Let the stones speak

Wander among the ruins of ravishing Rievaulx, beautiful Byland or magnificent Mount Grace Priory, where medieval monks built abbeys – and business empires – as rich as any in Europe. Tucked away behind the towering ruins of Helmsley Castle, the mid-18th century Helmsley Walled Garden has been lovingly restored. On the moors and in the valleys, walkers rest their heads on grassy humps and bumps, all that now remain of ancient forts, burial mounds, farm enclosures and ironstone mining villages. Faith and spirituality found a cradle in the quiet of the North York Moors from the unusual stone crypt at Lastingham to the 37 moorland crosses dotted around the landscape. History is talking in the North York Moors – all you have to do is listen.

Investigating the past

Curate your own museum trail by delving into the history of the North York Moors. Start at the open-air Ryedale Folk Museum in the pretty moorland village of Hutton le Hole, and Pickering’s Beck Isle Museum, which shine a fascinating light on the way people once lived. Follow the remarkable navigator Captain James Cook, from schoolboy in Great Ayton to the start of his maritime career in Whitby. And relive the heroism and daily life of World War II at Malton’s Eden Camp.

Myths and legends

The huge natural amphitheatre of the Hole of Horcum was formed by spring water sapping away the hillside - or by a giant scooping out the earth to throw at his wife. The same giant built a road across Wheeldale Moor (or perhaps it was the Romans?), while if your beach towel goes missing at Boggle Hole, near Robin Hood’s Bay, could it be a mischievous cave-dwelling Hob to blame? One thing’s for certain - you’re sure to find a tale or two in the North York Moors, where the landscape meets lore and legend head on.

Heritage & Hidden Valleys in the North York Moors National Park