Make magical memories in a peaceful corner of northern England.
Sweeping moorland, a crinkly coast, ancient woods and timeless villages – the North York Moors is a special place, forged by nature and shaped over generations. Give yourself time to discover its secrets, from amazing wildlife to dazzling night skies.
The North York Moors is a special place – here’s why!
Our wildlife will surprise you – from the moorland merlin, the UK’s smallest bird of prey, to whales off the North York Moors coast.
The North York Moors has vast areas of clear, dark skies – you can often see up to 2,000 stars, including a swathe of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
There’s history and heritage in every step you take, from Gothic ruins to Victorian steam trains, Cistercian monasteries to stately homes, ironstone mines to fishing villages. The National Park also features over 800 Scheduled Monuments and 1,500 ancient boundary stones and crosses.
Our 44,000 hectares of heather moorland are designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its heathland habitat and breeding birds, such as red grouse, curlew and golden plover.
There are 26 miles of Jurassic-era coastline to explore, including the famous old fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay.
You could walk or cycle every day for a year and still not cover every corner of the National Park – there are 2,250 kilometres of rights of way alone, not to mention country lanes, quiet backroads, coastal tracks, forest trails and a National Trail.
The North York Moors was established as National Park in 1952 – a treasured landscape in the heart of North Yorkshire, protected for everyone to enjoy. We cover 1,436 square kilometres between Scarborough, Thirsk and Teesside.
Of the 1,500 ancient boundary stones and crosses here, probably the most famous is Young Ralph Cross, adopted as the National Park’s distinctive logo. We like to think that this stone cross on the spreading moorland stands for a state of mind – this wonderful landscape, it’s saying, is somewhere to come and refresh your spirits. It’s the place where magical things happen – where the stresses and strains of daily life disappear, and where relaxation, holidays and adventure begin.
Discover the places and meet the people to take you on this journey. Experience the very best of the North York Moors and forge lasting memories with family and friends. Join wildlife experts from Yorkshire Coast Nature and set sail from Staithes in search of Minke whales. Smell the myriad of sweet scents at Helmsley Walled Garden, featured in the 2020 film adaptation of The Secret Garden. Taste your way through delicacies from our moorland and coast – whether it’s kippers from Fortune’s, Whitby’s traditional smokehouse or a jar of Westfield honey from hives set amongst the heather around Fadmoor. Find your inner peace with Adventures for the Soul who teach the practice of mindfulness whilst out in nature.
The open moorland – ablaze with purple heather in summer – will give you a rare sense of space. Away from the noise of traffic, you can hear the cries of moorland birds, the trickling water in a stream and the buzz of insects in the heather. On the coast, experience the roar of the sea, the wind in your hair, the sand between your toes. The dales form a rich patchwork of earthy colours, hedgerows and drystone walls – landscapes, created generations ago, still maintained by today’s farmers. Our woodlands and ancient trees provide a sense of well-being and a link to the past. And far from the artificial lights of towns, there are truly dark skies where you can see majestic skyscapes full of stars. The North York Moors – it’s where we want you to feel at home.
The delightful Esk Valley Railway (Middlesbrough to Whitby) passes through the heart of the National Park; while the North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs steam heritage services from Pickering to Whitby. Or enjoy a ride on Coastliner 840 from York – voted Britain’s most scenic bus route!
We’re closer than you think! Rail services and long-distance buses from across the country run to surrounding towns – and London to York can take less than two hours by train. Local bus links get you to scenic spots like Pickering, Helmsley, Goathland, Robin Hood’s Bay and Thornton le Dale.