The North York Moors is a mystical part of God’s Own Country. As well as being a Dark Skies Reserve, it’s home to some of the most idyllic villages and towns. We love pottering around North York Moors villages, whether it’s to find a quaint village pub or to be whisked back in time surrounded by thatched stone cottages and babbling brooks running through the centre. Here’s our guide to some of the most idyllic places to explore this winter.
The picturesque village of Hutton-le-Hole is one of the most popular places to visit in the North York Moors. It is found in a natural hollow, hence the village’s name and you can enjoy the views over the lush village’s green, with the stream running through it. It’s a popular spot for avid photographers and walkers to visit, and once you visit, it’s easy to see why.
Think thatched roofs and quaint old stone cottages. Found near Helmsley in the Ryedale region of the North York Moors National Park, the village is found in the once inner court of the ancient Rievaulx Abbey. It is full of amazing things to see – including an old watermill, where the mill wheel has now been converted into a gorgeous house. The cottages and the abbey, however, are our highlights.
Probably one of the most famous villages in Yorkshire, Thornton le Dale is a chocolate box village full of thatched cottages and babbling brooks. The picturesque village is visited by thousands of tourists every year and can be found just east of the market town of Pickering. There are lots of woodland walks surrounding the village to enjoy, as well as moorland to the north. But it’s Beck Isle Cottage that really pulls in the visitors, with crowds regularly spotted in front of it clambering to get a photo.
Most famously used as the backdrop for the popular drama series Heartbeat, and the train station in Harry Potter, Goathland has been bringing in visitors long before TV existed. And it’s easy to see why. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery perfect for walkers as well as being home to quaint stone houses – and it feels like it hasn’t been touched by time. There’s a real nostalgic vibe to this place.
The moorland village of Danby is a beautiful bustling village on the south-facing slopes of Danby Low Moor. It’s found along the scenic Esk Valley Railway route and is a great day trip. Danby is also home to The Moors National Park Centre, which is found in a former hunting lodge along the banks of the River Esk alongside some amazing scenery.
6. Runswick Bay
First of the iconic coastal villages on the list, Runswick Bay is just a few miles from Whitby and is home to beautiful sandy beaches making it a popular tourist spot. The charming red-roofed fishing village has breathtaking sea views and is a great place for rock pooling, fossil hunting and coastal walks, where you can admire the breathtakingly stunning sea views.
This elegant village is found isolated in the moorlands that overlook Newton Dale. It is close to the dramatic Hole of Horcum, which is sometimes known as Yorkshire’s answer to the Grand Canyon. Popular amongst walkers Levisham Moor overlooks the impressive Hole of Horcum, and is popular amongst walkers. Levisham also has a beautiful train station, watermill, and church that are worth a visit as well as the long wide village green.
The fishing village of Staithes is one of the more popular destinations along the Yorkshire coast, and it is easy to see why. As you approach the village from the cliffs, you get a beautiful view of the red-roofed cottages. It is found along the Cleveland Way, which is a popular route with walkers. The fishing village is made up of a labyrinth of cobbled streets, which are perfect for pottering around.
Just down from Whitby, Flyingdales is a small inland village not too far from Robin Hoods Bay – boasting a beautiful abbey and its well-known Fylingdales RAF base.