Walks in the North York Moors

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The North York Moors was designated a National Park in 1952

The North York Moors National Park Has Been designated in 1952. It covers an area of 554 square miles /1, 436 square kilometers and has the largest expanse of heather moor in England and Wales.

The North York Moors National Park stretches from Saltburn in the north to Helmsley in the south, and by the Cleveland Hills in the west on to the north east coast of England.

The North York Moors is best viewed in late summer, when the purple heather covers the large moorland, though autumn also gives some beautiful views as the trees and bracken all begin to change colour.

The moorland plateau offers expansive open views that extend for miles, with river valleys splitting the moors. Some moors are wide and grassy, whilst others are mountainous and narrow.

The North Yorkshire Moors is mostly privately owned by farmers and landowners, with some of the land used for grouse shooting. Sheep and cattle also graze in many of the fields, which are surrounded by drystone walls which are typical for the North York Moors.

Farming is the main industry on the moors, both historical and current, but there has been plenty of industry here over time – including the mining of jet, coal, limestone and iron ore.

The area has been occupied since ancient times, and the area includes ancient burial chambers, standing stones, temples and rock crosses – testament to times gone by.

You can even find evidence of Roman activity on Wheeldale Moor, where a Roman Road which was built in the first century AD runs over a mile long – this road is known as Wade’s Causeway.

There are also ruins of great monastic houses like Rievaulx Abbey, old castles and several fine listed buildings – providing you with plenty of archaeological and historical interest throughout the National Park.

The River Esk is among the main rivers in the North York Moors National park, along which you may find otters, bank voles, kingfishers and dippers – just to name a few of the fantastic wildlife that inhabits the area.

Local attractions also include the North York Moors railway – which is arguably the most famous attraction to the area – it runs between the market town of Pickering and the village of Grosmont – it is one of the earliest train lines in the country.