North York Moors

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The Moors National Park Centre

The Moors National Park Centre photo by Chris J ParkerThe Moors National Park Centre photo by Chris J Parker

The Moors National Park Centre is our historic visitor centre, set in an idyllic spot on the banks of the River Esk, near Danby. From the doorstep, you can see pretty much everything that makes the North York Moors National Park so special: moorland, woodland, farmland, miles of hedges and drystone walls, historic buildings – all basking in glorious peace and quiet. 

Enjoy a big breath of moorland fresh air and soak up the sweeping views. It's an official Dark Sky Discovery Site too, one of three in the North York Moors. 

Admission is absolutely FREE. Opening times for the National Park Centre can be found here

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

Tour de Yorkshire and 40th anniversary of The Moors Centre (1 May 2016)

Stage 3 of this year's Tour de Yorkshire will pass our National Park Centre around 14.19, where you'll be able to watch the whole race live on the big screen. We'll have a host of family-friendly events and activities going on from 11am too, many of which are free, and a double celebration as we mark the 40th anniversary of Danby Lodge as a Visitor Centre!

Youngsters will be able to take part in a circus skills workshop, pedal-powered scalextric, or try your hand at riding a penny farthing. There'll also be craft activities, face painting, a giant soft play area and treasure trail. Take to the kid's indoor climbing wall or outdoor play area or hunt for woodlings in Crow Wood.

Adults can spend time enjoying the exhibition in our Inspired by... gallery or stock up on local beer and spirits from the gift shop. 

We've plenty of parking (charges apply) and refreshments at the Woolly Sheep Café. Danby Railway Station on the Esk Valley Railway is 1 mile away.

Watch Ceri, Heather, Florrie and Toby show you around 

There are loads of fun and fascinating things to do, inside...

  • Explore the open spaces … discover the secret places. Our exhibition about the people, history, wildlife and landscape of the National Park is packed with fascinating facts and entertaining interactives
  • Visit the Inspired by... gallery with its changing exhibitions of work inspired by the North York Moors plus gallery shop with artworks, artisan crafts and handmade jewellery
  • Climb the walls! Try our fabulous climbing wall. Kids only – it's far too much fun for adults!
  • Splash out in the shop. There's a great range of books, maps and guides, postcards, and it's a good place to purchase something unique from or about the area
  • Have a cuppa in the Woolly Sheep tearoom and treat yourself to some delicious home-cooking
  • Join in one of our many events and activities that go on here in the holidays
  • Check out our exciting musical programme, from chamber concerts to folk-roots rockers.

And heaps more outside...

  • Make like a monkey in the outdoor adventure play area
  • Visit our woodland kitchen for messy mud-pie making, in the new Mud Kitchen, complete with ovens, cupboards, pots and pans. It's open from spring until the end of November. Perfect for under 5's
  • Get lost in the Salmon Labyrinth, following the incredible journey of a salmon upstream to its spawning grounds
  • Try your hand at quoits, a traditional North York Moors pastime
  • Become a natty navigator – brush up your wayfinding skills in the Compass Field
  • Explore Crow Wood via a short, circular, easy access route that starts in the main car park
  • Admire the sculptures – some of them even talk!
  • Have a picnic in the grounds
  • Go for a walk – why not try one of the 5 easy-to-follow routes in the Walks from the Moors Centre booklet, available to purchase for £2 in the Centre.

The Moors National Park Centre is home to our Education Team and we provide an extensive programme for school visits.

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). Story Time boxes are also available out of hours and overnight, just ask for details.

Dog policy

Please note - dogs are not allowed in the Centre buildings or in Crow Wood, except for assistance dogs. Crow Wood is used for children's activities such as den building and plant identification where children are likely to be in close contact with the ground and professional advice given to us is that we should avoid the potential for contamination with domestic animals.

Accessibility

Full accessibility description available here.