05/03/2021
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Location Guide: Yorkshire's National Parks

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The North York Moors National Park is a special place combining moorland, coast, forest and dale. Rich in heritage and wildlife, there’s plenty of walking to be done in quiet spaces away from the noise of traffic. Or head to coast to feel the wind on your face and hear the roar of the sea. Further inland, to the west of North Yorkshire, is the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Here you can explore rolling hills across a rugged and wild landscape. It is a place of calm and beauty. A place to take some time for yourself.

North York Moors Attractions

Sutton Bank

For breathtaking views in the daytime and a chance to see the Northern Lights at night-time (on rare occasions when conditions are right), head to the 298m-high Sutton Bank escarpment.

Dalby Forest

The forest landscape offers a variety of different trails from gentle strolls to challenging bike rides. The forest is also a designated Dark Sky Discovery Site, where you can see the Milky Way with the naked eye.

Helmsley

A pretty market town with attractions such as a birds of prey centre, a castle, walled gardens and even a brewery. For shoppers there is a selection of stores, galleries and boutiques.

 
Images: Above left: Aysgarth Falls (Adobestock). Above right: The limestone escarpment above Malham Cove (VisitBritain/Lee Beel).

Rievaulx Abbey

Wander the ruins of this English Heritage managed abbey and learn about the monks who called it home. The site also has a museum, visitor centre and tea room. You can also follow the Cleveland Way to walk from Helmsley Castle to Rievaulx Abbey.

Robin Hood’s Bay

A picturesque old fishing village on the coast of the North York Moors. With a sandy beach and rock pools, narrow cobbled streets and a selection of cafés, pubs, restaurants and independent shops, there’s something here for everyone.
 

Yorkshire Dales Attractions

Ribblehead Viaduct

Just over the border from Cumbria, this impressive piece of Victorian engineering carries the Settle to Carlisle Railway over 24 arches, 30m above the ground. Enjoy this impressive sight on foot or enjoy a bird’s-eye view during a train journey across it.


A spectacular sunset view of Ribblehead Viaduct (Pixabay)

Hawes

One of England’s highest market towns, with a regular Tuesday market and home to Wensleydale cheese. The town has a variety of shops, pubs and places to eat. This is a place of history and heritage; the Dales Countryside Museum is housed in the former Victorian railway station at Hawes. Walkers can access the Pennine Way from Hawes.

Aysgarth Falls

A series of waterfalls that cascade over limestone ledges, set out over about a mile, on the River Ure, downstream of the village of Aysgarth, just under 10 miles from Hawes. The falls are divided into three stages, called Upper Force, Middle Force and Lower Force. The upper falls are the most spectacular and might be recognised from the original Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves movie. The nearby visitor centre offers details on local walks including through the wooded valley that is close by.

Malham Cove

This is a large curving cliff formation of limestone rock above the village of Malham. The vertical cliff face is approximately 80m high and a climb up the steps to the top rewards you with stunning views from a large area of deeply eroded, spectacular limestone pavement.

Janet’s Foss

A pretty waterfall and pool near Gordale Scar, located in woodland along the footpath from the village of Malham. A three-mile walk from the village follows the beck, through fields and woodland, leading to the falls.

 

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