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
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.