Just north of York and slightly inland from the north Yorkshire coast, the wild terrain of the North Yorkshire Moors rises with a desolate almost entirely untouched beauty. You’ll find most of the world’s heather moorland in Britain, and the largest expanse of that moorland is right here in Yorkshire. The land is hilly, with vast green valleys dipping into ancient roadways and quaint flower filled villages with weather beaten crosses to mark the way. The people are very friendly so forget about the ‘up north’ cliches of flat caps and whippets – but do pay attention to the larger than life Yorkshire dialects, the clean air and the fact that the beer is quite simply..much better.
Walking The Moors
The moors are of course a walkers paradise with trails stretching from Ampleforth in the west and close to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east Yorkshire coastline. Most of the walking routes are very well signposted making it easy to join and leave a route at your leisure. There are several routes with easy access – our favourite of which is the Rosedale Mineral Railway route which offers sublime panoramic views of Rosedale and follows an old railway line which once fed the 19th century ironstone mines. If you’re a more seasoned walker looking for something a little more challenging then take the 11 mile route from Ravenscar to the beautiful Robin Hoods Bay – where you’ll pass through classic moorland scenery before following the old Scarborough to Whitby railway line and the infamous smugglers den of Robin Hood’s Bay. The views from the clifftop over the farmland and onto the North Sea is phenomenal.
Wildlife in the North Yorkshire Moors
The flora and fauna found across the Yorkshire Moors is diverse to say the least. In the woodlands it’s possible to spot everything from deer, adders and foxes to the elusive pine marten and goshawks, while on the coast there’s white-beaked dolphins, minke whales and seals in the waters and puffins and garnets on the cliffs. If you’d prefer a more hands on approach than simply watching from afar then you can try a spot of sea fishing, or scour the the coasts of seaside towns such as Brunswick Bay and Staithes with a fishing net (great option for young families) to find all kinds of crab, barnacles, cockles, butterfish and sea hares. There are some great wildlife safaris that take in the best bits of both on and off land – these start in the spring and are generally started from Seamer station near Scarborough. The end of the seamless that tub obj bb
Start by planning your visit by train. A number of rail companies offer a scenic route to and around the North Yorkshire coast including the North Yorkshire Moors. Train tickets to Yorkshire are available online all year long and the journey will give you plenty of time to take in some of the breathtaking scenery. Once there, cycling has always been popular in Yorkshire… Yes, even before the Tour de France had it’s opening stages here in 2014, and many of the best routes are in the North Yorkshire Moors. Our favourite route is the Moor to Sea network which connects several larger towns – both seaside and land – to moorland, forest trails and bridleways. The route takes riders across 150 miles of scenery and can be easily broken down into several stages for longer cycling holidays. If horse riding is more your pace then head to the beaches at Saltburn and Sandsend which are open to horseriding, while those with a more seafaring spirit should head to one of the sailing club’s between Whitby and Guisborough for a spot of sailing (be sure to check out the annual 3 day sailing regatta held in Whitby every August) or to Whitby or Saltburn for a bit of surfing. If you’re up for it, then you should take a shot at a bit of rock climbing at Winston’s or for some of the most stunning views available in England – take a glider tour from Sutton Bank and fly over the iconic Kilburn White Horse.
When to Visit?
In our opinion there’s no better time to visit the North Yorkshire Moors than autumn, when the vast expanse of heather moorland blooms into an intoxicating purple haze of flowers. The days are shorter but the hazy autumn light is simply beautiful and the longer evenings invite you into the warm arms of a comforting fire-warmed pub – which is an activity very close to the Yorkshire heart.
Spring brings warmer days and a chance to see the spring daffodils in Farndale but bouts of rain can diminish hiking chances, while summer is mostly hot and perfect for exploring the coastline though it can get humid depending on how high into the moorlands you dare to tread. Winter is of course beautiful, but the country roads can be difficult to navigate when the snow falls and some activities are closed down for the winter.