We love being located in nature’s showcase known as the North York Moors National Park.

Beautifully sweeping panoramas, acres of ancient woodland, star clustered dark skies, stunning abbeys, unique wildlife and a wonderful feeling of remoteness.  The North York Moors National Park includes all this and one of the most unique landscapes on the planet – heather moorland.  In the heart of the national park you’ll find one of the largest continuous expanses of moorland in the UK.  Home to red grouse, curlew, merlin and golden plover, this protected area hides ancient stone crosses and an abundance of magical footpaths.

Don’t forget to check out – What’s On

We love being located in nature’s showcase known as the North York Moors National Park.

Beautifully sweeping panoramas, acres of ancient woodland, star clustered dark skies, stunning abbeys, unique wildlife and a wonderful feeling of remoteness.  The North York Moors National Park includes all this and one of the most unique landscapes on the planet – heather moorland.  In the heart of the national park you’ll find one of the largest continuous expanses of moorland in the UK.  Home to red grouse, curlew, merlin and golden plover, this protected area hides ancient stone crosses and an abundance of magical footpaths.

Don’t forget to check out – What’s On

Heather and moorland plants

Heather dominates the North York Moors National Park and provides a valuable habitat for rare birds and plants.  It truly is a rare habitat as there is less heather moorland worldwide then tropical rain forest.  Approximately seventy percent of the world’s heather is in the UK, and the largest expanse is right here on our doorstep, in the North York Moors.

This is a beautifully wild landscape as during August and early September the heather is in full bloom.  Discover mile after mile of purple flowers as the air is full of its wonderful smell.

Alongside heather you’ll come across an abundance of other flora including crowberry, wavy hair grass and common cotton grass.  Whilst hidden under bracken hides juniper and bog rosemary.

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Red grouse (Credit to Mike Nicholas)

Birdlife and fauna

From red grouse and short-eared owl to skylark and snipe the moors offers a valuable habitat and breeding ground for birds. The pretty little Merlin, a type of falcon and the UK’s smallest raptor, prefers open moorland for hunting.  Whilst red grouse you’re more likely to hear before you see them due their distinct of ’Go back! Go back! Go back’ call.  This plump dark brown bird flies fast and low above the heather and is native to Britain. Look out for the curlew a large, elegant, wading bird, with long grey legs to help keep its body dry as it paddles through water. It has an unmissable long beak which curves downwards.  Other moorland species include lapwing, skylark and short-eared owls.  Keep your eyes peeled on your adventures for butterflies, badgers, lizards, deer, squirrels, rabbits and mice.  Whilst the shy otter and water vole lives on rivers throughout the North York Moors National Park.

Woodland

The North York Moors is one of the most forested national parks in England and strolling through ancient woodland is always a magical experience.  You don’t have to walk far to be surrounded by oak, ash, birch and rowan whilst shrubs, such as hazel and hawthorn, are an important part of the eco system.  The magnificent forests of Dalby, Cropton and Boltby are not only important for timber production, but they also have a rich variety of wildlife too.  Ancient woodland provides a valuable habitat for squirrels and birds which shelter, feed or nest in the canopy.  Whilst walking keep your eyes peeled for mosses, lichens, algae and insects which live on bark.  Whilst tiny acorns feed all sorts of animals from deer, squirrels and rabbits to mice and birds.

Castle Howard's wonderful bluebell woods