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North East - North York Moors & Coast

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in north east england

North York Moors National Park and Coast

1. Whitby Abbey

High on a cliff above the seaside town of Whitby are the gaunt, imposing remains of Whitby Abbey, one of England’s most important archaeological sites. Founded in 657 by St Hilda, Whitby Abbey has over the years been a bustling settlement, a kings’ burial place, a historic meeting place for Celtic and Roman clerics, the home of saints, and inspiration for Bram Stoker, author of Dracula. At the interactive visitor centre your family can interrogate personalities from the past – including Dracula!

2. The North York Moors Railway

Take a steam train through the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors, stopping off at the different towns and villages en-route to sample local food and drink. There’s a variety of walks and attractions along the line including Goathland, an attractive village set in open moorland, which doubled as “Hogsmead” station in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Not far from the village is Mallyan Spout, a seventy foot high waterfall.

3. Ryedale Folk Museum

Ryedale Folk Museum consists of an entire Yorkshire village part converted to a living museum. It's a mixture of nostalgia, fact, folklore and handicrafts. With 32 different buildings in all, from an iron age settlement to a chemists, there's lots to keep a family interested for the day. Children can follow the "Elphi Trail," where they can discover more about local wildlife and habitats. There's also a Victorian schoolroom, a blacksmith's forge and a wash house and dairy.

4. Duncombe Park

Duncombe Park was first completed in 1713 and rebuilt in 1895 after the building was nearly destroyed by fire. It stands in a commanding location above deeply incised meanders of the River Rye, near Helmsley. Explore grand rooms filled with examples of superb craftsmanship and treasures collected over centuries. The garden is spectacular and you can walk, picnic and play here and in the surrounding park. The adventure playground is great for kids, and there is a shop and restaurant.

5. Rievaulx Abbey Terrace and Temples

Rievaulx Abbey Terrace and Temples are one of Yorkshire's finest 18th-century landscape gardens, consisting of two classical Georgian temples set on an elevated grass terrace, with stunning vistas over the Ryedale Valley and Rievaulx Abbey far below There are exquisite ceiling paintings depicting mythological scenes, a landscaped garden with fantastic spring flowers and childrens trails and activities.

6. The Cleveland Way

Enjoy the North York Moors and Coast on this spectacular 109 mile (176 km) route which takes in the rugged coastline bordering the North Sea. The route starts from the attractive market town of Helmsley and heads accross the heather of the North York Moors before reaching the coast at Saltburn. From here it's a visual treat along the North Yorkshire coastline to Filey, passing old fishing villages and coastal towns. There's a wealth of history to enjoy, and plently of accomodation and pubs.

7. The Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby

The Captain Cook Memorial Museum is located in the 17th century house on Whitby’s harbour where the young James Cook lodged as apprentice. It was here that Cook trained as a seaman, leading to his voyages of discovery. As well as serving in the Navy, James Cook made three epic voyages, circimnavigating and charting New Zealand and the east coast of Australia; making the first crossing of the Antactice circle, and the search for the north west passage through the Bering Strait.

8. Scarborough

Scarborough has been welcoming visitors for over 360 years and is still as popular as ever. Perhaps it's most famous landmark is The Grand Hotel. Built in 1867 it has served the town since it's Victorian heyday and has recently been refurbished to a high standard. There's great sandy beach where you can enjoy fish and chips and donkey rides. Scarborough also offers attractions such as the award winning Sea Life Marine Sanctuary, Kinderland children’s fun park and Scarborough Art Gallery.

9. Helmsley Castle

Surrounded by spectacular banks and ditches stand the impressive medieval ruins of Helmsley Castle. The castle has recently undergone a makeover, making it more accessible to a wide range of visitors. There's a new visitor centre providing tourist information, an audio tour, and a hands-on exhibition in the mansion range. Displaying a fascinating array of finds from Civil War cannon balls to early tableware, this exhibition explores the social, domestic and military aspects of the fortress.

10. Goathland and Mallyan Spout Waterfall

Goathland is a highly attractive village set in open moorland. If it seems familiar its because it’s widely known as “Aidensfield” the fictional village of at the centre of the Heartbeat TV series, while the station doubled as “Hogsmeade” in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Goathland is a joy to wander around, with signposts pointing you to Mallyan Spout, a seventy-foot-high waterfall. A mile away is Beck Hole, an idyllic hamlet focused on the Birch Hall Inn, a rural pub doubling as a sweet shop and store, serving great slabs of sandwiches with local ham and home-baked pies.
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