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 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. It's also home to our beautiful art gallery, Inspired by...

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 our Facebook page.


Know before you go - covid-19 updates (16 August 2021)

We are continuing to manage our site with measures in place to keep everyone safe. You'll find hand sanitisers available to use around the Centre and enhanced cleaning regimes continue.

Face coverings are no longer required by law, but Government recommends that people should continue to wear them in crowded areas, to protect yourselves, and your friends and family. Our staff are continuing to wear face coverings in busy areas and indoor spaces, and you are very welcome to wear a mask inside the National Park Centre. Remember everyone’s choice is personal – please be kind and respectful.

Please don’t visit if you have Covid symptoms, however mild, or have had a positive COVID-19 result.

We're Good To Go accreditationWe have received VisitEngland's 'We're Good To Go' kitemark, an accreditation that shows our National Park Centre adheres to all Government and industry Covid-19 safety guidelines and has a Risk Assessment in place.

We hope you enjoy your time with us!

We’re all in this together!

Please be kind and considerate to our amazing staff who are looking after the site to keep it safe for you.

You can read our full COVID-19 risk assessment which will be updated as things change.

These measures will remain under constant review. If you have any questions or concerns, please just ask. We want you to have a great time here at The Moors National Park Centre!

If you’re visiting the North York Moors, please follow our guidelines for accessing the National Park responsibly #RespectProtectEnjoy


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

  • Explore our new exhibition space which provides a fascinating insight into the history and habitats of the North York Moors and celebrates our ironstone heritage. Find out 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. It's packed with entertaining interactives too.
  • 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 cave. 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
  • Join in one of our many events and activities that go on here in the holidays. We have family treasure hunts and plenty of fun educational activities for children to do. Drop in any time to find out more and pick up a trail.
  • Check out our popular creative workshops at the Inspired by… gallery held throughout the year.

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
  • 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. Follow the woodland trail and hunt down the secretive woodlings.
  • 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 also home to our Education Team and we provide an extensive programme for school visits.


Essential information

Car parking

We have recently moved to card payment only ticket machines in our car parks.

Alternatively PayByPhone is available and we recommend downloading the app before your visit. If there's no mobile coverage, you can either move to an area with better network coverage and complete your parking transaction or pay via the Pay & Display machine. The North York Moors National Park page on the PayByPhone website has further information and links to download the app. You can also pay for your parking at Reception when the Centre is open.

All the money raised in this car park is spent on looking after the National Park. Thank you for helping others to enjoy their time here.

Park Life Café (open 10am-5pm daily)

Pop in to the independently run Park Life Café and enjoy their delicious menu and great coffee. There's indoor and garden seating, and a takeaway service. It's dog friendly too. Please follow their one-way system, and any procedures they have in place.

Opening hours for the café may be different to the rest of the Centre. It's worth checking their Facebook page for the latest on opening hours.

Dog policy

Please note that 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.

I have further questions, can I contact someone to find out more?

Yes. Please send a direct message to us on Facebook and we will do our best to help. If you require more information regarding a booking or an event please contact inspiredbygallery@northyorkmoors.org.uk.

Accessibility

Full accessibility description available here.