Tourist Attractions

First-time visitors to Hill Farm Holiday Cottages have commented on the number and variety of places to go and tourist attractions to visit in the North York Moors. The cottages each have a folder giving our guests more detail on these attractions. Here is just a sample of some of the delights of the area.

The North York Moors

The North York Moors National Park contains the largest area of continuous heather moorland in England and Wales, and has the highest proportion of forest of any of the English National Parks. The Park Authority runs 2 visitor centres; Sutton Bank is the larger of the two on the A170 near Thirsk (22 miles); Danby is in the Esk Valley near Castleton (12 miles). The centres have different displays showing the history of and present-day life in the Moors. A number of marked walks originate from them, and guided walks led by a Wildlife Ranger are available at certain times of the year.

The National Park is renowned for its ‘crosses’, often marking the routes taken by monks, pilgrims, etc. between religious houses and between houses and their burial sites. Indeed, ‘Young Ralph’ at the head of Rosedale is the emblem of the Park, and nearby is the well-known ‘Fat Betty’, a monolith that looks nothing like a cross!

View of the Moors from Rosedale Railway Walk
View of the Moors from Rosedale Railway Walk

The Moors are an ideal area for walking, with some spectacular walks starting from our doorstep. Moorland, woodland, riverside, and coastal paths are within easy reach. You can walk on the old Rosedale railway line which transported ironstone, a Roman road on Wheeldale moor, pick up the Lyke Wake Walk, or Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk across the moors.


The moors, woods, and coast teem with wildlife of all kinds. There are bird watching car parks in some of the forests, so you don’t even have to get wet if it rains! The RSPB reserves at Bempton with its dramatic cliffs and sea birds, and Fairburn Ings can make a good day trip. we are only 45 minutes away from the recently-opened reserve at Saltholme on Tees-side. But you don’t have to go that far; we have recorded 39 species of birds just looking out of the window!

The North York Moors National Park Authority run a program of events including wildlife topics throughout the year


Less than an hour away is the medieval city of York, with its ancient walls and magnificent Gothic Minster. You can mix chic city shopping with architectural splendor and numerous visitor attractions. York is the home of world class museums, including the National Railway Museum (entry free). At the Jorvik Centre, soak up the atmosphere of a reconstructed Viking city. You can discover every type of building from Roman baths to a cold-war bunker, or take a leisurely cruise along the river.

York Minster
York Minster

The Coast

The county of North Yorkshire offers the visitor a dramatic and varied coastline. On a visit to our Dinosaur Coast you can discover footprints and fossils from the Jurassic Age, along with quaint fishing villages such as Robin Hoods Bay and Staithes, where you can follow in the footsteps of the smugglers. The picturesque fishing port of Whitby (17 miles), with its famous Abbey is always worth a visit, if only for the fantastic fish and chips!

Scarborough (28 miles) is a traditional ‘bucket and spade’ resort, suitable for the whole family. Nearby Filey is its smaller brother, less brash, and more genteel, with beautiful sweeping sands.

Family Fun

Where do you stop with a category like this? If countryside, stately homes, and ruins are not ‘cool’, how about taking the little ones, and bigger ones to:

  • GO APE Treetop adventure with its exhilarating rope bridges, Tarzan swings, and zip slides up to 40ft up in the trees
  • The SEA LIFE CENTRE at Scarborough to encounter thousands of strange and beautiful creatures from around the globe, from sharks to sea horses, without getting wet!
  • FLAMINGO LAND theme park and zoo, with rides and attractions to suit all ages
  • EDEN CAMP where you can experience the sights, sounds, and even the smells of the World War II years. Constructed in the huts of an original Prisoner of War camp are scenes that transport you back in time, to demonstrate what life was really like during the 2nd World War for civilians and the armed forces.

There are also a number of farm parks in the area, and, of course, the seaside is also a popular day out.

The National Park website has information on other activities, including: