Behind the Scenes : Places I like to visit in the National Park

Behind the Scenes : Places I like to visit in the National Park

I live in a village that straddles the boundary of the North York Moors National Park. Within a half mile walk from my house, I am in the park. 

National Parks are slightly different in the UK than they are in the States. In the States, you pay an entrance fee and they are owned and managed by the government. In the UK, people live and work in the “living landscape” of the park boundaries. There are no entry fees to cross the border, and while the National Park Authorities own small pieces of land within the park, they act more as planning and conservation authorities, and most of the land is privately owned. 

The North York Moors National Park covers an area of about 554 square miles, but only has a population of around 24,000. That means there is a lot of open space and not many people to run into. 

My favourite places to go in the park tend to fall in the open space-gorgeous views-few people categories. When people visit, I try to take them to these places. 

1. The coast between Runswick Bay and Staithes – The views, the cliffs, the undulating hills, the walking path that takes you along the tops of the cliffs, the wind, the changing colours of the North Sea, enough said. 

Image of the coast of North Yorkshire, near Runswick Bay, showing the cliffs and the blue sea

Image of the green rolling hills on the footpath between Runswick Bay and Staithes, against the background of the blue sea

2. The open moorland – Especially in August, when the heather is blooming and the landscape takes on a purple hue. The walking is perfect and it is rare to see another person.

Image of the North York Moors, with the purple heather in bloom
Close up of the blooming purple heather in the North York Moors
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