A National Park since 1952, a sense of space and solitude marks the North York Moors. Ridge upon ridge of purple heather moorland extend into the distance. The deep secret valleys which cut the plateau come almost as a surprise and the warmth of their red-roofed villages contrasts with the upland solitude. In spring, valleys such as Farndale come alive with daffodils.
Travel 18 miles through the North York Moors on the NYMR steam railway from Grosmont to Pickering, with a station at Goathland, the famous Aidensfield of the Heartbeat TV series and now a Harry Potter film location. More modern are the listening posts at Fylingdales Moor, replacing the famous ‘golf balls’ of Cold War fame.
There are over 2, 300km of paths and tracks on the North York Moors making it a walker’s and cyclist’s paradise. There are short strolls and half day walks and the superb Cleveland Way National Trail, which can be explored in circular sections. Sutton Bank offers challenging bike rides and is bidding to be part of the 2016 Tour de France. Wildlife enthusiasts can hear the call of upland birds in the moorland peace. Whatever the season the Moors are a place to get away from it all and experience spectacular countryside.
Exploring is assisted by the Moorsbus, a National Park organised service which travels to all corners of the Park.
Visit the honey-coloured villages of the Moors, and perhaps have a meal at one of the traditional country pubs. Or for more wooded country visit Dalby Forest, west of Scarborough, and walk forest trails through beautiful woodland.
Within the North York Moors National Park are the high cliffs and rocky shores of the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast with fishing villages, sandy beaches, and a coastline rich in natural flora and fauna.
At the southern end of the Park is Helmsley, a very pretty market town huddled around a 12th century castle and Pickering, ‘The Gateway to The Moors’, dominated by its church spire and known for its ancient castle keep. Nearby, the traditional country towns of Hambledon and Ryedale bustle with local life. They include Thirsk in ‘Herriot Country’, Northallerton in its broad green vale and Malton, the gateway to Ryedale.