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. 

Entry to the Centre is FREE. For directions and opening times, go to Planning your visit

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

New visitor experience

The new visitor experience which opened in July 2019 provides a fascinating insight into the history and habitats of the North York Moors; exploring how these iconic landscapes were formed and the connections between the plants and animals that thrive there. Experience the dramatic story of Victorian ironstone extraction, the ingenuity of the moorland railways and the sometimes harsh realities of the people who shared in this short-lived ‘gold rush’ of the North York Moors. 

Ongoing improvements are still being made to the exhibition space, therefore certain interactives and displays are not yet fully operational. Please bear with us whilst we are undergoing these changes, we hope they don't cause you too much disruption.


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

  • Explore our exhibition about the people, history, wildlife and landscape of the National Park; it's 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 Cafe 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 musical programme including an annual chamber music concert.

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 Mud Kitchen, complete with ovens, cupboards, pots and pans. It's open from spring until the end of November. Perfect for under 5's
  • Hire a Minibeast Explorer Pack which comes with a minibeast hunting kit and a selection of minibeast games. It costs £3 to hire for 2 hours plus a £10 refundable deposit.
  • 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.

Watch Ceri, Heather, Florrie and Toby show you around 

Dog policy

Please note - dogs are not allowed in the Centre buildings or in Crow Wood, except for assistance dogs. 

Crow Wood, a small woodland area, 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.

Please speak to our National Park Centre staff who will be happy to advise on alternative dog walks from the door.

Accessibility

Full accessibility description available here.