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.

Looking for more walks in Northern England? Check out our guides to best walks in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland.

Find out more about Britain's national parks

What 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
Beautiful lake surrounded by mountains

North York Moors walks

Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire

8 miles | 4.5 hours | moderate–challenging

North York Moors National Park, North Yorkshire, UK
North York Moors National Park, North Yorkshire, UK/Credit: 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

2.7 miles | 1.5 hours | easy–moderate

Robin Hoods Bay on the coast with red terracotta roofs
Robin Hoods Bay near Whitby in north Yorkshire./Credit: Getty

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

Forge Valley Woods, North Yorkshire

4 miles | 3 hours | moderate

Kingfishers nest along the banks of the Derwent
Kingfishers nest along the banks of the Derwent/Credit: 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

8.3 miles | 5 hours | moderate

The walk passes Lake Gormie (seen here in the below the hill)/Credit: 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

5.6 miles | 3.5 hours | moderate

Rievaulx Abbey in dazzling sunlight/Credit: 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

4.1 miles | 2.5 hours | moderate

Great Ayton Moor in midwinter snow/Credit: 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

6.4 miles | 4 hours | moderate

Osmotherley, North Yorkshire
A short diversion away from the path (between points 1 and 2) takes you to Mount Grace Priory/Credit: 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

Farndale, North Yorkshire

3.5 miles | 2 hours | mdoerate

Dry stone wall leading into Farndale in Yorkshire
Farndale, traditional stone walling/Credit: Getty

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

The Hole of Horcum is a 400-foot-deep scoop in the hillside/Credit: 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.

Wainstones, North York Moors

View across snow-covered Bilsdale from near Wain Stones in the North York Moors/Credit: Getty

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.


Wainstones walking route and map


Daniel Graham of COuntryfile magazine on a hike with wet hair and blue coat and hills in background
Daniel GrahamOutdoors editor, BBC Countryfile Magazine

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.