Walking in the North York Moors

Sweeping moorland, an expansive coast, ancient woods and timeless villages...

The North York Moors is a treasured landscape in the heart of North Yorkshire and was established as a National Park in 1952. With 26 miles of coastline and incredible 1,408 miles of footpaths, there is no doubt that this is one of Britain’s most-loved walking destinations.

This stunning region offers heather-clad ridges and open moorland blazing with purple heather in the summer, endless valleys, quaint villages and an iconic rugged coastline.


The Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way is a 109 mile (175 km) walking route through beautiful and ever-changing landscapes and scenery.

Starting from the attractive market town of Helmsley, the Cleveland Way heads across the inspirational and breathtaking heather moorland of the North York Moors National Park, before reaching the coast at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. From here it’s a visual feast along the North Yorkshire coastline to Filey, passing old fishing villages and lively coastal towns.

The National Trail runs through the famous smuggler’s village of Robin Hood’s Bay and the popular seaside resorts of Scarborough and Whitby – one of England’s best coastal towns and home to Whitby Abbey, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


Ravenscar to Robin Hood's Bay

Enjoy the National Park in a nutshell on this 11-mile route through some of the North York Moors’ most characteristic landscapes. From the craggy heights of Ravenscar the route runs across Howdale Moor for some classic moorland scenery before dropping down to the old Scarborough-to-Whitby railway line and along to the famous smugglers’ haunt of Robin Hood’s Bay. Both here and at nearby Boggle Hole you can indulge in a spot of rock-pooling and fossil-hunting, before returning along an exhilarating clifftop stretch of the Cleveland Way National Trail, via the old alum works industrial site. Sea views, cobbled lanes, cinder tracks, archaeological ruins and spreading moorland heather – that’s a powerful combination of the best National Park experiences in one big day out.


Roseberry Topping walk via Captain Cook's Monument

Roseberry Topping is an iconic landmark in the North York Moors. Affectionately known as the Yorkshire Matterhorn, its rocky crown and distinctive profile have fired the imagination of many aspiring young mountaineers. Its quick but steep ascent attracts thousands of hikers and non-hikers in the summer months. It is a great introductory climb for kids and still challenging enough for seasoned walkers.

This beautiful walk starts in the pretty village of Great Ayton before climbing the hillside to visit Captain Cook’s Monument, a 60ft obelisk built in memory of the legendary British explorer who was born in nearby Marton.

From there you’ll follow the Cleveland Way over Great Ayton Moor before climbing to the summit of Roseberry Topping, then dropping down through oak woodlands to your start point.


Hole of Horcrum to Levisham

Enjoy a circular walk around this beautiful natural amphitheatre in the North York Moors. Be prepared for grand landscapes and big views on this walk which begins with the dramatic panorama from Saltergate over the Hole of Horcrum. The 5-mile scenic walk follows a prominent track over Levisham Moor, past important archaeological remains. You can also include the stunning viewpoint of Skelton Tower on your route, after which the route drops into the rocky ravine of Dundale Griff and returns along the valley to the Hole of Horcum, climbing back out at Saltergate.


Kilburn White Horse and Gormire Lake

The classic walk from Sutton Bank National Park Centre takes you to the famous turf-cut hillside landmark, the Kilburn White Horse, with views over Gormire Lake. It’s a route that follows the dramatic escarpment edge for magnificent views, then drops down on woodland paths beneath the cliffs before climbing back up beside the horse itself. It is an energetic and varied route with the finest view in England according to author and vet James Herriot.


Rievaulx Abbey to Helmsley

The route from the market town of Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey is a well-trodden one, but it never loses its capacity to delight and inspire. This 7-mile circular route allows you to follow in the footsteps of medieval monks on a picturesque rural walk with sweeping views of town and castle. Wander through charming bluebell woods to reach the peaceful village and tranquil ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, one of England's most powerful Cistercian monasteries.