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.

Botham's Tea Rooms Pickering Credit VisitBritain/Vox Multimedia
Botham's Tea Rooms, Pickering Credit VisitBritain/Vox Multimedia

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.

Plan your visit

Plan your visit

Getting here

Pickering is on a number of bus routes:

EY 128/X28 connects Scarborough to Helmsley via Pickering

Coastliner from Leeds and York to Whitby

• Seasonal bus services in summer - Moorsbus and ME1 from Hessle

Catch the train to Malton from York and then pick up the 12-mile (19km) Market Town cycling route

North York Moors Cycleway passes through Pickering

Join the Moor to Sea Cycle Network, our long-distance off-road cycle route, linking Pickering with Rosedale or Dalby Forest


Car parks: The Ropery, Vivis Lane and Eastgate (both pay and display)

Nearest publc EV charging points – Vivis Lane YO18 8DL and Eastgate, Pickering YO18 7JD

Bike repair Big Bear Bikes

Bike hire Dalby Forest Cycle Hub

Cash points, post office and banks

Weekly market (Monday)

Outdoor artisan market last Saturday of the month (March to November)

Pubs, cafés and restaurants, with several places specialising in locally sourced produce. There are also bakeries, delis, an organic farm shop and a refill store The Old Weigh



Visit Pickering town information

Talk to our Voluntary Rangers at our seasonal mobile information unit, located in Saltergate car park YO18 7NR during the summer

You can purchase our 'Hole of Horcum’ walk leaflet – available from local outlets – with two easy-to-follow circular walks starting at Saltergate car park, complete with maps and information

Public toilets

The Ropery car park YO18 8DY – accessible (RADAR key needed)

Eastgate car park YO18 7DU – accessible (RADAR key needed)

Woodlands Community Park YO18 7HJ – accessible (RADAR key needed)

Share with care

How you can keep the North York Moors special

View all share with care
Give nature a chance and take your rubbish and dog poo home

Give nature a chance and take your rubbish and dog poo home

Share the trail considerately

Share the trail considerately

Respect wildlife

Respect wildlife

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