Pickering is one of the area’s oldest towns, founded in 270 BC. A busy market town on the edge of the North York Moors, its handsome streets, tucked-away alleys and quiet corners are ripe to explore. It's best known for its heritage railway, but it has other local attractions, from one of the largest collections of wall paintings in England, to a history museum and a nearby Roman site.
Pickering Castle has guarded the town since Medieval times. A Motte and Bailey structure, it was built by William the Conqueror in 1069 and used as a hunting lodge by English kings– no fewer than six stayed here between 1100 and 1400.
Today, the town has a wide variety of cafés, pubs, traditional butchers and bakeries, specialist independent shops, galleries and antique shops, stocking all your vintage and vogue desires.
It is the southern terminus of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which has been preserved and run by enthusiasts since 1973. It runs for 24 miles through the spectacular scenery of the National Park to Whitby, calling at stations at Levisham, Newtondale, Goathland and Grosmont.
With stunning views and stylish carriages, the heritage railway is hard to beat for a scenic backdrop. It’s played a starring role in TV favourites such as ITV’s ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Downton Abbey’, and most recently Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One and the latest Indiana Jones instalment, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, both feature the railway.
The lives of ordinary people are celebrated at Beck Isle Museum of Rural Life, where recreated shop interiors, household items and farm machinery shine a light on 200 years of local history.
Travel eight miles north on the Whitby road and you’ll reach the breath-taking Hole of Horcum, a vast natural amphitheatre that has been stopping travellers in their tracks for centuries. Part of the Levisham Estate, owned by the National Park, it is Open Access Land, which means you are free to walk, run, climb, picnic and take pictures wherever you like. Access the Estate from our Saltergate car park (YO18 7NR), Levisham village or Levisham station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.