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.
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.
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 walks that the North York Moors has to offer with our favourite trails.
Each walking route includes a map and walk description.
Find out more about Britain's national parksWhat is a national park, how many national parks are there in the UK, and where is the nearest one to you? Our guide to the UK's 15 spectacular national parks looks at the history of each, how to visit them, the best walking routes, and local wildlife to spot.
- National Parks of the UK: history, wildlife and best walking routes
North York Moors walks
Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire
8 miles | 4.5 hours | moderate–challenging
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.
- 13km/8 miles
- 4.5 hours
Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire
2.7 miles | 1.5 hours | easy–moderate
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.
- 4.3km/2.7 miles
- 1.5 hours
Forge Valley Woods, North Yorkshire
4 miles | 3 hours | moderate
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.
- 6.3km/4 miles
- 3 hours
Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire
8.3 miles | 5 hours | moderate
Discover dramatic views, a white horse, a hidden lake and deep woodland on the edge of the North York Moors National Park.
- 13.4km/8.3 miles
- 5 hours
Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire
5.6 miles | 3.5 hours | moderate
Walk from the market town of Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park to one of the most important monastic centres in Britain.
- 10.6km/6.5 miles
- 3.5 hours
Gisborough Moor, North Yorkshire
4.1 miles | 2.5 hours | moderate
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.
- 6.7km/4.1 miles
- 2.5 hours
Osmotherley, North Yorkshire
6.4 miles | 4 hours | moderate
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.
- 10.3km/6.4 miles
- 4 hours
Farndale, North Yorkshire
3.5 miles | 2 hours | mdoerate
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.
Levisham Moor and the Hole of Horcum, North Yorkshire
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.
Wainstones, North York Moors
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.
Danny is the outdoors editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, responsible for commissioning, editing and writing articles that offer ideas and inspiration for exploring the UK countryside.