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70 Years of the North York Moors National Park

Exploring the Wainstones Credit Ebor ImagesExploring the Wainstones Credit Ebor Images

Welcome to our special year

70th anniversary logo

You might not realise it, but by visiting the North York Moors National Park in 2022, you've chosen a very special time to come. Seventy years ago, way back in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II became monarch of the UK, the glove puppet Sooty first appeared on television, tea rationing ended after 13 years and - on 28 November - Britain gained its sixth National Park, the North York Moors.

The creation of National Parks was born out of a desire to keep our most treasured landscapes as unspoilt as possible and - as importantly - to enable everyone to explore and enjoy them for years to come.

In our increasingly busy lives, National Parks are more important than ever as places to relax and unwind, be it testing your stamina on a mountain bike, learning about past generations at a heritage site or simply sitting down in a tranquil spot with a picnic and a good book.

To celebrate our platinum anniversary year and everything that makes the National Park special, we've plenty of ideas for things to see and do, not least a programme of special events, family activities, walks, and exhibitions.

However you choose to spend your time in the National Park, have fun and here's to another seventy sensational years of the North York Moors!

Get involved |  Events and activities | Exhibitions and workshops

Jammy Dodger Whopper cake at Yorkshire Cycle Hub

Get involved

Sensational 70 years #NorthYorkMoorsSenses

Share your favourite senses and be part of our celebratory film. Every week, on our social media accounts, we'll suggest how to use one of your senses whilst out and about in the National Park. Find out more including how you can share your moments with us.

Celebrate with cake!

As the self-proclaimed Capital of Cake, we’d be missing a trick by not enjoying a slice or two during our birthday year. Each month we'll be announcing a 'special 70th offer' provided by a Capital of Cake business.

All you have to do is mention it's the National Park's birthday! Find this month's offers.

Plus, later in the year, we look forward to sharing a special visit from a local star baker who’ll be exploring the National Park and all its sweet treats.


Events and activities

Join a free guided walk (various dates through to 6 November)

A Breath of Fresh Air is our great annual programme of free guided walks led by our knowledgeable and dedicated band of National Park volunteers who will be telling the stories of the National Park over the last 70 years. Numbers on each walk are restricted and many walks fill up quickly, so please book as early as possible.

Cleveland Way above Kepwick Credit Dependable Productions

Battle of Byland 1322 - Yorkshire's forgotten conflict (various dates)

We're also marking the 700th anniversary of a significant, but largely forgotten battle, fought in October 1322 in the Sutton Bank area between King Edward II of England and King Robert I (‘the Bruce’) of Scotland during the Scottish Wars of Independence.

  • Battle of Byland 1322: Yorkshire's Forgotten Conflict (Friday 8 July) - join amateur historian Harry Pearson and discover the largely untold story of the Battle of Byland at a lunchtime talk. Booking essential.
  • Battle of Byland: Sutton Bank to Roulston Scar (Sunday 11 September) -  a 5.5. mile circular guided walk. Booking essential.
  • Battle of Byland 700th anniversary (Saturday 15 October 10am-4pm). Free entry, drop in anytime (10am–4pm)
    - Displays and demonstrations of arms and armour
    - Guided walks
    - Bow-making/children’s activities and trails
    - Unveiling new memorial and interpretation
    - Pop-up stalls (Royal Armouries, English Heritage, Towton Battlefield Society, Battlefields Trust)
    - Period music, food and drink tastings
A Taste of the North York Moors (7 August)

Enjoy a taste of the North York Moors and celebrate local food at Sutton Bank National Park Centre as we are joined by some of our local suppliers, accompanied by music and Morris dancing. Free entry, drop in anytime (10am–4pm).

Mindful Month (throughout September)

A month of activities celebrating how nature and the myriad ways that visitors can switch off from everyday stresses can help you regain a sense of wellbeing. Yoga classes, sunset meditations, forest bathing and art workshops are just some of the events in the line-up. Full details of what's on offer will be available later in the year.

