The North York Moors are a treasure trove of things to see and to do here are just a few highlights of this amazing National Park.
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Beautiful heather moorland lies at the very heart of the North York Moors National Park. Unenclosed and unsurpassed, this stunning landscape has a quiet drama all of its own.
Responding sensitively to the changing seasons, the moorland is a special place whatever time of year.
The call of the moorland birds characterise the early summer and, as the summer evenings draw in, the flowering heather turns the moors into a purple carpet stetching for miles across the open vistas.
In winter the moors can be exceptionally beautiful, inspiring artists and writers and providing a wonderful opportunity to brush away the cobwebs of daily life or to simply stand and stare.
The coastline of the North York Moors National Park is so special that it is also part of the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast.
Imagine high cliffs and rocky shores, attractive villages and remains of ancient industries, a coastline rich in wild flowers, nesting seabirds, fossils and abundant shore life. Wouldn’t you wish you could visit it? Here in the North York Moors, our fabulous coastline has a clifftop path which you can follow for over 30 miles of exhilarating walking or you can take a gentle saunter along the beach. This is the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast, a very special place set within the North York Moors National Park and with an ever changing backcloth of sea and sky.
The name ‘North York Moors’ does not exactly conjure up images of woodland and so it may come as some surprise to learn that this is the most wooded of England’s National Parks. With over a fifth of the landscape under tree cover, the importance of woodland to the North York Moors National Park is huge.
Our native woodlands, where oak, ash, birch and rowan thrive are rich in wildlife. The ground is carpeted with shade loving plants, insects abound and birdsong fills the air. Woodland clothes many of the valley sides giving the dales landscape a distinctive character.
But here in the North York Moors, it is the new plantation woodlands which dominate the scene… at least in terms of area. The large forests of Dalby, Cropton and Boltby are not only important for timber production but for wildlife and recreation too.
The Moors contain an amazing wealth of archaeological remains of all periods, dating from the end of the last Ice Age – the flint tools and camps of the first hunters – through to the concrete and steel bunkers of the Cold War. There is the largest iron age hill-fort in the North of England, Roman Forts, castles and abbeys, moorland crosses and the remains of important early industrial sites
When you look at the North York Moors, what do you see? Although the moors seem wild and natural, their appearance is entirely the result of human activity.
The evidence of this can be found all around us, if you learn how to read the signs. Each generation has left its own mark, manipulating and managing the land to meet their own needs.
With just a little knowledge, it is possible to look at the countryside and settlements here and imagine what was happening hundreds or thousands of years ago. Some aspects of this story may surprise you, opening up a vision of the past which will change your perception of the present.