North York Moors

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A special place

Horcum tree by Mark HepplesHorcum tree by Mark Hepples

As a National Park, we are one of Britain’s breathing spaces, a treasured landscape, protected for everyone to enjoy. 

You’ll see our distinctive logo on boundary stones, information panels and posters, but it doesn't just tell you that you are in the North York Moors National Park. 

The ancient stone cross on the spreading moorland also stands for a state of mind – this wonderful landscape, it’s saying, is somewhere to come and refresh your spirits. It’s the place where magical things happen – where the stresses and strains of daily life disappear, and where relaxation, holidays and adventure begin. 

The open moorland will give you a sense of space. Away from the noise of the traffic you can hear the cries of moorland birds, the trickling water in a stream, and the buzz of insects in the heather. 

On the coast, experience the roar of the sea, the wind in your hair, the sand between your toes. 

The dales form a rich patchwork of earthy colours and pleasing shapes – landscapes, created generations ago, still maintained by today’s farmers. 

Our woodlands and ancient trees provide a sense of well-being and a link to the past. 

And far from the artificial lights of towns, there are truly dark skies where you can see majestic skyscapes full of stars. 

Special qualities

Special places have special qualities.

Here are 14 things that we think make the North York Moors stand out from other places – 14 more reasons to visit, live and work in this special corner of England. 

  • Great diversity of landscape Sudden dramatic contrasts associated with this
  • Wide sweeps of open heather moorland Distinctive dales, valley and inland headlands
  • An abundance of forest and woodland Ancient trees and woodland rich in wildlife
  • Special landforms from the Ice Age Exceptional coastal geology
  • Majestic coastal cliffs and sheltered harbours Distinctive coastal headlands
  • A special mix of upland, lowland and coastal habitats A wide variety of wildlife dependent on these
  • Settlements which reflect their agricultural, fishing or mining past Locally distinctive buildings and building materials
  • A long imprint of human activity A wealth of archaeology from prehistory to the 20th Century
  • A rich and diverse countryside for recreation An extensive network of public paths and tracks
  • Strong religious past and present Ruined abbeys and ancient churches
  • Strong feeling of remoteness A place for spiritual refreshment
  • Tranquillity Dark skies at night and clear unpolluted air
  • Distinctive skills, dialects, songs and customs Strong sense of community and friendly people
  • A place of artistic, scientific and literary inspiration A heritage of authors, artists, scientists and explorers