Mindfulness Credit VBI

Tour of Britain - Day 4 Redcar to Helmsley (7 September)

The North York Moors is made for cycling and the Tour of Britain will challenge riders as they pass through our rich tapestry of landscapes, from high moorland and market town, to forest, coast and dale on Day 4 of the eight day race, including two testing climbs, Carlton Bank and Newgate Bank. before finishing in the grounds of Duncombe Park. Returning to North Yorkshire for the first time in 13 years, the Tour of Britain is the UK's biggest professional bike race and a UCI ProSeries event, guaranteeing participation of some of the world’s leading cyclists, including brothers Harry and Charlie Tanfield who hail from Great Ayton and will be competing for Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling.

Brothers Charlie and Harry Tanfield riding up Carlton Bank

MoorsRun - Turnpike Trot 10k and Rabbit Run 5k (9 October)

Run in association with Hardmoors, our fully marshalled trail run from Danby Lodge National Park Centre is a great introduction for families. Children aged between 7 – 13 can enter the 5k if running with their parent/guardian. Entries open.

Dark Skies Fringe Festival (21 – 30 October)

One festival isn't enough! We know you want to #SeeMoorStars so we added another fixture to the stargazing calendar. Expect more starry delights across the North York Moors during half-term week. Get involved in the Festival fun and see the full line up of events later in the year.


Exhibitions, workshops and events hosted by Inspired by... gallery

A Woodland Sanctuary - Trees and woodland of the North York Moors (16 July – 12 September)

A joint exhibition of renowned photographers Simon Baxter and Joe Cornish at the Inspired by... gallery. Their work has been gathered within the North York Moors National Park over the last five years. Woodland has been a source of exploration, tranquillity, meditation, artistic study and inspiration, and, especially during the pandemic, a solace for both photographers. Includes a series of special events, talks and walks:

  • Joe Cornish and Simon Baxter will be leading a number of in-depth exhibition tours over the opening weekend:
    Saturday 16 July - 11.30am-12.30pm and 3-4pm - booking essential
    Sunday 17 July - 11.30am-12.30pm and 3-4pm - booking essential
  • Gallery talk with guest speaker, Lucy Lapwing on the ecology and wildlife of our ancient woodlands (16 July 1.30-2.15pm) - booking essential
  • Mothy coffee (17 July 10am-12pm) - expert Lucy Lapwing gives an insight into the secret lives of moths, as well as identifying the moths captured in our moth trap. Drop-in, no need to book
  • Guest speaker Mark Littlejohn (17 July 1-1.45pm) - join award-winning landscape photographer Mark for an inspirational talk. Booking essential.
  • An evening with... Joe Cornish and Simon Baxter (23 July 5.30-8.30pm) - hosted by photographer David Ward in conversation with Joe and Simon and guest speaker Sean Tucker, followed by drinks, canapés and music. Booking essential
  • Time out in the woods with Simon Baxter and Joe Cornish (28 July 1-4.30pm) - pick up tips from Simon and Joe on using your smartphone camera on an afternoon walk around May Beck and Falling Foss. Booking essential
  • The Art of Looking (12 and 26 August) - using charcoal and pencil to create your own work inspired by observation and photographs from the exhibition with artist Peter Reynolds. Booking essential.

More details available on Simon Baxter's website.

Threads and Pathways (17 September – 7 November)

Celebrating Lockton Artists Group, the nine local artists and designers following individual pathways but sharing a common thread, living in the 'artists' village' of Lockton in the North York Moors. The exhibition displays all that can grow out of the roots of this particularly special place.

  • Hand-Forged Hooks (20 October) - make your own hand-forged hook using traditional blacksmithing techniques. Note this workshop will be held at David's forge in Lockton. Booking essential
  • Artist Fridays (23, 30 September, 7, 14, 21, 28 October, 4 November) - a chance to meet members of the Lockton Artist Group. Booking not required, drop in anytime.
Artwork by Sue Slack
Connections to Landscape (17 September – 7 November)

Farndale artist and art therapist Pauline Brown exhibits a selection of recent drawings and paintings of the landscape in and around Farndale, in response to the seasons and the changing colours and moods of the moorland and skies.

  • Colour between Light and Dark Workshop (30 October) - join Pauline exploring how colour affects our moods using wet-on-wet painting, charcoal and pastel. Booking essential