Adventurous families head for Dalby Forest to explore miles of footpaths, world-class bike trails and Go Ape! high ropes course amid the trees. If that’s not enough excitement, Flamingo Land also awaits, a theme park and zoo where the highest and wildest rides look out over the encroaching moors. Or head to the National Park coast, for surfing, stand-up paddle-boarding and kayaking.
Get to the heart of things at the free-to-visit National Park Centres at Danby and Sutton Bank. The Moors Centre at Danby is a former shooting lodge in an idyllic location on the banks of the River Esk, while at Sutton Bank, near Thirsk, you can soak up the view described as the ‘finest in England’. Add family trails, children’s events in every school holiday, adventure play areas, special events, and bike rental at Sutton Bank from Sutton Bank Bikes – it all adds up to a great family day out.
Ferret roulette, sheepdog trials, jam-making competitions and vintage tractors – you’ll find all this and more at the local shows, which are a traditional highlight of the summer calendar in the North York Moors. Indulge your inner Dr Doolittle and cuddle a pooch, stroke a calf, admire a prize pig or marvel at the horned cattle. Prizes and rosettes are awarded all day in the different livestock classes, and you’ll be able to see dogs, ponies and horses put through their paces by proud owners.
Take a trip back in time on the world’s most popular heritage railway, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which winds through the North York Moors from Pickering to the sea at Whitby via the rail village of Grosmont. Heritage steam and diesel trains with vintage carriages rattle through yesteryear stations (including Goathland, or Hogsmeade, Harry Potter fans!), and whether you want to just wave out of the window or go for a countryside picnic, there’s no better way to see the sights.