North York Moors Landmarks and Highlights

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highlights of north york moors national park


Although its hard to reduce any national park to list of  “must see’s” here are recommended places to visit:

A picturesque market town with steep narrow streets. Looking down over the town is the parish church which has vivid wall paintings, dating from the 15th century, of legends of the saints. There are ruins of Pickering castle high above the town. There is a steam train which takes you from Pickering through 18 mile of stunning scenery to Grosmont near Whitby.

A pretty little village on the moors, well know because the TV programme, Heartbeat is filmed here.

Thornton Beck runs through this pretty village on the edge of the North Yorks Moors. Most of the stone built cottages are reached by little footbridges over the beck. There are almhouses and a grammar school dating back to the 17th century. There is also and interesting thatched Tudor cottage.

Rievaulx Abbey
The majestic ruins of the abbey are in a lovely secluded wooded site in the Rye valley, below the North Yorkshire Moors and is well worth a visit. The abbey was founded in 1132 by the Cistercians and at one time had 140 monks. Overlooking the abbey is the half mile sweep of Rievaulx Terrace which was landscaped in the 18th century. From here there are beautiful views of Rydale and the Hambleton Hills.

This is a very popular seaside resort. It has a harbour, a fishing village and towering cliffs. The Romans built a signal station here and the Normans built a castle on the headland. The large square keep of the castle has survived but the rest of the castle was destroyed in the Civil War by the Roundheads’ artillery. In the 17th century it became a spa town when it was thought that the water there was beneficial for all sorts of illnesses. It was a hundred years later that sea bathing became popular and Scarborough still has much to offer the holiday maker.

Robin Hoods Bay
This is a very picturesque and colourful old fishing village with little cottages clinging to the steep slopes of a ravine .It is at the northern end of a 3 mile long bay and is sheltered by the rocky cliffs. It is advisable to leave cars at the top of the hill as the streets are very steep and narrow. There is small sandy beach at low tide. It is just outside the North Yorkshire Moors National Park which lies to the south west and there is a scenic coastal path toWhitby. It is a delightful place to visit.

A personal favourite of mine! Whitby is such a beautiful harbour and resort and is situated at the mouth of the River Esk, with the North Yorkhire Moors National Park rising behind the town. It has been a fishing town for hundreds of years and was once a whaling port.

There are terraces of fishermen’s cottages beneath the East Cliff. It has place in history because the Synod of Whitby was held here in 663 and the divided church in England accepted the authority of the Roman CatholicChurch. The remains of Whitby Abbey on the East Cliff are those of the 13th century building, built by the Normans. The first abbey, which was later destroyed by the Danes, was founded in 657 by St. Hilda and it was here that Caedmon, the 17th century monk wrote the song which is considered to mark the beginning of English literature. A cross commemorating him is in the churchyard of St Mary’s which is a Norman building approached by 199 Church stairs. On the West Cliff there is a statue of Captain Cook who lived in Whitby and his house in Grape street is marked with a plaque. The Jurassic mudstones laid down on the seabed over 150 million years ago contain fossils of ancient sea creatures, including ammonites.

They also contain fossilised monkey puzzle trees, better know as Whitby jet, once a favourite of Queen Victoria and used since Bronze age to make jewellery. I actually own a necklace myself. It was given to me by an auntie for my 21st birthday! There is a popular cycle route from Whitby to Scarborough following a disused railway line along the coast. Whitby is a MUST.

Hutton Le Hole
One of the prettiest villages in the Yorkshire Moors. A little stream flows through the village green and the attractive houses are situated round the green. There is a a fascinating museum of reconstructed buildings such as cruckframed houses and a Tudor glass furnace.

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