North York Moors

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Horse riding

Horse riding near Rosedale, North York Moors by Tony BatholomewHorse riding near Rosedale, North York Moors by Tony Batholomew

Tracks through beautiful woodland, along disused railways and sandy beaches, bridleways across miles of open heather moorland, and quiet country lanes, the North York Moors is a superb choice for a day’s exploring on horseback or a trekking holiday. There are more than 800km/500 miles of bridleways in the National Park alone, so your choice of routes is practically endless.

Where to ride?

The bridleway network has seen significant additions over the last few years, and concessionary bridleways such as the former Scarborough to Whitby railway (the 'Cinder Track') are now included. The beautiful beaches at Saltburn and Sandsend are also open to horse riders.

  • Riding the Rosedale Loop, another former railway in Rosedale, is allowed with a (free) annual permit. Please contact Spaunton Estate Office for details on 01759 371983.
  • The Forestry Commission welcomes riders on their extensive network of tracks in Dalby, Cropton, Harwood Dale, Broxa and Langdale Forests - find out more by visiting the Forestry Commission website
  • Ride Yorkshire have devised a series of day rides covering the North York Moors and Howardian Hills, which can be downloaded for a small cost.
  • Nawton Towers Estate has granted concessionary access to ride the stoned tracks over the moorland around Bransdale. These through routes are marked on this free map.
The North York Moors and Dales Ride

A four day, 55 mile circular route devised by the British Horse Society, leading you through spectacular scenery and dramatic views in the central and western areas of the National Park. Ideal for anyone with their own horse, a detailed leaflet outlining the route and accommodation/service providers is also available from the BHS Access Department on 01926 707712.

If you'd like a better idea of what it's all about, Saltburn & District Bridleways Group have a series of photos from the route and you can read this Ordnance Survey Blog from the British Horse Society summing up the experience of riding it.

Feeling a little rusty?

If you’d like to brush up on your riding skills or learn to ride for the first time or if you don't have access to your own horse, there are numerous riding centres able to take you out on a hack to explore a quiet corner of the National Park.

Riding events

The following organisations arrange social and pleasure rides or competitive endurance rides.

Don't miss Helmsley Riding School's Picnic Ride dates throughout the summer, these 'all day rides' come complete with a picnic lunch.

Respect: Share the Trail

This film, created by Forestry Commission Wales, shows how dangerous the trails can be if no consideration is given to horse riders by mountain bikers and demonstrates what to do to stay safe.