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The North York Moors National Park – but where to go?

The rugged North Yorkshire coastline draws artists, musicians, walkers and water sports fans. Escape for quiet walks and romantic breaks or buzzing festivals and family fun.

Choose from lively resorts or friendly coastal villages

Scattered across the North York Moors are bustling market towns and coastal fishing villages full of local tales of smuggling history 

The North York Moors coastline offers 26 miles of dramatic landscapes and beautiful wildlife, a mix of towering cliffs, pretty harbours and wide sandy beaches. 

With a backdrop of heather moorland, the coast is full of surprises from ancient abbeys to majestic whales and playful dolphins who grace the shoreline. 

The Cleveland Way National Trail is 109 miles long and hugs the cliffs, walk part of this coastal path to experience the ever-changing dramatic coastline. To see the heather in full bloom, visit in August or September. 

With its beautiful curve of sandy shoreline, Runswick Bay makes a superb day out.  Weave your way along the paths, past former fishermen’s cottages clinging to the hillside - the perfect spot for a romantic escape. 

At low tide there are plenty of rockpools, the Bay is sheltered by two headlands which provide calm waters making it ideal for swimming, stand-up paddle-boarding or kayaking. 

Book a holiday cottage, lodge or a room at the Royal Hotel which has sweeping Bay views. 

The North York Moors National Park – but where to go? The North York Moors National Park – but where to go?
The North York Moors National Park – but where to go?

Don’t miss historic Whitby or family fun at Scarborough

Robin Hood’s Bay is not only steeped in history it is quite literally steep with a sharp descend to the beach. Squeeze through the maze of narrow alleyways, past old cottages. In the 1700s Robin Hood’s Bay was one of the busiest smuggling locations on the north east coast. 

Come here for art and folk music; live music features regularly at The Bay Hotel but there is also impromptu music all over the Bay.  An annual Folk Weekend is held in summer, this free festival offers traditional dance, sing-alongs while in December there’s an impressive Victorian weekend. 

There’s no shortage of places to stay, cafes and restaurants as well as interesting shops, the perfect place to relax and switch off by the sea. 

Vikings were the first to land at Staithes, but it was fishing that put this village on the map. There is still a clutch of fishing boats who haul mackerel, lobster and crab while the herring shoals are on the menu for passing minke whales and dolphins in late summer. 

As you wander past tightly packed houses and cottages, and along the cobbled streets and lanes of Staithes, it’s also easy to see why the village was, and still is, a magnet for artists who have been inspired by the quality of the light and landscape for centuries. 

You can only access Staithes old village on foot, but the steep walk is worth it, pop into the Cod and Lobster for fresh seafood dishes, a Yorkshire pint and a warm welcome. 

The North York Moors National Park – but where to go?
The North York Moors National Park – but where to go? The North York Moors National Park – but where to go?

Sail into Hull and venture up the coast to discover the charms of Georgian Whitby and Victorian Scarborough, there’s a wide choice of accommodation and a packed events calendar – be as busy or lazy as you choose! 

With its towering Gothic Abbey ruins, Whitby is an iconic and must-see town on the Yorkshire coast. The Abbey dates back to around 657 AD, climb the steps for stunning coastal views.  Famed as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, its aura is unique and a magnet for visiting Goths. 

Explore the cobbled old Georgian town, stroll the sandy beach and harbour. Captain Cook learned his trade here in the 18th century, check out the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, all his boats including Endeavour were built here and steam trains still serve the town. 

Meander the quirky shops and cafes, don’t miss black jet jewellery beloved by Queen Victoria and created from the fossilised remains of an ancient monkey puzzle tree. W Hamond is the town’s oldest surviving jet shop. 

Further south Scarborough lays claim as the country’s original seaside resort. This bustling town offers two sandy beaches, a 12th century castle and a packed events programme. 

Crammed with attractions, visit its Rotunda Museum to discover the local geology, Scarborough Sealife, waterparks, ornate gardens and much more. Or simply enjoy an ice-cream and watch the waves from a deckchair!