The North York Moors National Park comprises woodland, moorland, rivers and coast, rich in heritage and wildlife.
The area was designated as a national park on 28 November 1952 and covers 554 square miles. It has 26 miles of coastline and a highest point of 454 metres (Urra Moor at), along with one of the largest concentrations of ancient trees in northern England.
Discover this extraordinary landscape – including where to walk, eat, drink and sleep – with our guide to the North York Moors.
At 402 metres, the Lion Inn ranks as one of England’s highest pubs. Perched high on Blakey Ridge, roaring log fires and low-beamed ceilings together with a good range of hearty meals and local ales offer all you need to escape the winter chill.
Step back in time to this hidden gem. The cosy snug will be popular on cold days where simple food, like pie and pickle or ‘Beck Hole’ butties, thick wedges of Yorkshire ham or cheese on plain and simple bread are served through the tiny serving hatch. Wash this down with a pint of the pub’s very own ‘Beckwatter’ beer.
One of the geological wonders of the national park, the Hole of Horcum is a huge natural amphitheatre 121 metres deep and more than 800 metres across. This walk sets out from the National Park car park to head across Levisham Moor – rich in Bronze and Iron Age remains – to Dundale Griff and then drops down into the valley to return via the Hole of Horcum.
Cold Moor and The Wainstones
12 km / 7½ miles
Join the Cleveland Way at Clay Bank Top to quickly gain the edge of Urra Moor before using old ways back down for a Bilsdale crossing. Stride out across Cold Moor before an exhilarating climb up through the Wainstones. Seek out the Needle and the Steeple, popular rock-climbing routes, followed by a high-level traverse of Hasty Bank.
Esk Valley Walk
8½ km / 5¼ miles from Egton; 11½ km / 7¼ miles from Glaisdale; 15½ km / 9¾ miles from Lealholm to Sleights.
Catch the Northern Rail train from Sleights to one of several stations along the Esk Valley (Lealholm, Glaisdale or Egton) and walk back to Sleights. The route shadows the River Esk – Yorkshire’s only salmon river – through this u-shaped valley and follows some ancient tracks with stone causeways.
More North York Moors walks
The North York Moors landscape comprises more than 1,400 miles of public footpaths – discover the national park’s vast moorland and sweeping coastline with our favourite walks.
Red deer can be found in the woodlands around Rievaulx Abbey and roe deer, foxes and badgers are common throughout the national park. Most exciting of all is recent camera-trap footage of a male pine marten on Forestry Commission land. This has led to the three-year Yorkshire Pine Marten Project, to help develop a conservation plan for these elusive mammals.
Red grouse sightings are almost guaranteed on any walk across the high moors. Short-eared owlscan be found quartering the upland landscape, while barn owls will be silently hunting lower down in the dales. The mewing call of the buzzard will give their location away, so head to Wykeham Forest Raptor Viewpoint for great bird-of-prey sightings. Check out the feeders at the Sutton Bank Visitor Centre for views of rare willow tits.