North York Moors National Park Travel Guide
Stunning scenery and amazing history come together in the North York Moors National Park, the perfect destination for an unforgettable break. This vibrant landscape offers everything from picturesque towns to wild moorland and diverse wildlife, with historic sites and stunning views around every corner.
Header image credit: Barry W
Why Visit North York Moors?
The North York Moors offer an idyllic and tranquil escape, and have long attracted tourists and holidaymakers from all over the world. Made a National Park in 1952, the region features one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the country, with deep valleys cutting through the landscape, hiding quaint villages and romantic ruins.
A steam railway winds through the valleys, taking in the sleepy villages and lush woodland, giving you a romantic and unique experience. There are also endless paths and tracks for hikers and cyclists, taking you up and down the ridges and high moorland, offering an ever-changing vista to enjoy.
The National Park also runs along the coast, taking in hidden coves and seaside villages, including famous coastal towns such as Whitby and Scarborough. There are also romantic ruins such as those at Rievaulx Abbey, and grand stately homes such as Castle Howard.
Whatever your taste and your interest, you’ll find the North York Moors to be the perfect getaway!
Image credit: Ben Sutherland
This beautiful part of the UK can be reached in less than two hours’ drive from the DFDS ferry port in Newcastle, making it perfect for a driving holiday.
Driving south on the A19 to Middlesbrough, you can choose from many great locations to head for first, from Whitby and Scarborough on the North Sea coast, to the many villages dotted throughout the region’s valleys and hills.
What to See in North York Moors
A trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a must, giving you 24 miles of stunning landscape from Pickering up through the heart of the National Park to Whitby. A stop-off at Goathland station is essential for Harry Potter fans too, as this is filming location of Hogsmeade station in the movies.
One of England’s most picturesque and impressive abbey ruins can be found at Rievaulx near Helmsley. These romantic ruins perfectly frame the tranquil valley, and provide the ideal spot for a picnic.
Another must for stunning scenery is the view from Sutton Bank, undoubtedly one of the finest in England. This breathtaking vista over the fields of Yorkshire is also the start of a fantastic walk that leads to the Kilburn White Horse, the largest chalk horse in the country. This massive piece of art was created by a Victorian schoolmaster, inspired by the ancient chalk horses found in the south of England.
At the south end of the National Park are the Howardian Hills, the setting for one of the country's most stunning country houses, Castle Howard. This famous stately home, featured in many TV series and films, is not only a beautiful building, but is also surrounded by a thousand acres of stunning parkland and gardens, with classical temples, peaceful lakes, and idyllic woodland.
On a clear day it's a great idea to head up to Roseberry Topping, a distinctive hill with a jagged cliff that gives you unrivalled views across the moors. The hill has long drawn people to it, with many significant Bronze Age and Iron Age remains having been found around it.
A visit to the North York Moors isn't complete without a trip to Whitby, the seaside town made famous as a location from Bram Stoker's Dracula, as well as the place where Captain Cook learned seamanship. You can explore the abbey ruins, stroll through the quaint narrow streets, and enjoy that most British of delicacies, fish and chips.
WE'RE AWARD WINNING
It’s always a proud moment when you’re recognised for your good work, we’re honoured to have been named as Europe's and the World’s Leading Ferry Operator in the 2015 World Travel Awards. We've won these awards for 5 years running.