We are extremely proud to have been supported by the North York Moors National Park’s grant scheme and have been awarded Friendly accreditation in all four of their unique categories.  This means we have joined a very special list of only a handful of accommodation that has all four accreditations.  Our extra facilities include a drying room, secure bike storage, binoculars, camping chairs, tools, maps, books, flasks for hot drinks, head torches with eye protecting red lights, a Belfast sink for washing bikes, boots and paws plus a wealth of knowledge and passion for North Yorkshire.

Walking Friendly

Walking Friendly

We are walkers ourselves so we know the North York Moors National Park is one of the most unique landscapes in the UK to walk.  As Walking Friendly accommodation, we like to make it as easy as possible for you to plan and make the most of your walking stay in Helmsley.  Our Walk Local page has links to a wide variety of lovely walks, including Beck Dale, Ash Dale and Riccal Dale that can be started from our front door.

We also welcome long distance walkers and Walkers of the National Trails.

You’ll find our trusty Belfast sink, for washing muddy boots and shoes, in the car park next to the drying room. Whilst our drying room will ensure your kit is ready to go whatever the season.  We’ll happily loan you a map, or a printed route to follow, and if you’re on Strava check out Carlton Lodge Helmsley and follow one of our tried and tested Strava routes.


Dark Skies Friendly

Dark Skies Friendly

Why not pack your camping chairs, warm clothing, a couple of torches and your binoculars as the North York Moors National Park is one of the best places to enjoy a Dark Skies Experience. Carlton Lodge has a number of superb locations close by where you can relax and see around 2000 stars at any one time.

Nearby Sutton Bank is only a 15 minute drive away and a spectacular place to star gaze.  Whilst Baxton’s Sprunt is a wonderful viewpoint, only 3 miles from us, where you can surround yourself by moorland, and listen to the grouse, whilst looking up at an amazing night sky.

Our recommended packing list, and favourite astronomy Apps, if you’re coming for some spectacular Star Gazing:

Camping chair         Warm clothing          Binoculars         Head torch (with a red-light to protect everyone’s eyes)

Sky View – brings stargazing to everyone as you simply point your iPhone, iPad, or iPod at the sky to identify stars, constellations, satellites, and more.

Sky and Telegraph – published every Friday. Provides simple sky maps and observing tips for the upcoming week and keeps you up to date on the latest celestial events.

Royal Museums Greenwich – find out when the next meteor shower is.  This site tells you the best times to see shooting stars and how to look for them.

As Dark Skies Friendly accommodation we try and make it as easy as possible for you plan and make the most of your stay in a dark skies area.   We aim to go that extra mile by offering equipment, advice and information on activities and facilities for star gazing in the North York Moors National Park.  We even have a number of camping chairs (with cup holders), binoculars, warm blankets and flasks for hot drinks that you can borrow at no extra cost whilst staying with us.  This means you can relax and keep warm whilst looking at the stars.

The North York Moors National Park 2022 Dark Skies Festival is an annual event that’s not to be missed.  The festival runs for a superb 17 days during February and, since 2016, has become a firm favourite on the calendar.  It’s a time when the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and South Downs National Park Authorities all celebrate the jewels of the night sky together.  To find out about all the events, head to the Dark Skies Festival page for an idea of what’s on offer.

Cycling Friendly

Cycling Friendly

As a Cycling Friendly bed and breakfast, and enthusiastic cyclists ourselves, we do our best to look after our guests on two wheels.  We offer secure storage for your bikes plus plenty of tools, with a portable work bench, if you need one.  We’ve inner tubes and cleaning products for sale plus an outside wash facility.  You’ll also be able to find us on Strava and follow some of our own tried and tested cycling routes. Plus, during the winter months you can always make use of our drying room if you get caught in an expected shower.

Why not have a look at some of the North York Moors National Park recommended routes for a fabulous day out.  One of our favourites is the spectacular Bransdale Loop which takes you through the heart of the North York Moors.  This spectacular hilly route offers everything you’d expect from the moors – breath-taking views, hills, excellent tarmac and a real sense of cycling wildness.  Alternatively the Nunnington Hall and Castle Howard loop can be started from us if you don’t mind an extra few miles.


For mountain biking lovers we have two fantastic locations close by – Sutton Bank and Dalby Forest.   Sutton Bank is not only home to incredible views but is family friendly too.  Here you’ll find fantastic cycling ‘on top of the world’, at Sutton Bank’s stunning escarpment location. The trails are a combination of natural and man-made tracks and are similar to those found in a purpose-built trail centre.

Dalby Forest lies on the southern slopes of the National Park and is one of the best places in Britain for off-road biking.  Here you’ll find over 70km of cycle trails snaking across 8,000 acres – up hill, down dale, through the forest and across the moorland plateau.   Dalby Forest has separate routes for children, families and experienced mountain-bikers.  There’s a Forestry England Visitor Centre, Dalby Forest Cycle Hub offering bikes hire, and cafés at Low Dalby.

Nature Friendly

Nature Friendly

The North York Moors National Park is one of the best places in the country to enjoy nature so don’t forget to pack your binoculars. Here you can experience wildflower meadows, forest wildlife and the magnificent flora and fauna of the moors.  As a Nature Friendly bed and breakfast, we do our best to help you plan and make the most of your stay.  We’ve maps and binoculars for you to borrow plus camping chairs, fleece blankets and flasks for hot drinks.

Our recommended packing list if you’re a Nature lover.  

Camping chair         Warm clothing          Binoculars         Head torch (with a red-light to protect everyone’s eyes)


The national park has its own a conservation blog and a year round nature calendar.

Have a look at Fur, Feather and Fin which lists the best Apps for wildlife viewing.

Our Nature Spotting Big 5

  • Our garden – with 58 roses, lavender bushes and plenty of shrubs the garden of Carlton Lodge attracts a rich variety of birds, butterflies and bees.
  • Baxton’s Sprunt viewpoint – is a mere 3 miles from us and one of the most tranquil places to sit back, relax and take in the views. It’s a great place, whilst surrounded by moorland, to see curlew and hear the famous call of the Grouse.
  • Sutton Bank Visitor’s Centre – has a bird bistro which is a lovely place to spot finches and tits plus a rich variety of smaller birds.  It’s also a great place to see birds of prey soaring.
  • Dalby Forest – is a 30 min drive from Helmsley and one of the most beautiful forests in the UK. Home to badgers, deer and a rich variety of bird life plus acres of beautiful forest.
  • Duncombe Park – a 10 to 15 min walk from our door is a beautiful green oasis that has been a park since medieval times. Some of the trees here are more than half a millennium old.  Look out for limes which are over 1,000 years old and the park is home to the tallest lime tree in Britain.  Keep your eyes open for kingfisher, grey wagtail and dipper along the river and you can spot woodpeckers, nuthatch and hawfinch in the woodland.