This year saw the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, but her late majesty was not the only one to celebrate a 70-year anniversary. Yorkshire’s very own North York Moors National Park also had its 70th birthday and has been marking the occasion with special events throughout 2022.
This diverse area was the 6th park to be protected in Britain and to this day is one of the most unique and spectacular destinations in the UK. Whether you want to walk coastal cliffs, roam rural countryside, visit viewpoints, or sample local cuisine, the North York Moors has what you’re looking for, making it one of the most popular tourist spots in the county – and the country.
Environmentally-minded travellers will be delighted to learn that the park is highly accessible via public transport with a great rail route running from Leeds to the coast and a number of scenic cycle paths criss-crossing the entirety of the moors. Keen hikers can move from place to place on foot along the Cleveland Way, a 109-mile route that is undoubtedly Yorkshire’s most iconic walk.
Although some of the special events have been and gone, there are a number of experiences running throughout October and November that promise to be memorable for people of all ages. Discover what’s on in the North York Moors National Park this autumn to celebrate 70 years.
Dark Skies Fringe Festival
Did you know that the North York Moors is one of only 19 locations in the world to be awarded the title of International Dark Sky Reserve? This reflects the area’s minimal light pollution which means that, on a clear night, the sky is covered in a carpet of stars. This half-term week, celebrate the beauty of nature with an evening gazing skywards. Head to the corner of Dalby Forest for a guided tour of the night sky, and to try a sensory night-time walk followed by warming drinks and food.
As well as celebrating the stars, this festival also features spectacular illuminations at some of the park’s most historic locations. See Whitby Abbey in all its gothic glory lit up against the dramatic coastal backdrop and visit Pickering Station for a sparkling ride along this heritage railway line.
Threads and Pathways
If you prefer to venture out during the daytime, don’t miss the Threads and Pathways exhibition which celebrates the roots and modern-day achievements of ‘artists village’, Lockton. On 20th October try your hand at forging a hook using traditional blacksmithing techniques (booking advised). Keen painters will also enjoy browsing the work of Farndale artist Pauline Brown who creates bold interpretations of the changing colours and moods of the moors throughout the year.
Breath of Fresh Air
Last but certainly not least, show your appreciation for this glorious area on our doorstep simply by getting out and about in the moors. Free guided walks along some of the most picturesque and popular routes are available on various dates up to the 6th November, or you can explore the park independently on the well-marked trails that can cater to all physical abilities.