Experience England’s history and nature ‘in a nutshell’ in the North York Moors National Park – where peace and beauty rub shoulders with a rich heritage and a warm welcome. The National Park is one of Britain’s treasured places, established in 1952 to protect 554 square miles of magical moorland, ancient woodland, secluded dales, historic sites and a stunning Jurassic Age coastline. From rolling panoramas and big skies to enchanting forests and idyllic dales, there’s a sense of peace and tranquillity here that’s hard to beat – and all just 20 miles or so north of York.
Pony trekking for experienced or novice riders on the moors or beach is a wonderful way to explore. Friarshill Stables in the pretty moorland village of Sinnington. If you fancy a gallop along the beach then visit Saltburn Riding School
Dalby Forest outdoor adventures. Cycling and bike hire, Go Ape Tree top rope course, hire a Segway, Archery, paint balling, low rope course, Music festival. Just so much for a busy outdoor family to experience.
Heritage Coast and traditional fishing villages.
This heritage coastline is rugged and stunning and stretches between Saltburn and Scarborough, ranging from dramatic cliffs to sheltered harbours and big sandy bays.
Whitby Associated with exploration (Captain James Cook sailed from Whitby where Endeavour was built) smuggling, fishing and the well known figure of Dracula emerging from the gaunt imposing remains of Britain’s most romantic and haunting ruin of Whitby Abbey set high on the cliff. The best fish and chips, big sandy beaches and fabulous boutique shops can be found along the alleyways in the old town. Whale watching excursions and so much more!
The pretty higgledy piggledy fishing village of Staithes is much photographed and painted made famous by Henrietta Knight and the Staithes Group of Artists still a hub for artists today. Be sure to sample the lobsters and other delicious fresh catches at this busy little working harbour which is also the home to CBB’s ‘Salty Dog’ Check out Real Staithes for a Foreshore experience with a difference!
Beautiful Victorian Saltburn is the place to see and experience the oldest funicular railway in the world! Fancy your hand at surfing… Yes, Yorkshire is better than Cornwall for experienced and beginners alike.
Robin Hoods Bay the final destination of Wainwrights famous Coast to Coast walk is a stunningly beautiful smugglers haunt steep gunnels lead down to the picturesque harbour. Kids will love…. Boggle hole… a small cove with a huge cave and home to a Boggle?
Scarborough Britain’s first seaside resort has been welcoming visitors for over 360 years. It has big sandy bays and everything you would expect from a Great British seaside town. Also some things you wouldn’t expect, we love visiting the Steven Joseph Theatre made famous by the award-winning, world famous Alan Ayckbourne.
Market Towns and Villages
The North York Moors is dotted with attractive and vibrant villages a testament to the strong communities that live and work here.
Our own nearest village of Castleton used to have a Castle but that is long gone. It does however have a great Co-op which is open from 7am to 10pm 7 days a week. A Church of England, a Bank, Post Office. Tea rooms, hair dressers and the garage. There are two pubs The Eskdale Inn and The Downe Arms both serve food and good beer.
Danby village does have a castle nearby. An interesting local tradition: We go to Danby Castle to the medieval Manorial Danby Court Leet meeting which takes place once a year in October in order to pay our water fine and register our sheep and turbary rights. Danby village has the Doctors surgery, Health food shop, Stonehouse bakery where we often buy cakes and biscuits for our guests. Two pubs The Fox and Hounds and The Duke of Wellington both serve food and good ales. Danby agricultural Show is held on the 2nd Wednesday of August. I am entering my chutney this year. Danny won with his bread one year how he managed that I don’t know! Over the years we have entered pony games, show jumping, cakes, school pictures and even won the mounted fancy dress!
Further along the dales is the village of Glaisdale with the famous beauty spot Beggars bridge – an old packhorse bridge. Visit the Family butcher Fords on the high street for that special Yorkshire Beef to accompany your puddings or sample one of his delicious pies. Look out for the Robinson Institute Theatre while you’re there.
The attractive market town of Hemsley is known for its galleries, boutique shops, smart hotels (The Verbena Spa at the Feversham Arms is a big treat!)coffee shops and restaurants. Explore Helmsley Castle and the delightful Helmsley Walled Gardens. Market day Friday.
Pickering is one of the oldest towns in the area founded in 270 BC. Pickering Castle, the eclectic Beck Isle Museum and the start of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway make this market town a must visit for the family. Pickering is now famous for its World War 2 1940’s autumn week ends. It is an unbelievable sight when the whole place is transformed and you would be forgiven if you thought you had gone back in time.
No visit to Yorkshire would be complete without a day in the historic City of York. I love the shopping and York Minster. Danny loves the National Railway Museum and so did our sons. We both agree on Tea at Betty’s though. With chocolate museums, Heritage buildings like the old street called the Shambles, ghosts and theatres there is so much to see and do. Tip from Liz .. There is a brilliant view of the Minster from Marks and Spencers coffee shop.
Steam engines, rural stations and uniformed staff make a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway feel like stepping back in time. Running from Pickering to Grosmont, on certain days you can go all the way to Whitby under steam power. Have a great day out from Crag House Farm to Whitby on the Esk Valley railway from Castleton or Danby Stations. Winding along the River Esk through many picturesque Moorland Villages such as Lealholm and Egton through woods, valleys and pasture.
Ryedale Folk Museum at Hutton le Hole is a family friendly museum spread over 6 acres. You can explore more than 20 historic buildings representing North Yorkshires peoples lives from the iron age to the 1950’s. Winner of the small visitors attraction of the year.
A kiddies treat is a day at Flamingoland Theme Park and Zoo just off the moors between the lovely old Market towns of Pickering and Malton in Ryedale Country.
Between Crag House Farm and Malton Eden Camp is one of the largest and most comprehensive museums covering British Military and social history from 1914 onwards.
Castles and Historic buildings
Castle Howard is a beautiful 18th century historic House set in 1000 acres of breathtaking beauty in the nearby Howardian Hills an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Home to the Howard family for over 300 years. The house was famously used in the filming of Brideshead Revisited. It has a great cafe, the farm shop is fab, I often call when passing. We bought all of our hedging plants from their nursery. The nearby arboretum is worth a visit. We have enjoyed their Proms Garden Party set on the front lawn sloping down towards the lake.
Nunnington Hall (NationalTrust) is nearby. A picturesque Yorkshire Manor House sitting alongside the River Rye, organic gardens and lots for the children to do, frequently changing exhibitions.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is Yorkshires finest Cistercian Abbey ruin, with over 10 historic buildings spanning 800 years of history.
There is no Abbey at Rosedale Abbey all that is left is a staircase, sundial and a single stone pillar! However The Dale and Village of that name is beautiful and well worth exploring. Visit the Gilles and Jones hand blown and engraved glass workshop and studio. There are some good pubs to give you sustenance before you attempt a walk or cycle up Chimney bank, this steep hill is affectionately known as Chain breaker and the steepest section of road in Britain, it is often included in the Tour of Briton. It is a true 1 in 3 climb, 1.47 kilometres long and climbs 175 metres equivalent to 11.9%
Take home a memento…
When you leave for home be sure to take back a great memento of your time spent in this great county. Of course the Whitby Rock is always a good present. But consider visiting the Bils and Rye art studio and cafe in the pretty market town of Kirbymoorside for that special piece of ceramic. Visit Gillies jones studio in Rosedale and watch Stephen Gilles and Kate Jones create exceptional contemporary blown glass
A piece of traditional Mouseman of Kilburn furniture will make a fabulous gift or reminder of your holiday in Yorkshire. Situated under the white horse of Kilburn a beautiful walk with stunning views to boot.