Pickering is a great base from which to explore The North York Moors National Park which combines moor, coast, forest and dale.
Local Walks & Places to Visit
Yorkshire really is walking country and the North York Moors particularly offer some of the most beautiful and varied walks in the country.
A couple of great walks and just the tip of the iceberg are:
- White Horse Walk – This three mile long walk takes in magnificent views from Sutton Bank and the iconic hillside landmark, the White Horse of Kilburn.
- Farndale – A 3.5 mile walk through Farndale, dubbed the ‘Daffodil Dale’ is perfect in spring when you can see a truly impressive display.
Some of the villages organise annual walking festivals too which is a great way to experience the spectacular landscape and meet like-minded people.
Walkfest features guided and themed walks bringing people together to explore the best the area has to offer.
Explore forests and woodland
There’s more woodland than the New Forest in the North York Moors National Park.
This provides a wonderful opportunity to stroll among ancient trees and make the most of the bluebell season, as well as encounter all the woodland wildlife.
In fact, Dalby Forest is home to Dalby Observatories, which has been recognised as one of the best places to enjoy the night sky in the country
It was declared a Dark Sky Discovery Site on BBC Two’s Stargazing LIVE in January 2013 and the Dalby Observatory Site has Milky Way Status.
It’s no surprise that farmers, growers and fisherman want to make the most of the rich bounty of the land here, so there’s a wealth of food and drink producers in the North York Moors area.
Get the catch of the day from Saltburn Farmer’s Market or from the Magpie’s Whitby Catch.
Meat-lovers will be drawn to Low Bell End Farm in Rosedale Abbey and have the pick of farm shops, such as the family-run Hunters of Helmsley and the butchers at Beadlam Grange Farmshop and Tearoom, very popular with the locals.
Those with a sweet tooth are spoilt for choice too with so many artisan ice-cream makers in the area such as Ryeburn of Helmsley and Suggit’s, a local institution in Great Ayton which has been serving its homemade ice cream since 1925.
Local Gastro Pubs
From country pubs and cafes to bistros and Michelin starred restaurants, there’s something to suit every mood and palette in the North York Moors. The focus is overwhelmingly on quality local produce – everything from rare breed meats to fresh seafood and game.
- The Star Inn at Harome is perhaps one of the area’s most well-known eateries. The food at this quaint thatched inn and its excellent local sourcing from the moors and the sea has earned it 2AA Rosettes and place in the Good Food Guide.
- The legendary Magpie Café has held a place in the Good Food Guide for 37 years in a row. With up to 15 varieties of fish daily and beautiful views of the harbour, abbey and St Mary’s church when you eat in, it’s no surprise that the queues are also legendary!
- The North York Moors is also lays claim to the title of ‘Britain’s Capital of Cake’ so it goes without saying that plenty of cafes, coffee shops and tearooms where you can sample homemade baking.
- The Black Swan Hotel’s award-winning Tearoom in Helmsley serves from a menu of over twenty hand-picked estate teas alongside homemade cakes, pastries and traditional afternoon teas.
- Falling Foss Tea Garden in Sneaton Forest is right next to a waterfall. They offer homemade food on wooden tables under canopies next to the stream.
- If its relaxation and pampering you’re looking for, the Feversham Arms at Helmsley has a spa with a Mediterranean terrace and outdoor pool.
Other must-visit establishments are Birch Hall Inn, Beck Hole, near Goathland, The Blacksmiths Arms at Lastingham, and The Horseshoe Inn at Levisham.
Days out with the grandchildren
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is another of the area’s most-loved attractions.
Twenty-four miles of heritage railway line provides an opportunity to travel back in time aboard a steam train, as well as the chance to attend some of the events held along the line, such as the 60’s Fest, a celebration the swinging 60’s.
A fabulous day out with the grandchildren is to Goathland Station which has become famous for its film and television appearances, most famously as ‘Hogsmeade’ in the Harry Potter films!
Eden Camp is another award-winning attraction, a modern-history theme museum. Based within the grounds of an original POW Camp the museum is designed to transport you back to experience the sights, sounds and smells of wartime Britain.
If you want to experience a celebration of the local countryside and agriculture, there’s several county shows such as Farndale Country Show, featuring everything from the showing of cattle and produce, to a gymkhana and show jumping.
The North York Moors region is a haven for those looking for a spot of retail therapy or simply to while away some time browsing locally-made crafts. Hutton-le-Hole is a popular day out with some lovely local craft shops.
It’s worth a trip to Kilburn to see the Mouseman furniture made by Robert Thompson’s craftsmen and associated visitor centre. Helmsley, Easingwold and Malton are all popular destinations too, with a variety of shops.
Of course, if you’re looking to do some serious shopping, York is the nearest destination for major shops and brands.
The North York Moors offers easy access via Coastliner to Leeds, York, Malton and Scarborough and the 840 bus service taking in Leeds, York, Pickering and Whitby, is one of many routes accessible by bus.
Ryedale Community Transport is a wonderful organisation helping those with mobility problems, no car of their own or no accessible public transport when needed. They help with individual and group trips.