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Sutton Bank National Park Centre

Family on path at Sutton Bank by Chris J ParkerFamily on path at Sutton Bank by Chris J Parker

Vet and author James Herriot declared the tremendous view from the top of Sutton Bank over the Vale of Mowbray and the Vale of York, the "finest in England". So why not stop at the top of the bank, visit the Centre and blow away the cobwebs with a walk or cycle ride? It's an official Dark Sky Discovery Site too, one of three in the North York Moors. 

Entry to the Centre is FREE. Opening times for the National Park Centre and Sutton Bank Bikes can be found here

Keep up with the latest news at the Centre by liking their Facebook page.

Sutton Bank Bikes and cycle trails

Cycling along the Sutton Bank escarpment Credit Tony Bartholomew

Bring your own bike or hire one on site and enjoy the fantastic cycling facilities at Sutton Bank, developed by PACE cycles and the National Park Authority. It's a great place to get your family cycling, providing access to many miles of bridleways, roads and tracks across the North York Moors.

Our cycle trails use a mixture of natural and man made trails similar to those found in a purpose built trail centre. Using the same style of trail marking, the mountain biking trails available are:

  • Cliff - family friendly 3 mile 'green' circular off-road cycle trail, mostly level, part of which follows the famous cliff edge.
  • Fort - 9 mile 'blue' trail with 361m ascent/descent (70% stone, 30% natural surface) runs out past the site of the Iron Age fort at Boltby Scar. A shorter loop of 6 miles avoids the ascent/descent and is suitable for families. The Fort route also includes part of the Cliff Trail along the cliff edge.
  • Paradise - a 17-mile 'red' trail for experienced mountain bikers, through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the National Park. Expect a few technical features and a steep climb or two.

Unlike a trail centre, large parts of our routes make use of existing bridleways that are shared with walkers and horse riders. Please consider other users, and expect to come across some gates too. 

There is also a purpose-built bike skills area and bike wash.

A cycle centre, Sutton Bank Bikes offers bike hire, training and skills courses, repair and servicing, and a fully stocked cycle shop. Please note, opening times may differ to the Visitor Centre.

Sutton Bank adventure play area

Natural play area (c) Chris J Parker

There's a brand new fabulous play area outside, using natural landscape features to provide a place for adventure and fun for younger children.

Come and enjoy two quirky treehouses, a stone castle, three magical stone roundhouses, the large sandpit with a 'play tree' in the centre, a mud kitchen, go log clambering over the 'swamp' and enjoy den building.

What's the story?

Picnic time? Rainy day? Looking for fun? Then borrow one of our 'Story Time Boxes' and spend an hour or two in the company of Monty the Wood Mouse! The boxes have all you need to entertain your under 7s, including a special story, character puppets, mask making materials and colouring sheets, family games and song sheets. Hire a box from £3/hour or £10/day (plus returnable deposit).

Lime & Ice - discover the making of Sutton Bank

With the latest in user-friendly technology, find out more about the National Park and how we've shaped the amazing landscape of Sutton Bank - and how the landscape has shaped us - in the Lime & Ice exhibition.

Find out about millions of years of Sutton Bank in the making through a stunning CGI film, narrated by earth historian Professor Aubrey Manning or read at your leisure about some of the amazing landscape features around the area.

Children will enjoy the interactive games where they can be a virtual archaeologist, make a fossil, fly a glider or complete Turner's unfinished sketches. 

Join Safi and Patrick as they take a tour of the exhibition and enjoy exploring the countryside around the Centre. 

Experience England's finest view

A stroll along the wheelchair-accessible path from the Centre to the sensational viewpoint is a must or go south along the dramatic escarpment to the famous Kilburn White Horse.

Walking around Sutton Bank

  • The booklet Walks around Sutton Bank has five glorious walks from the Centre. The guide will help you unearth the deeper story of the rich landscapes beneath your feet. Available to purchase in the Centre.
  • Download the Lime and Ice app and follow the walks to discover all sorts of interest in the countryside near the Centre. The trail around the grounds is a great hit with the kids. The app is free to download from the iTunes app store. 

Lime & Ice - Imagemakers Design & Consulting

Need a gift or a souvenir to take home?

The National Park shop prides itself on being a great place to purchase something unique from or about the area. You’ll find a quality selection of locally-produced goods, including Joe Cornish cards and calendars, a variety of food and drink, ceramics, ironwork, stained glass, textiles, natural skincare products and even potato prints. 

We also stock a wide selection of maps and books about the North York Moors, including ideas for walking and cycling. Our knowledgeable Visitor Centre team are always happy to offer advice and suggestions for things to do in the area too.

With your appetite whetted you'll find plenty to occupy you in this stunning corner of the National Park.

Accessibility

Full accessibility description available here.