Getting out and about in the North York Moors

30/01/2018 16:28

Written by Bradt Travel Guides

What better way is there to experience the glorious outdoors of the North York Moors than by getting hands-on? Get off the tarmac and into the wilds on foot, astride a bike or on horseback. Or get a different perspective of this diverse county from the wings of a glider or the comfort of a railway carriage.  


Walkers Sutton Bank North Yorkshire by Chris J Parker, NYMNPThe region holds incredible walking potential, with a total of ten long-distance paths crossing the area © Chris J Parker, NYMNP

All you need is a map, a compass and a sense of adventure. Walkers are spoilt for choice in the North York Moors National Park, where, thanks to a law in 2005 granting right of access to open land, they can walk just about wherever they wish. The park also provides free, downloadable walk leaflets, details of 15 routes accessible to wheelchair users and invaluable information regarding access to wild country. 


Horseriding in the North York Moors National Park by Tony Bartholomew, NYMNPThe region has hundreds of kilometres of bridleways to explore © Tony Bartholomew, NYMNP 

A great way to traverse the moors … using someone else’s legs! The North York Moors National Park is home to 800km of bridleways alone to explore on horseback and provides guidance to routes on their website here, while forests like Dalby are also wonderful venues for riding and the Forestry Commission welcomes riders with open arms. 


Cycling Pickering to Grosmont by Welcome to Yorkshire, www.yorkshire.comThe long-term impact of the Tour de France in 2014 has been incredible for cycling in the region © 

Since the massively successful Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France which took place in July 2014, there has been something of a cycling revolution in Yorkshire. Such was the impact of ‘Le Grand Depart’ that Welcome to Yorkshire have been inspired to recreate it every year since and the new Tour de Yorkshire zooms along different routes every year, including some across the North York Moors, Wolds and the coast. Try Dalby Forest for world-class off-road trails or head for the big skies and quiet roads of the Wolds for totally peaceful road biking. 


Gliding at Kilburn by Yorkshire Gliding ClubGet a bird's-eye view of the White Horse of Kilburn from a glider © Yorkshire Gliding Club

If gliding seems like an idyllically peaceful way to travel, and you fancy having a go – the good news is that you can! The Yorkshire Gliding Club’s base is hidden away in the trees less than a mile from Sutton Bank in the west of the North York Moors Park, and offers trial lessons where, under the expert guidance of an instructor, you can actually fly the glider with no previous experience. Pilots will get the best view of the unofficial emblem of the Hamleton Hills from the air, the famous White Horse of Kilburn.

By railway

North Yorkshire Moors Railway England by John Hunt, NYMREverybody seems to enjoy the nostalgia of a steam train, whether you're sat in the carriage or just watching it go by © John Hunt, NYMR

Very few people aren’t moved to a wistful nostalgia at the sight and sound of an old locomotive in full steam, and this is one of the most popular places in the country to enjoy the experience. The scenic route of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway goes from Pickering to Grosmont, following the spectacular valley of Newtondale, with stations along the way renovated in various period styles. 

Get out into the great outdoors with our new guide to the North York Moors and Yorkshire Wolds:

Bradt guide to the North York Moors and Yorkshire Wolds by Mike Bagshaw

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