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North York Moors National Park – North York Moors Walks

North York Moors National Park

North York Moors National Park - North York Moors Railway From Larpool Viaduct

At 554 square miles or 1,436 square kilometres, The North York Moors National Park in North Yorkshire, England is amongst the biggest expanses of heather moorland within the United Kingdom. Guiding the management of the North York Moors is the North York Moors National Park Authority.

The striking cliffs of the North Sea coastline delineate the eastern edge of the North York Moors Park, with shore access limited in many parts at small fishing villages likes Robin Hood’s Bay, Staithes and Runswick. The highest cliffs are at Boulby at over 600 feet above sea level.

To the west of the park, above the Vale of Mowbray, the steep scarp slopes of the Hambleton Hills mark its edge. The southern edge is bounded by the Tabular Hills and the Vale of Pickering, whilst the northern boundary is delineated by the steep scarp slopes of the Cleveland Hills edging against the Tees lowlands. The highest point in the North Yorks Moors National Park is at Urra Moor at 1490 feet or 454 metres above sea level.

Walks in North Yorkshire Moors National Park in late summer benefit from ridge upon ridge of glorious purple heather moorland. This spectacular scenery gives you a feeling of freedom and isolation. The open moorland of the Yorkshire Moors attracts a wide variety of birds like curlew, snipe, golden plover, lapwing, and most commonly the red grouse. In contrast, the deep hidden valleys that slice through the plateau may surprise you with the roofs of small villages. During springtime the valleys come to life with gorgeous daffodils.

North York Moors

This 3 minutes 3 seconds video provides you with a short narrated tour of the North York Moors and also promotes a DVD available on Amazon.

North York Moors National Park - Robin Hood's Bay

During your North York Moors walks on the elevated, exposed ridges along the network of Ancient moorland tracks, you may come across some of the Old crosses and mysterious standing stones that speckle the area. You can also see Tumuli, also called howes and barrows, scattered throughout the Yorkshire Moors. These are ancient burial mounds within burial grounds that date back as far as the Bronze Age. You will also come across some splendid ruins, such as mediaeval castles and abbeys, and 19th century industrial relics, that provide evidence of the different cultures that settled in the North York Moors over the centuries.

There are also many stunning lush dales within the North York Moors. Here the fields, often divided by ancient dry-stone walls, give the impression of a patchwork quilt with various shades of green and yellow. Villages in the dales are traditionally centred around a church, a school and an inn. The locals given a warm welcome to visitors and many pubs preserve their old world charm of open log fires, oak-beamed ceilings, and traditional ales.

North York Moors National Park

This 8 minutes 12 seconds video shows you the beauty, the sights and sounds you can experience in the North York Moors National Park.

A big tourist attraction within the North York Moors National Park is the picturesque North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway which travels from Pickering to Grosmont. It passes through Goathland, famous as Aidensfield in the Heartbeat TV series and a Harry Potter film location. There is also a link to Whitby on the coast.

North York Moors Walks

The North Yorkshire Moors is classic walking country which is criss-crossed with footpaths, both old and new. There are more than 2,300 kilometres of paths and tracks, making it a paradise for walks in North York Moors. The moorland has a huge variety of wonderful spacious walks with huge skies and broad panoramic views. About half of the North York Moors are forested where walkers can walk around the many miles of forestry tracks. There are short strolls, half day walks and longer distance walking available.

Simon Howe & Newtondale, North York Moors Walk

This 6 minute 39 seconds video highlights a linear walk from Goathland to Levisham Station via Mallyan Spout, Simon Howe, Newtondale and Skelton Tower and starts the day with a trip on the North York Moors Railway from Levisham to Goathland.

The North York National Park uplands can be divided into three ranges:

  • Cleveland Hills – Located in the north-west of the Park with northern views over the River Tees in County Durham.
  • Hambleton Hills – Located in the south-west of the Park offering wide panoramic views over the Vale Of York.
  • Tabular Hills – Located in the southern area of the park they offer good views south over the River Derwent to the Yorkshire Wolds.

The North York Moor National Park has some well known long distance walks:

  • Alfred Wainwright Coast to Coast Path – A 190 miles or 304 kilometres this long distance path crosses England from the Irish Sea in the west to the North Sea in the east. It starts at St. Bee’s head in Cumbria, crossing the Lake District, passing through the Yorkshire Dales, and crossing the North York Moors National Park after entering near Ingleby Cross and ending in Robin Hood’s bay.
  • Cleveland Way National Trail – A 110 miles or 177 kilometres long challenging semi-circular trail through the North Moors National Park starting with coastal walking along the eastern edge before turning inland for moorland and valley walking along the northern and western edges of the Park.
  • Lyke Wake Walk – A 24 hour challenge walk on a 40 mile slog across the Yorkshire Moors, usually walked west to east from just north of Osmotherley village and ending at the cliffs of Ravenscar.

North York Moors National Park - Hole Of Horcum Hiking

You can find information on North Yorkshire Moors walks on various websites. On the “Walking Englishman” website he has listed a number of North Yorks Moors walks from easy to moderate to hard. At the “Where 2 Walk” website they have an even longer list of North York Moors walks classified by terrain and they also have a list of walks for all. Whilst “The Guardian” website list their 10 of the best walks in the North Yorkshire Moors. The “Yorkshire Moors” website has a great list of Yorkshire Moors walks with a linked map so you can see where it is within North York Moor National Park.

Take a look here at our blog post if you want to know more about the National Parks in the United Kingdom.

If you want to read more here are some useful resources:

  1. North York Moors National Park Authority website.
  2. Wikipedia on the North York Moors

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