North York Moors

North York Moors logo
Browse section

Thornton le Dale

Thatch Cottage at Thornton le Dale by Mike KiplingThatch Cottage at Thornton le Dale by Mike Kipling

The thatched cottage by the babbling beck in Thornton le Dale is one of the best-loved sights in the whole of the National Park. It's a highly picturesque village, centred on a tiny triangular green with its old market cross and stocks. A woodland footpath runs from the car park to the village and there are lots more local walks that show you the best of the surrounding valleys and woods.

Things to see and do

Follow the pushchair and wheelchair friendly nature trail in the village and find storyboards, tree carvings depicting birds and wildlife around the pond, as well as boxes for hedgehogs, birds and bats plus a bug hotel. 

Nearby Dalby Forest, just to the north of Thornton le Dale, provides fantastic opportunities for walking, cycling, nature-watching and star-gazing. The Visitor Centre can fill you in on what to see and do, but don't miss the walk to the Bridestones, impressive outcrops of sandstone that stand along the edge of a deep valley.


Look out for 'Walks around Thornton le Dale', which is available from the Village Information Point. It features some great walks, including the lovely short wander up the valley to the tiny hamlet of Ellerburn and its ancient Saxon church.

Eating and drinking

There are several cafés and pubs in Thornton le Dale, and a seasonal farmhouse tearoom in Ellerburn, near the Saxon church. 

Festivals and events

'Forest Live' sees an annual summer series of big-name gigs in Dalby Forest.

There are free concerts on Thornton village green every summer Sunday afternoon, as well as a quirky Scarecrow Festival every August bank holiday weekend. At Halloween, expect ghostly walks through Dalby Forest, complete with a scare or two.

View Larger Map