Danby Lodge National Park Centre

Nestled within the heart of the North York Moors, along the banks of the River Esk, Danby Lodge is the perfect place to start exploring the National Park.

Home to walking trails, relaxing gardens, café, shop, brand new adventure playground and changing exhibitions in our Inspired by… gallery, this is the place where stories are told, ideas are sparked, and the North York Moors landscape is a constant source of inspiration.

Don’t forget to look up, Danby Lodge is an official Dark Sky Discovery Site; meaning on clear nights you can experience the magic of seeing the Milky Way with the naked eye.

Entry to the Centre is FREE.

Dragon at Danby Lodge, credit Gary Walsh

Adventures both inside and out
  • Climb and slide around on our brand new outdoor adventure play area
  • Visit our woodland Mud Kitchen for messy mud-pie making, complete with ovens, cupboards, pots and pans. It's open from spring until the end of November. Perfect for under 5s
  • Get lost in the Labyrinth, following the incredible journey of a salmon upstream to its spawning grounds
  • Try your hand at quoits
  • 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.
  • Climb the walls! Try our fabulous climbing cave. Kids only – it's far too much fun for adults
  • 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

New: Danby Den is now open

We're delighted to announce that our brand new playground at Danby Lodge National Park Centre is now open.

With something for all ages, this accessible playground features swings, zip wires, slides, tunnels and so much more. A place inspired by nature for future generations.

Come and see for yourself, 7 days a week!

The Book Stop
The Book Stop

We're pleased to open our second hand bookshop, stocking everything from crime thrillers and nature books to children's stories. Stop by, grab yourself a coffee from Park Life Café, browse the books and take a moment to unwind. Books are individually priced and payment is via the honesty box inside the bookshop.

The Book Stop is open 10.30am - 4.30pm daily.

Danby Lodge exhibition credit Dependable Productions

Crow wood credit Dependable Productions

Inspired by... gallery

Danby Lodge is home to the Inspired by... gallery, a contemporary space that hosts changing exhibitions of work from emerging and established artists who are inspired by the North York Moors.

Don't forget to browse the gallery shop with unique and beautiful paintings, ceramics, jewellery and more.

Visit Inspired by... gallery


Toilet facilities

RADAR-accessible toilet outside to rear of tearooms. Key available from the Information Desk.

Accessible toilet available inside the Centre within the Inspired by... gallery, which includes baby changing facilities. Main public toilets in separate building accessed via steps.

Accessible parking

Pay and display car park approx. 150m away from entrance to Centre. Tarmac surface with ramps. Minor road to cross.

Alternative drop-off point 50m from main entrance.

Charges apply for Blue Badge holders.

Level access onsite

One entrance to the National Park Centre, approximately 86cm and 87cm wide. Level access except for slight step at front door.

Two storeys with level floors. First floor reached by a flight of 15 stairs with handrails on both sides. Platform lift also available.

Internal doorways vary in width from 78cm to 116cm. Seating available on low seats in exhibition rooms, the Inspired by... gallery and in the café.

Level access to the café through their separate entrance door from the garden.

Access from Centre to grounds via ramp or steps. Generally quite level outside with a few slopes. Bottom tier of wildflower garden has level access, higher tiers only accessible via rough stone steps. Paths tarmac or grass.

Circular trail in Crow Wood is accessible by wheelchair: 400m long, with hard compact surface. Gentle gradients of no more than 1 in 14.

Facilities for hearing impaired visitors

Loop system installed at the Information Desk.

Wheelchair loan available

One electric scooter and one manual wheelchair available free of charge for use inside the Centre, including the Inspired by... gallery, and grounds.

For full details and facilities, please see our accessibility guide



We provide a range of facilities to offer you a fantastic day out

Opening hours

January and February, weekends only until 11 February, 10.30am to 4pm
Daily 12 – 29 February, 10.30am to 4pm
Daily 1 March – 3 November, 10am to 5pm
Daily 4 November – 5 January 2025, 10.30am to 4pm
Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
6 January – 16 February 2025, weekends only, 10.30am to 4pm

Park Life Café

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.

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.


Explore our 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.


We pride ourselves on being a great place to purchase something unique from or about the area. You'll find a selection of quality, locally-produced goods, including food and drink, ceramics and artworks, jewellery, books and more!

Car parking

Our ticket machines are card payment only. Apple Pay and Android Pay are available.

Alternatively PayByPhone is available and we recommend downloading the app before your visit as mobile coverage can be limited at the Centre.

You can also pay for your parking at Reception when the Centre is open.

Are you a frequent visitor? We have a range of permits, which provide excellent value for money for regular visitors or residents.

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.

Baby changing facilities

There are baby changing facilities in the external female and male toilets and also in the ground floor accessible toilet.

Dogs at Danby Lodge

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

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

Facilities for cyclists

Free e-bike chargers and cycle repair station plus parking facilities for bikes near the main entrance.


We have a defibrillator with 24 hour access which can be found on the outside of the building near to the exterior ladies toilets.

In an emergency, please make sure that you call 999 before going to find the defib.

The operators will know the access code to unlock it and if the unit is out of action, and this may be able to save you valuable minutes.

Getting here

Contact us

Danby Lodge National Park Centre, Lodge Lane, Danby, Whitby, YO21 2NB. Tel: 01439 772737. Email Danby Lodge National Park Centre


Danby Lodge National Park Centre and Inspired by... gallery are in the north of the National Park, less than a mile from Danby village.

Public transport

Danby Station on the Esk Valley Railway located in the village (OS Grid Reference: NZ 717 084) is a 20 minute stroll away along a minor road, though do look out for traffic.

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