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Go wild

Minke Whale by Richard Baines Yorkshire Coast NatureMinke Whale by Richard Baines Yorkshire Coast Nature

The thrill of seeing whales and dolphins off the coast at Staithes, the delight that comes with noticing a star-studded sky during an evening in Dalby Forest, or the joy associated with quietly observing hares or owls... these are just some of the special sights that you can experience with the help of some of the country’s best wildlife and dark sky specialists.

As well as the activity providers below, we've come up with more ideas for you to discover the great outdoors, learn new things and reconnect with natural world on our Nature For All page.

A shore thing

Searching for whales Credit Daniel Wildey Photography

For ten months of the year, wildlife experts Richard Baines and Steve Race from Yorkshire Coast Nature run tours and photography workshops along the coast and inland.

Hop on a boat with them and see the diverse birdlife - from Arctic Skuas to Gannets - that reside along our shores. During the summer and early autumn, there’s also a good chance of spotting dolphins as well as Minke Whales as they follow the shoals of mackerel travelling south.

For a surreal experience, join one of their nightjar safaris, which take place just before dusk. The North York Moors forests are a summer residence for this elusive migratory bird and joining a tour is the best chance of seeing this mystical bird and hearing its curious soft churring call.

See Yorkshire Coast Nature’s calendar for full booking details.

Go starry eyed on a stargazing experience

Stargazing with Hidden Horizons at Dalby Forest (c) Steve Bell

Our pristine dark sky is pretty captivating thanks to low levels of light pollution. On a clear night it’s possible to enjoy over 2,000 stars compared with the handful that you might see in urban areas.

To make the most of this natural wonder, join one of the astronomers at Hidden Horizons between autumn and spring, look up and be prepared to say ‘wow’ as you spy the Milky Way and meteors or pick out details such as craters on the surface of the moon.

Be sure to book your star-studded experience promptly, they are very popular!

If astronomy is your thing then read our Nature's evening pleasures blog to find out what dark sky delights are due to unfold in the coming weeks.

Wildlife photography tours

Me & Mum Curlew Credit Gordon Richardson

Wildlife photographer Gordon Richardson has spent years quietly watching the animals and birds that inhabit our landscape, and capturing beautiful images of everything from hares to curlews in the process.

Gordon has hides set up at several locations across the National Park where you can accompany him and pick up the skills, sometimes using Gordon’s camera equipment, to capture your own images. Or simply use his binoculars to watch in delight as red grouse, deer or hares go about their daily life.

Contact North York Moors Wildlife Photography Tours to discuss options and create your own bespoke tour.

Glimpse into the lives of Yorkshire Wolds' wildlife

Painting with cameras by Robert Fuller

Not only is Robert E Fuller a leading British wildlife artist, he also spends months in the field studying his subjects and has over 50 cameras set up capturing footage of barn owls, tawny owls, kestrels, stoats, weasels and kingfishers. Because of this work, Robert regularly features on BBC Springwatch, The One Show and BBC Countryfile.

At his Thixendale gallery on the Yorkshire Wolds, see his latest wildlife paintings, watch live cameras on barn owls, kestrels and stoats, and enjoy behind the scenes footage of how he produces his paintings.

Book your private gallery appointment and get exclusive access, up close and personal with nature.