North York Moors

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Health and wellbeing

Verbena Spa hot tubVerbena Spa hot tub

Just escaping to the North York Moors will get you away from the hustle and bustle of today's busy world. There are cloud-buffeted days and star-spangled nights that refresh the spirits. Our tranquil surroundings make the North York Moors a hot spot for a treat and rejuvenating break good for your mind, body and soul. A chance to de-stress, detox and slow down, or simply to get back to nature.


Switch off and unwind on one of these refreshing retreats. The Verbena Spa in Helmsley's chic Feversham Arms Hotel, is probably the area's most well-known for a spa break, with a Top 5 spa listing in Tatler magazine.

Head to Raithwaite Sandsend for a coastal retreat whose sumptuous spa breaks should put the zip back into anyone.

It's all about down-to-earth relaxation at The Tree Relaxation Retreat in Rosedale Abbey, from Indian head massages, a bit of yoga if you fancy, spa treatments, along with moorland strolls plus tea and cake by an open fire, a recipe for the perfect remedy. It's one of The Guardian's best affordable retreats. Like The Sycamores, also in Rosedale, The Tree makes the most of those endless North York Moors views with covered outdoor hot tubs, alongside other treatments.

Offering a blend of wellness and culinary experiences, Yogandspice include Seasonal Yoga and Food, Yoga and Time to Relax and Women’s Wellness breaks. Visitors can also learn to cook Chinese vegetarian and vegan dishes, find out how to grow vegetables and spices at home or learn about Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, discovering how it can help to detox and de-stress.

Join Adventures for the Soul for timeout in nature, doing activities that'll make you feel good, from mini-adventures, nature experiences to wellbeing retreats held at stunning locations around the North York Moors.

Chill out on a stand up paddle board combined with yoga. Simon at SUP Adventures is a stand up paddle boarding specialist and provides a whole manner of activities from introduction mornings, to yoga-related breaks to their annual Wanderlust retreat. Or combine yoga and cycling on a day retreat with The Frog Project, connecting with the beauty of the North York Moors' landscape.

Kick back with a short break in a Forest Holiday tree-house in Keldy Forest or a log cabin at Cropton, where you can enjoy in-cabin spa treatments before chilling out in the outdoor hot tub with the sounds of the night forest around you. Or really get back to nature with their forest ranger who'll introduce you to a world of woodland secrets, bushcraft and survival skills and take you out in the dark when the forest really comes to life.

If you like spiritual peace and serenity, you can book a place on any of the retreats and courses given by the monks at Ampleforth Abbey, a Benedictine monastery, which offers a full pastoral programme and at Stanbrook Abbey, a stonemason's throw away, which offers limited facilities.

The Great Outdoors

Just walking through the National Park, whether it's out on the moors, or down in the dales or woods, listening to the sounds of nature can help restore your sense of calm and well-being. Slow down, fill your lungs with fresh air and enjoy the solitude.

Enjoy each season, the evocative calls of breeding curlews and impressive acrobatic displays of male lapwings in spring; watch the bees on the heather and the skylarks in summer; pick delicious bilberries in autumn; a bracing walk followed by a drink by a log fire in a traditional pub in winter.

Marvel at the stars at Sutton Bank or Danby, both Dark Sky Discovery sites; listen to the sound of tumbling water at Thomason Foss, Mallyan Spout and Falling Foss waterfalls, especially after rain; take part in a relaxing nature safari, follow the Jugger Howe nature trail on Fylingdales Moor or try one of our favourite walks.

A great bunch of National Park volunteers and specialist experts run our ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ guided walks too – everything from short rambles to wildlife walks and history hikes. All the walks are free too. The 2022 programme begins in March, check our events calendar and book your place online.

Nature's free gym is the best exercise playground around. You don't need to be a fitness fanatic either, a woodland wander is enough to get your blood pumping and improve your health. Give yourself a slightly more strenuous woodland workout on the Bousdale Wood trimtrail at Guisborough Forest & Walkway. Can you tackle the horizontal ladder, leap frog or the over and under hurdles? How about joining Dalby Forest's free 5km Parkrun every Saturday morning at 9am.

Or if the weather stops you getting out, simply head to one of our local leisure centres or swimming pools for a workout, a swim or a sports session.