Top 10 Best Facts about North Yorkshire Moors

The North York Moors is an upland area in north-eastern Yorkshire in England. It contains one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom. Heather is the sole species of Calluna in the flowering plant family.

1. North Yorkshire was designated as a national park in 1952.

Through the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949, North Yorkshire Moors area was designated as a National Park in 1952.

It covers an area of 1,430 km2 and has a total population of 23,380.  It is currently being administered by the North York Moors National Park Authority, whose head office is based in Helmsley town.

2. Its area is well defined by impressive cliffs

Image by Lockolad from Pixabay

To every side of the park, there are impressive cliffs that clearly define it. To the East, there is theNorth Sea coast.

Then the northern and western boundaries are defined by the steep slopes of the Cleveland Hills that edge the Tees lowlands and the Hambleton Hills above the Vale of Mowbray.

To the south side, lies the broken line of the Tabular Hills and the Vale of Pickering.

3. There are four roads that cross the North Yorkshire Moors

One of the roads at yorkshire moors- Author; John S Turner- Wikimedia

From  North to South, there are four roads that cross the North Yorkshire Moors. In the East, the A171 road joins Whitby and Scarborough.

Further, there’s the A169 that runs between Pickering and Whitby. A minor road departs from the A170 at Keldholme and passes through Castleton before joining the A171 that connects Whitby and Guisborough.

The B1257 connects Helmsley to Stokesley. The A170 from Thirsk to Scarborough marks the southern boundary of the North York Moors area.

The Esk Valley Line is an east-west branch line rail link from Whitby to Middlesbrough in the north, and the North Yorkshire Moors steam railway runs from Pickering to Grosmont with a link to Whitby.

4. There are public transport services within North Yorkshire Moors

Author; John5199- Wikimedia

Public transport within the North York Moors includes a number of bus services. There is Yorkshire Coastliner route 840 which runs from Whitby to Pickering (and continues to York and Leeds).

There is also  Arriva North East routes X93 and X94 that run from Scarborough to Middlesbrough via Whitby and Guisborough,.

Arriva North East route 95 runs from Whitby to Lealholm along the Esk Valley. There is also East Yorkshire route 128 that connects Scarborough and Helmsley.

On weekends during the summer, all these are complemented by Moorsbus services, that run from local urban centres into more remote parts of the national park which are difficult to access without private transport.

Many of these routes across the North York Moors are noted for their beauty. For instance, the 840 was declared Britain’s most scenic bus route by Bus Users UK while the X93 was the tenth most scenic.

5. Has a moorland Plateau

Moorland Plateau- Author; Eric Jones- Wikimedia

In addition to it being scenic and beautiful, The North Yorkshire Moors also consist of a moorland plateau that is dissected by a number of deep valleys containing cultivated land or woodland.

The largest valley in the moor is Eskdale. This is the valley of the River Esk which flows from west to east and empties into the North Sea at Whitby.

The Cleveland Hills rise north of Eskdale and at the western end of Eskdale, the valley divides into three smaller dales, Westerdale,Baysdale and Commondale.

On their south side, the moorland is incised by a series of valleys that drain into tributaries of the River Derwent.

6. A large part of North Yorkshire is under woodland cover

Image by Chris Williams from Pixabay

About 23 per cent of the North York Moors is under woodland cover (mostly located to the southwest and southeast). This is equivalent to more than 300 square kilometres of trees. It is home to the largest concentration of ancient and veteran trees in northern England.

The Derwent crosses the Vale of Pickering flowing westwards, turns southwards at Malton and flows through the eastern part of the Vale of York before emptying into the River Ouse at Barmby on the Marsh.

7. Has warm summers and mild winters


Summer nature- Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

As part of the United Kingdom, the North York Moors area generally has warm summers and relatively mild winters. Weather conditions vary from day to day as well as from season to season.

The climate of the area means that it is influenced by predominantly westerly winds with depressions and their associated fronts, thus bringing with them unsettled and windy weather, particularly in winter.

Air temperature varies on a daily and seasonal basis and the temperature is usually lower at night and January is the coldest time of the year.

The two dominant influences on the climate of the North York Moors are the shelter against the worst of the moist westerly winds provided by the Pennines and the proximity of the North Sea.

Chilly springs and warm summers are a feature of the area, but it often experiences autumn weather too.

8. North Yorkshire gets more snow compared to other parts of the country

Yorkshire snowfall- Photo by Andy Carne on Unsplash

Snowfall is variable from year to year, but the area gets much more snow on average than other parts of the country.

Heavy falls are usually associated with northeasterly winds off the North Sea. Roads over the high moorland areas are quite prone to snow due to the exposed nature of the terrain.

9. There are over 700  monuments within North Yorkshire Moors

One of the monuments at Yorkshire- Author; Peter- Wikimedia

Within the area of North Yorkshire Moors, there are over 700 Scheduled Monuments and around 3,000 listed buildings.Many of these monuments can be found in the National Park.

10. North Yorkshire Moors has also boundary stones and ancient crosses

Lilla Cross at North Yorkshire Moors- Author; ChrisJR Mason- Wikimedia

In North Yorkshire Moors, there are about 1,500 boundary stones and crosses. This is inclusive of Lilla Cross, one of the oldest Christian monuments in England that dates back to 626 AD.


North Yorkshire Moors remains to be a spectacular place to visit. Its serenity and ambience is always mind blowing.