Best walks in the North York Moors National Park

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

Roseberry Topping

The North York Moors was designated as a national park on 28 November 1952.  It covers 554 square miles and contains the largest area of heather moorland in England and Wales.

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Boasting  26 miles of coastline and an incredible 1,408 miles of footpaths, the national park is one of Britain’s most-loved walking destinations. Discover some of the best trails that the North York Moors has to offer with our favourite walks.


Forge Valley Woods, North Yorkshire

Kingfishers nest along the banks of the Derwent
Kingfishers nest along the banks of the Derwent ©Getty
The beautiful nautre reserve on the banks of the River Derwent in the North York Moor National Park was once home to iron smelting. Today it’s a peaceful spot – go quietly and you may see an otter.

The route

  • 6.3km/4 miles
  • 3 hours
  • Moderate

Route and map

Forge Woods map

Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire

The walk passes Lake Gormie (seen here in the below the hill)
The walk passes Lake Gormie (seen here in the below the hill) ©Getty

Discover dramatic views, a white horse, a hidden lake and deep woodland on the edge of the North York Moors National Park.

The route

  • 13.4km/8.3 miles
  • 5 hours
  • Moderate

Route and map

Sutton Bank map

Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire

Rievaulx Abbey
Rievaulx Abbey ©Getty

Walk from the market town of Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park to one of the most important monastic centres in Britain. 

The route

  • 10.6km/6.5 miles
  • 3.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Rievaulx Abbey map

Gisborough Moor, North Yorkshire

Great Ayton Moor, North York Moors
Great Ayton Moor, North York Moors ©Geograph

This short walk takes you across Great Ayton Moor in the North York Moors National Park to an isolated World War II building, masqueraded as an entire city in order to save Middlesbrough from burning.

The route

  • 6.7km/4.1 miles
  • 2.5 hours
  • Moderate

Map and route

Great Ayton Moor map

Osmotherley, North Yorkshire

A short diversion away from the path (between points 1 and 2) takes you to Mount Grace Priory
A short diversion away from the path (between points 1 and 2) takes you to Mount Grace Priory ©Getty

Stride out on the Lyke Wake walk as it follows the ancient journey of the dead across the North York Moors National Park, starting and finishing in the village of Osmotherley.

The route

  • 10.3km/6.4 miles
  • 4 hours
  • Moderate

Route and map

Osmotherley map

Rosebery Topping, North Yorkshire

North York Moors National Park, North Yorkshire, UK
North York Moors National Park, North Yorkshire, UK ©Getty

Quilted with banks of bluebells, sorrel and stitchwort, Yorkshire’s Matterhorn in the North York Moors National Park is a spring masterpiece. Explore this landscape with an 8-mile circular walk.

The route

  • 13km/8 miles
  • 4.5 hours
  • Moderate/Challenging

Route and map

Roseberry Topping map

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

The tide ebbs at Robin Hood’s Bay in the North York Moors National Park to reveal a series of wave-cut platforms
The tide ebbs at Robin Hood’s Bay in the North York Moors National Park to reveal a series of wave-cut platforms ©Alamy

Steep stairwells, pitched roofs, an intriguing past and windy clifftop walks make this village in the North York Moors National Park the perfect rural getaway.

The route

  • 4.3km/2.7 miles
  • 1.5 hours
  • Easy/moderate

Route and map

Robin Hood's Bay map

Farndale, North Yorkshire

Farndale's daffs were planted by monks in the 12tch century
Farndale’s daffs were planted by monks in the 12tch century ©Alamy

Classic spring walks don’t come much better than n amble through the is one of England’s finest wildflower emergences. This 3.5-mile route takes you alongside the enchanting River Dove in the centre of the North York Moors National Park. Route and map from the North York Moors National Park website.


Levisham Moor and the Hole of Horcum, North Yorkshire

View across the Hole of Horcum in the North York Moors National Park
The Hole of Horcum is a 400-foot-deep scoop in the hillside ©Getty

This classic North York Moors route offers walkers grand views across the national park. Pass fascinating archaeological remains then loop back through the valley past the impressive Hole of Horcum – a 400-foot-deep hollow in the side of the hill. Route and map from the North York Moors National Park website.


Wainstones, North York Moors

Wainstones
View across snow-covered Bilsdale from near Wain Stones in the North York Moors ©Getty
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Climb high on to Cold Moor before discovering the magnificent  rocky crags of the Wainstones on this eight-mile loop walk in the northern reaches of the national park. Route and map from the North York Moors National Park website.