North York Moors

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Go on a mini adventure

Sea Kayaking off Runswick Bay Credit Fridge ProductionsSea Kayaking off Runswick Bay Credit Fridge Productions

The coast isn’t just about buckets and spades, and sitting with an ice cream in your hand wearing a knotted handkerchief on your head. We take a look at more active ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

Catch a wave

The Yorkshire coast is becoming something of a surfing mecca. It's particularly good for beach breaks, the best type of wave to start surfing on, but there's plenty of rock spots with reef and point breaks too for the more experienced. Hire boards and get expert tuition from FlowSurfcoaching.com, Saltburn-surf.co.uk, Sandsend Surf School & Hire, and WhitbySurfSchool.co.uk. Find out more about where to go surfing.

Get an aerial perspective

With Valley Adventures new rope challenge you can enjoy an adrenaline-fuelled high level challenge in Saltburn’s Valley Gardens. Their other activities include archery, stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing and abseiling.

Mine's a mackerel

Spend a day on the foreshore with Sean and Tricia from Real Staithes and learn how to forage edible finds, catch lobsters or recreate ancient paint palettes using materials found in the cliff sides and combed from the beaches. You could also try a mackerel fishing expedition where skipper Sean will show you how to catch mackerel with a rod, and then it’s back to the harbour to clean and cook them on a campfire cook-out. That’s fresh fish, Staithes-style, as easy as ‘A,B, Sea’.

Be a musher

If you like walking the dog, you’ll love mushing the husky! Become a ‘musher’ for the day with Pesky Husky in Staintondale and capture some canine excitement with these wonderful wolf-like animals. There’s a purpose-built training circuit where you can be pulled along on scooters by enthusiastic huskies, or go hiking with a difference, attached to the dogs with a special belt as you explore the hills and dales of the North, erm…Siberian Moors. Back at the kennels you can meet the rest of the dogs and learn about the huskies’ fascinating history.

Kayak seafari

Paddle quietly along the coastline from Runswick Bay, taking time to gaze in awe at the towering cliffs teeming with sea life, looking out for secret spots that can only really be accessed by kayaks. If you join Barefoot Kayak's paddle and dine trip there’s also the possibility of catching your own supper, landing a mackerel by dangling a rod over the side of the kayak before enjoying the fruits of your labour with a barbecue on the beach. 

There's loads more water-inspired activities to try here too.

Living off the land

Tangle Wood near Cloughton is where you need to be if you want to learn how to live off the land and test your ability to survive in the wild. With The Wild Woodsmen you can really go feral with an animal tracking and trapping course or spend up to four days honing the skills that would undoubtedly impress Bear Grylls.

Pedal power

Follow in the tracks of Victorian holidaymakers as you cycle along the trackbed of the old railway line that once linked Whitby and Scarborough. The 21-mile-long ‘Cinder Track’ has fantastic coastal views, particularly at Robin Hood’s Bay and Ravenscar, and the route forms part of the wider Moor to Sea Cycle Network –150 miles of cycling on eleven interconnected routes through the heart of the National Park. Hire a bike and see the sea by cycle. You can even hire an electric bike from Trailways making the trip back up the hill out of Robin Hood's Bay much easier.

Find out why geology rocks

Boggle Hole fossil hunting with Hidden Horizons Credit Tony BartholomewThis stretch of rugged Jurassic coastline offers adventures galore, whether it’s finding all manner of wildlife in rockpools or hunting out fossils and dinosaur footprints. Expert guides at Hidden Horizons can help fire your imagination to envisage what life was like 190 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed.

Join a National Trust ranger to learn more about the nature and the industrial heritage of the area on a guided walk, or take part in one of their cycling, kayaking or geocaching adventures.

Wildlife safaris with Yorkshire Coast Nature

Yorkshire Coast Nature organise wildlife safaris where you might spot anything from snakes, butterflies, whales, porpoises or birds of prey. For those wanting to capture the moment on film, there are also specific wildlife photography courses with practical tips and insights from award winning professionals.

Down our way

Yorkshire’s celebrated, 109-mile Cleveland Way National Trail runs the full length of our dramatic coastline before ending at the rocky outcrop of Filey Brigg, passing a visual feast of breathtaking views, industrial remains and hidden gems. Experienced walkers have long tackled the trail in nine days but not everyone wants to hike a mammoth multiday trek. 

It’s easy to walk shorter sections of the well-marked route, and National Trails Officer, Malcolm Hodgson shares five of his recommendations in our coastal brochure from secret picnic spots to climbing your first 'mountain'.