National Parks in UK are protected areas of beautiful countryside dotted with quaint villages and amazing pit stops to breathe-in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Ranked by the Lonely Planet as the best route in the North , and frankly am not surprised
The North York Moors National Park is one of the 15 National Parks in the UK and boasts of a stunning 26-mile coastline to explore right from merlins to minke whales ! A very accessible path, right in the heart of UK, the Cleveland Way National Trail is the crowning jewel. A 109 miles long trail, it is full of loop walks, is family friendly and easy for newcomers. We donned on our shorts and walking shoes, while kept our jackets and raincoats handy (British weather I tell you). As a rule, always carry a change of clothes while on a road trip, you never know where you may find a lake!
We entered the National Park from the Sutton Bank side and soaked in the amazing view en-route to the abandoned Rievaulx Abbey on the banks of River Rye. The National Park Visitor Centre is a good place to find out what all activities are going on inside the park, brochures and maps to guide you, and their lovely cafes to start with a nice cuppa. For reference I have attached our route map at the end of the post.
Next stop was Thirsk which houses the famous museum : The World of James Herriot. All along the route, you can stop by the road and walk through the countryside alongside many ardent trekkers.
“Sutton Bank has the finest view in England”
Make sure you halt at the Sutton Bank Visitor Centre and at the beginning of the trail, take a moment to appreciate the beautiful countryside .
Hutton-le-Hole is another hidden treasure of the moorland, with its beautiful little cottages and symmetrical architecture, the place is right out of an Enid Blyton’s novel!
As we moved further inside the park, the moors became more picturesque and the drive became more enjoyable than the destinations planned ahead. The North East lap of the park has been rated as #4 in the “50 greatest drives in UK” list, and gave us all the more reason to skip the peripheral villages .
The Victorian-era seaside town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea was our next stop, where we explored the breathtaking blue hues of the beach, the elegant pier and those windmill farms!
Saltburn itself requires a whole day to explore and and enjoy their hospitality. Do stop by the countless stores selling soft serves in flavours that’ll blow your mind !
En-route to Whitby, we took a few noteworthy stops at Staithes and the Runswick Bay. Staithes is a historical fishing village under some of the highest cliffs of the English east coast. Fellow Yorkie, legendary Captain Cook (believed to have discovered New Zealand and Australia) had settled along this very coast while pursuing his career in Royal Navy.
Whitby is the most bustling town on this side of the coast, with a swing bridge connecting the two portions of the city over the River Esk and this touch-n-go visit of ours didn’t do justice to the town. And, the fish and chips are a must must must have if you are in a seaside town! A definite pit-stop along the coast is the Robinhood’s Bay, with its delightful red-roofed cottages, sandy bay and Jurassic-era fossils
" Whitby Abbey "
It is a wonderfully evocative abbey ruin, standing majestically over a cliff overlooking the coastal town.
ur final destination on this trip was Scarborough which in itself could take a whole day to cover – Rotunda Museum, Sea-life Sactuary and Peasholm Park, to name a few. Studded with penny arcades along the coastline, this town is bound to be a hit with the children. As a suggestion, try a weekend trip to Whitby – Scarborough – Filey to truly appreciate the beautiful seaside and cultural heritage of the towns.
The historic ruins of the castle gave me a Game of Thrones feel, while a 360o view of the city from one of the spots, really made the climb worthwhile.
Here’s the route which we followed and recommend:
Has it been 12 hours already ? Urghhh, I cant even feel my legs!