Top Things to See in the North York Moors

09 June 2023 by Rachel Wilson

Top Things to See in the North York Moors

The North York Moors is a vast National Park located in upland northeast Yorkshire which is steeped in history and heritage. From ruins, monasteries and coastal villages, we’ve picked our favourite sights to see in the area.

The Kilburn White Horse

The Kilburn White Horse is a hill figure cut into the hillside on Roulston Scar near Kilburn and is 318ft long by 228ft high and covers about 1.6 acres. It was designed and financed by Thomas Taylor, a Victorian businessman, and was cut in 1857 by volunteers. A native of Kilburn, he worked for a London merchant and had seen the famous chalk hill figures of southern England and wanted to create something similar for his home village. It’s also free to visit!

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey watercolour by Barry Claughton from the Northern Watercolours range

Rievaulx Abbey is a Cistercian abbey near Helmsley and was one of the great abbeys before it was seized in 1538 by Henry VIII. However, its atmospheric ruins are still beautiful and set in a tranquil location which can be accessed on foot from Helmsley itself. It’s probably one of the best-preserved abbeys in England, so it’s definitely worth exploring.

Helmsley Castle

Located in the centre of the picturesque town of Helmsley, Helmsley Castle is not one to miss in the North York Moors. It towers over the town and has a wealth of history dating back to the early 12th century. It was built by Walter Espec who also founded nearby Rievaulx Abbey. The castle boasts impressive 13th century barbican gates, a dry moat and the partially ruined east tower is the most striking part of the castle. It is also said that Helmsley Castle is haunted!

Robin Hood’s Bay

Robin Hood’s Bay is a small fishing village just a stone’s throw from the bigger towns of Whitby and Scarborough. The winding, higgledy-piggledy passageways in between the cute fisherman’s cottages were made for smuggling in the 18th century with contraband being able to be moved from the dock to the top of the town without anybody seeing. Nowadays it’s a picture perfect location with plenty of shops, cafes and pubs. Check out our comprehensive Travel Guide here.

Visitor's North York Moors Lap Map

Have you been to the North York Moors? Grab a Lap Map to help plan your visit. See our full product range here.

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