Mount Grace Priory
National Park boundary
Robin Hood's Bay
Thornton le Dale
North York Moors National Park
One of the three National Parks of Yorkshire
North York Moors National Park offers some amazing scenery across its wide expanse of heather moorland stretching to its dramatic Heritage Coast.
It has a landscape shaped by ice age glaciers, by tides, streams and rivers and by the human influence of forestry, agriculture, quarrying and mining.
The National Park was created in 1952 and covers 554 square miles (1,435 square kilometres).
Within its area are historic stateley homes, remains of castles and abbeys, attractive villages and market towns and the longest of Yorkshire's heritage railways.
The Park has a thriving arts scene and offers a playground for adventure activities, walkers, cyclists, trail and fell runners, horse riding, watersports, fishing, and watching wildlife, including birds of prey.
The National Park has also been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association, where stargazers can observe the night sky without the light pollution from towns and cities.
Villages in the National Park
With the exception of the market town of Helmsley, which is partly within the National Park, its vast area contains only villages. There are, however, a number of other towns just outside the edge of the park.
Wholly or partly within the National Park are the villages of: Ainthorpe, Aislaby, Ampleforth, Appleton-le-Moors, Battersby, Boltby, Botton, Briggswath, Broxa, Carlton in Cleveland, Castleton, Chop Gate, Cold Kirby, Commondale, Coxwold, Danby, Easington, East Ayton, Egton, Egton Bridge, Faceby, Fadmoor, Fylingthorpe, Gillamoor, Glaisdale, Goathland, Grosmont, Hackness, Harwood Dale, Hawnby, Hawsker, Hinderwell, Hutton Buscel, Hutton-le-Hole, Ingleby Arncliffe and Ingleby Cross, Ingleby Greenhow, Kettleness, Kilburn, Kildale, Lastingham, Lealholm, Levisham, Lockton, Low Mill, Lowna, Lythe, Mickleby, Newton-on-Rawcliffe, Old Byland, Osmotherley, Oswaldkirk, Pockley, Ravenscar, Robin Hood's Bay, Rosedale Abbey, Runswick Bay, Ruswarp, Silpho, Sinnington, Sleights, Sneaton, Stainsacre, Staintondale, Staithes, Swainby , Thimbleby, Thornton le Dale, Ugglebarnby, Ugthorpe, Wass, Westerdale and West Ayton.
Just outside the National Park are: Cropton, Great Ayton, Guisborough, Kirkbymoorside, Pickering, Sandsend, Scarborough, Whitby and Wykeham.
There are National Park Centres in Danby and at Sutton Bank.
The Moors National Park Centre, Danby
• The Moors National Park Centre is situated about half a mile to the east of the village of Danby, in the Esk Valley. It includes a gallery featuring changing exhibitions of arts and crafts by artists who have drawn their inspiration from the North York Moors. Leading from the centre are woodland and riverside trails. There are also children's activities, a cafe, toilets and pay and display car park (fee (in 2020) of £2.70 for up to 2 hours and £4.80 over 2 hours).
Further details about The Moors National Park Centre can be found at the The Moors National Park Centre web page.
• The Sutton Bank National Park Centre is situated off the A170 about 6 miles east of Thirsk at the top of Sutton Bank, above Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe. Various footpaths and cycle trails lead from the centre. One path is signposted to what is arguably "The Finest View in England" looking out from Sutton Bank across the Vale of Mowbray. The centre is situated on the Cleveland Way long distance walk and paths can also lead you near the White Horse of Kilburn, a 19th century white limestone hill figure, situated about a mile away. Opening times of the visitor centre and toilet facilities varies through the year. The centre has a large pay and display car park (fee (in 2020) of £2.70 for up to 2 hours and £4.80 over 2 hours).
Further details about the Sutton Bank centre can be found at the Sutton Bank National Park Centre web page.
There are tourist information centres in Easingwold, Filey, Great Ayton, Guisborough, Helmsley, Middlesbrough, Northallerton, Pickering, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Scarborough (2), Thirsk and Whitby and village information points in Goathland, Grosmont, Hutton-le-Hole, Osmotherley, Rosedale Abbey, Staithes and Thornton le Dale.
The park is crossed by two railways. A Northern rail service runs from Middlesbrough to the edge of the National Park at Great Ayton and Battersby where it reverses to run along the Esk Valley line all the way to Whitby. There are stations at Great Ayton, Battersby, Kildale, Commondale, Castleton Moor, Danby, Lealholm, Glaisdale, Egton Bridge, Grosmont, Sleights and Ruswarp.
The National Park also starts around 1.5 miles away from the mainline Scarborough station, which has a regular Transpennine Express train service across Yorkshire and Northern trains heading south along the Yorkshire coast to Hull.
North York Moors Railway, Goathland
A scenic 18-mile route across the park is run by the North York Moors Railway, which has steam trains hauling many of its services. Trains run from Pickering to the village of Goathland, a village made famous by ITV's Heartbeat series, then on to Grosmont, where trains now join the Esk Valley line to run to and from the station in Whitby, near to its beautiful fishing harbour. More on our Heritage railways page or see link below.
North York Moors National Park The official website of the North York Moors National Park Authority.
North York Moors Railway Steam railway running an 18-mile journey through the National Park.
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Places to visit