North Yorkshire has beaches that rival the south – here are the best places to visit this summer
Robin Hood’s Bay (known locally as Baytown) lies south of Whitby, then comes the arguably prettier Staithes, with its seagull-screaming cliffs, piles of lobster cages and colorful boats with alluring names like ‘Gypsy Rose’ and ‘Sweet Promise’. It’s here, as I sat perched on the wobbly cobblestones outside Dotty’s tea room – with its vintage china and huge freshly baked scones – at the end From my trip I felt warm and satisfied enough to take off my two coats. Southern beaches may have all the love, but North Yorkshire beaches have soul.
20 things to do in North Yorkshire this summer
1. The gentle moors
If your only moorland experience so far has been the Pennine Highlands or the Bare Hump of Dartmoor, then the Cleveland Way invites you. This 109-mile horseshoe-shaped national trail traverses some of the most attractive sections of the North York Moors National Park. Its starting and ending points – the historic market town of Helmsley and the coast of Filey – are linked by Rievaulx Abbey, Kilburn White Horse, Mount Grace Priory House and Gardens, Gisborough Priory , Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle. The route follows ancient cattle paths and coastal paths used by pilgrims (yes, saints as well as vampires have come this way), and while the boulder fields and rocky coves are impressive, these are the rolling expanses of heather – which bloom from mid to late summer – which make the Path so special.
2. Cunning in nature
Thirteen hiking trails, six cycle paths and four cycle paths open up this magnificent forest at Thornton-le-Dale near Pickering, where glaciation has left a unique landscape of “rigg and dale” to the south, while the northern part lies on a mountainous plateau. During the summer, Dalby Forest is an outdoor exhibition space for the arts and crafts of famous sculptors, stained glass windows, photographers, musicians and other artists.
3. The romanticism of the rail
The 18-mile North Yorkshire Moors Railway, from Grosmont to Pickering, again offers Pullman coach lunches, afternoon teas and onboard dinners. Opened in 1836 and built by George Stephenson, the Heritage Line traverses beautiful countryside and operates a range of lovingly restored and maintained diesel and steam locomotives; on services other than catering, you can choose between multi-stop trips and scheduled return trips. Passengers can combine the ride with a stay in an old station house or in an adapted horse-drawn carriage. Adult hop on / off ticket from £ 30. Pullman evening meal, £ 149 for a table for two (the journey takes 2h45).