Local Area Guide – Pickering


Living in Pickering –  a busy local community and gateway to the Yorkshire Moors.

Lying on the southern edge of the stunning North York Moors, Pickering is a quaint market town with a rich heritage and vibrant community.

Given that Pickering is a picturesque market town, set within breath-taking natural landscape, it is no surprise that people are drawn to it.

There are numerous events and shows taking place throughout the year. From the Ryedale Trad Jazz Festival, North Yorkshire Moors Railway Steam Gala to the 1940s Wartime Weekend. Pickering has a varied calendar to keep you entertained all year round.


But what if you want to relax?

Being a rural town, Pickering offers you plenty of opportunity to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life, if you so wish. A stroll in the North York Moors perhaps? Or why not take advantage of the fantastic facilities in the village itself?


Local Community

At the heart of Pickering is its thriving local community, which is around 7,000 strong. Boasting a huge number of local clubs and societies from the Vale of Pickering Art Club to the Ryedale Sports Club – which is run entirely by volunteers and offers the chance to take part in a variety of sports and activities, from croquet to table tennis.

There are many active places of worship in the town too, including Pickering Methodist Church and the stunning Church of St Peter and Paul.

Pickering offers many opportunities to get to know people, get involved and become an active member of the community. Whether you want to try your hand at bell ringing, have a go at flower arranging or sing to your heart’s content in the choir, there is almost certainly something for you.

The North York Moors Heritage Steam Railway, England’s longest steam railway, offers scenic seasonal trips towards Whitby, and a mainline station can be found in nearby Malton.

Pickering is also home to a public library and The Kirk Theatre, which boasts a year-round programme of cinema, theatre, live music and arts.


Local Facilities & Healthcare

The town is also home to vital community health services with the Pickering Medical Practice, Pickering Dental Health Practice, opticians and also three hospitals within a 30 minute drive of the town in neighbouring Malton, Scarborough and Whitby.


Where to Shop

There are over 100 independent shops and boutiques in Pickering which add to its vibrancy and charm.

Bookshops, chocolatiers, boutiques, organic farm shops and galleries are just a handful of shops on offer, with many more for you to explore.

Birdgate chocolatiers is an Aladdin’s Cave for those with a sweet tooth. It’s packed full of delicious creations, from cakes to chocolate shapes, with every filling imaginable.

For a healthier option there’s The Organic Farm Shop which has a wide selection of organic produce from Yorkshire, including locally grown vegetables, fruit, meat and eggs. They deliver too!

There’s also Pickering Market, which takes place every Monday in the Market Place, continuing the town’s centuries-long tradition of market trading.


Local Food and Drink

There’s a varied and active food and drink scene in Pickering with a variety of cosy cafes and tearooms, relaxed bistros and even good old-fashioned fish and chips.

Feast, a delicatessen and cafe, showcases local specialities and producers, combining delicious cakes, sandwiches, teas and coffees with breakfasts and hot and cold seasonal specials.

There’s no shortage of traditional pubs either. The White Swan Inn offers real Yorkshire hospitality, snugs, log fires and sumptuous interiors. You’re sure to get a warm welcome from Peter and Susan at the historic Bay Horse Inn too.



The surrounding lands have seen Anglo-Saxons, Celts and Roman settlers, but the town we know today has its roots in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The superbly preserved Pickering Castle, dating back to the 11th Century, serves as a reminder of this Norman history.

Throughout the medieval period Pickering continued to prosper as a market town and agricultural centre, both of which still play a vital role in the local economy in the modern day.

Historically, Pickering was also home to thriving Quaker and Methodist communities, with the original Quaker Meeting House still in active use.

The town has strong ties with the railway, being a central part of the stagecoach network for many years. In 1836 the Whitby & Pickering Railway in 1836 opened, and the subsequent connection to the Scarborough line in 1882 contributed significantly to the town’s growth and prosperity.

As you can see, being the gateway to the North York Moors, Pickering offers a chance for you to get the most enjoyment out of your retirement and, best of all, you get to set the pace of life.