Our Guide to the North York Moors
Published: Saturday 8th Feb 2020
Written by: Louise Burtt
Mesmeric moorland, acres of purple heather, hills and dales and the occasional plume of smoke from a steam train — this is the North York Moors.
Unenclosed and unsurpassed, this stunning landscape has a quiet drama all of its own. One trip is rarely enough to truly discover what makes the Moors special, so we've written a guide to showcase the very best this quiet and picturesque location has to offer.
Walking in the North York Moors
With over 1,400 miles of paths and tracks to choose from, this often quiet corner of North Yorkshire is overflowing with opportunities for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Those of you who just like to sit and view, bird watch or just have a nice picnic by a stream are not going to be disappointed either. Here's two of our favourite walks in the North York Moors...
Rosedale Mineral Railway
This fantastic 1 mile walk will introduce you to some of the finest views over the North York Moors. Discover the valley's industrial heritage as you follow the line of Rosedale's old railway line to the nineteenth-century ironstone mines.
Lealholm stepping stones
Try the 6 mile linear walk from Lealholm to the village of Grosmont, which also takes in Glaisdale and Egton Bridge. As the route sticks close to the Esk Valley Railway, a great way to do this walk is to take the train to Grosmont and walk back, or vice versa.
Places to eat
With such wonderful farmland in the area, it is not surprising that the meat and vegetables served up by the many restaurants and hostelries is superb. There's so many fabulous tea rooms, gastro pubs and fine dining restaurants to choose from but below are two of our favourite restaurants in the North York Moors...
The Star at Harome
Serving 'modern Yorkshire food', The Star Inn at Harome has a well-earned reputation as being one of the finest restaurants in Yorkshire. The Star offers a Michelin starred dining experience where locally-sourced ingredients meet homegrown herbs and vegetables from the kitchen garden.
The Black Swan at Oldstead
Voted the 'Best Restaurant in the World' by TripAdvisor in 2017, The Black Swan at Oldstead is a must-visit for any foodie worth their salt. This Michelin-Starred restaurant won the crown for it's farm-to-table approach to food, with ingredients grown or foraged by the chefs.
Places to visit
Full of history and heritage, there's a wealth of castles, atmospheric abbeys, museums and woodlands to discover in the Moors. The Moors National Park Centre in Danby offers fascinating insight into the history and habitats of the North York Moors, step back in time on a visit to Pickering Castle or Rievaulx Abbey or pay a visit to our two favourite visitor attractions below.
Ryedale Folk Museum
Located in the charming village of Hutton-le-Hole, Ryedale Folk Museum is one of our favourite places to stop by in the Moors. Check out fantastic reconstructions of period housing from the middle ages to the 1950s and learn more about rural life in Yorkshire at this incredible museum.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Explore the stunning, heather carpeted landscapes of the Moors from the comfort of the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway. Running from Grosmont to Pickering (and through to Whitby on the coast in the summer months), the heritage line is a must visit while in the area.
Towns & villages in the Moors
Peppered across the vast heather moorland there are many picturesque market towns, quiet hamlets and chocolate-box pretty villages. For a break away from the hustle and bustle why not visit the pretty villages of Hutton-le-Hole, Goathland or Thornton-le-Dale. Want to be closer to fantastic local pubs and shops? Take a look at the Moors lively market towns.
The market town of Helmsley is one of the most popular places to stay and visit. A street market is held on Fridays and there's a great variety of independent shops and boutiques, hotels, pubs and tearooms. Visitor attractions in the town include Helmsley Castle, the National Bird of Prey Centre and the Helmsley Walled Garden.
Known as Yorkshire's Food Capital, the bustling market town of Malton holds an annual Food Lover's Festival which sees the finest of Yorkshire's food and drink producers set up stall. Throughout the year you can still enjoy fine dining as there are a variety of independent shops, tea rooms and restaurants to enjoy.
Find more of our recommendations and top tips to visiting the North York Moors here.
Why not experience the breath-taking scenery of the North York Moors with a self-catering holiday in one of our local cottages. If you want to stay in the very heart of the North York Moors, properties in villages such as Rosedale Abbey, Cropton, Danby and Glaisdale could be the perfect central location for your holiday. If you prefer to have more amenities close by, have a look at the accommodation in Pickering, Helmsley and Thornton-le-Dale. Book one of our North York Moors Cottages.