A slow stay­ca­tion

Es­cape the day-to-day and take time out for your­self with a visit to the cap­ti­vat­ing North York Moors Na­tional Park

Country Living (UK) - - RURAL BUSINESS - For more in­spi­ra­tion and to book your break, visit nor­thy­ork­moors.org.uk/time­foryou

The pace of life to­day can be over­whelm­ing, so shut­ting down your lap­top, switch­ing off your phone and sim­ply say­ing no to con­stant con­nec­tiv­ity of­ten comes as a wel­come breath of fresh air. A cou­ple of days’ respite from the rou­tine al­ways feels lib­er­at­ing – and with the North York Moors Na­tional Park, right in the heart of the UK, you don’t even need to pack your pass­port to ben­e­fit from a calm­ing, restora­tive break.

Com­pris­ing more than 500 square miles of breath­tak­ing nat­u­ral beauty, with rugged coast­line and mag­i­cal moor­lands sit­ting side by side with an­cient wood­land and idyl­lic vil­lages, the Na­tional Park has plenty to of­fer the trav­eller in need of some re­ju­ve­nat­ing time out. While the famed flow­er­ing heather moor­land draws crowds in sum­mer, off-sea­son is when you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence the very best of the re­gion and dis­cover in­trigu­ing new places at your leisure.

Head to the an­cient Gar­butt Wood in early spring to wan­der through car­pets of blue­bells and wood anemones, spot the elu­sive hawfinch in Dun­combe Park Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve, or fol­low the ge­o­log­i­cal trail at Forge Val­ley Woods to un­cover its Juras­sic his­tory. Savour glo­ri­ous coastal views as you fol­low the Cleve­land Way Na­tional Trail from Runswick Bay to Boulby Cliffs, or pay a visit to the at­mo­spheric sea­side town of Whitby for fish and chips, then climb the 199 steps to its fa­mous abbey ru­ins.

Take time to me­an­der through tra­di­tional stone-built vil­lages and mar­ket towns, see­ing for your­self the cen­turies-old prac­tice of glass-mak­ing at Stephen Gil­lies and Kate Jones’ work­shop in Rosedale. Or sam­ple the de­lights of York­shire’s food cap­i­tal, Mal­ton, its wel­com­ing tea­rooms, cosy pubs and in­de­pen­dent ar­ti­san delis a world away from ho­mo­ge­neous high streets.

The North York Moors are a sub­lime slice of English her­itage, a trea­sured land­scape – and a re­minder that some­times all you re­ally need to do is slow down and soak up the magic right on your doorstep.

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