from sandy beaches with donkey rides, kiss me quick hats and sticks of rock with the name running through. Higgledy piggledy old fishing villages with harbours sheltering from crashing waves against high cliffs. The worlds oldest funicular railway, boutique shopping, boat trips, fishing trips, fish and chips, high end dining and the picturesque Cleveland Way coastal walk leading along the coast top paths.

From Danby or Castleton village we just hop on the Esk Valley train which wiggles through the beautiful moors and dales criss crossing the River Esk 14 times before arriving in Whitby train station. It costs about £7 return.


Cakes & Ale

‘From Michelin stars to the best fish and chips, we’ve got it all. High days and holidays we head for Michelin Starred The Star Inn at Harome or The Black Swan of Oldstead. These are seriously special places run by Yorkshire folk ‘born and bred’.  We have a new Michelin contender on the block The Eskdale in Castleton village.

We highly recommend Catherine and Ben of Lillie’s catering. A local couple who deliver locally sourced provisions and ready to cook freshly prepared meals to your door all made with love in beautiful Danby Dale. We have a delivery every week ourselves. Scrumptious!

Want the best fish and chips in the world? – the famous Magpie restaurant of Whitby has got that official title! We absolutely adore Pizza West in Whitby it’s not any old pizza-its banging! Down in the bottom of Staithes The Cod and Lobster is almost in the harbour itself. Great fun!

 5 friendly local pubs The Downe Arms, The Eskdale Inn, The Duke of Wellington, The Fox and Hounds all about 1.5 miles from us and further up on the moor top the famous Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge.

We have some smashing micro breweries on the moor, check out Helmsley Brewing Co and Cropton Brewery. 

If cake is your buzz then you’re in luck because The North York Moors is known as The Capital of Cake, not simply delish but offering stunning views to. Check out Graze on the Green in Rosedale. Yorkshire Cycle Hub in Great Fryup Dale. Falling Foss Tea Garden and Danby Bakery. Then of course we have Yorkshire’s singularly stylish and elegant Betty’s Tea rooms…just the place to bump into an Agatha Christie character.  

Bon Appetit

Daffodils in Farndale
Farndale's River Dove banks awash with wild daffodils