Whitby. © S Fowler, Flickr
Castle Howard. © HarshLight, Flickr
Flamingo Land. © J. Thompson, Flickr
Dalby Forest Trail. © T. E. Baldwin, Flickr

North York Moors Attractions

Surprise View Cottages are on the southern edge of the North York Moors National Park,  within easy reach of Scarborough, Whitby, York and Thirsk.  They are in the centre of one of the most beautiful areas in the North of England- you are literally on the edge of the Moors which are renowned for  panoramic scenery and are now one of the largest area of SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) -rolling hills, steep escarpments, hidden villages, forests, abundant wildlife and wide-open spaces make this a unique area which has appeal right through the year.

For directions to Surprise View Cottages see the directions section on our contact page.

The cottages are at the lower end of Farndale which is filled with wild daffodils in March and April forming a yellow carpet from the top end of the dale at Church Houses, following the River Dove down to Lowna and beyond, attracting thousands of visitors. In May and June most of the local woods are full of bluebells and during the month of August the whole of the moors are turned into a sea of scented purple heather. Autumn and Winter have their own palette of russet and dark forest hues which form the centre-piece to clear skies and distant horizons. 

The cottages are at the centre of a network of footpaths and tracks to suit every sort of walker, those out for a stroll or people who relish the challenge of a strenuous hike.

Cycling is increasingly catered for with miles of safe cycling on minor roads, sustrans routes and in the graded cycle tracks of Dalby forest which is within half an hour's cycle ride and Sutton Bank centre (NYMNPA) 

Places of interest abound - abbeys, castles, stately homes and gardens, fun parks like Flamingoland, North Yorkshire Steam Railway, lavender farms, farm shops with play areas, wonderful Norman and Saxon churches in most villages.

Craft activities and workshops are dotted right through the Vale of Pickering; Folk museums on the doorstep, artists' studios, ceramic and glass workers, wicker and wire artists, chocolatiers: you are spoilt for choice! 

To coincide with the Farndale daffodil season and then through the Summer, the Moorsbus runs through some of the most scenic places of interest; you can drop off at any point on the route and pick it up at any point, giving you the freedom to choose your walks or simply to sightsee. 

GILLAMOOR – (1 mile) well worth a visit if only for the spectacular view from the bank top near St. Aidan's church; this is the famous Surprise View which is featured on many calendars and magazine publications, and which gave its name to the cottages -Lowna is the focal point of the view. 

HUTTON-LE-HOLE (1 mile)  the most picturesque village in North Yorkshire, with manicured greens kept in trim by the local moor sheep!  It has the fine Ryedale Folk Museum which has won the Museum of the Year award and now has a wonderful  building housing the magnificent Harrison collection (Eric Knowles of Antiques Roadshow spearheaded this collection)

HELMSLEY - about 8 miles away, has an English Heritage Castle, a Stately Home - Duncombe Park, an award-winning Walled garden, a Bird of Prey centre an open-air swimming pool (open during the Summer), a thriving Arts centre and a lot of very good hotels, eating places, delicatessans, unique boutiques and collectors' shops.  Look for Beadlam Grange Farm Shop and Tea rooms on the road to Helmsley- they also run a range of chocolate making and craft classes!

KIRKBYMOORSIDE - the nearest market town; it has a good mix of smaller shops - most importantly a newsagents - and two grocery and general stores which open early and stay open until quite late; it also has a great butcher's shop!.  It has a golf course, squash courts, bowling greens, tennis courts and a good children's play area and good hotels and cafes serving food. 

MALTON - the administrative centre of the Ryedale area; it still has a weekly cattle market on a Tuesday and it also has your nearest mainline railway station with connections to York and Scarborough.  It is separated from its linked town of Norton only by the River Derwent. An excellent Second World War theme museum, Eden Camp, which is just outside the town on the Malton to Pickering road, is a great place to go in wet weather and an enjoyable way to learn about how our grandparents lived.

PICKERING - about 7 miles away, is well worth a visit for its English Heritage Castle, a church with medieval murals, and the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway which runs a comprehensive service during the Summer, now linking up to Whitby, with special events right through the year at weekends and during school holidays. There is Beck Isle folk museum which is open fom Spring through to Autumn There is a swimming pool, the Northern Ryedale Leisure centre, a couple of supermarkets and many eating places.

FURTHER AFIELD  there are numerous excursions and visits which might take up the best part of a day.

CASTLE HOWARD with its beautiful lake and garden setting and a magnificent interior a 'must see'.  It has a Garden Centre, and lovely Rose garden, courtyard with farm shop, boutiques and coffee shops, and Skelfe Island a fabulous children's play area - a destination in its own right!

DALBY FOREST offers a host of activities from walking, climbing, cycling on it's award-winning mountain bike trails which cater for all abilities, or just soaking up the living, breathing, forest.

FLAMINGOLAND for the young at heart offers a mix of small zoo and large theme park.  It has become one of the major attractions in the area, and is to be found in the village of Kirbymisperton, just South of Pickering.

SCARBOROUGH, WHITBY, FILEY and BRIDLINGTON  the classic seaside resorts within easy striking distance and each has its own character and attractions. 

YORK is a 'must' with wonderful Minster, city walls, riverside walks and Olde Worlde charm. It has excellent theatres, museums, art galleries -  historic buildings on every street and many boutiqe and  specialist shops.  It is also home to the famous National Rail Museum.

There are now several major shopping areas around the city.  The shopping centres at Monks Cross and Vanguarde offer new major chain stores, cinema and a myriad of  stores and supermarkets.  The shopping area at Clifton Moor features a Vue Cinema multiplex and also a bowling rink as well as supermarkets, garages and Gyms. There is a Designer Outlet Centre to the South West of the city.

We are sure that you will find a warm welcome in our lovely area of Ryedale and beyond. If there is anything which can add to your enjoyment, or if you have further requirements, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are here to please!

You may find the following links to organisations and attraction of interest

North York Moors National Park

North York Moors Railway

Dalby Forest

Eden Camp

Flamingo Land Family Theme Park

Pickering Castle

Visit York

Scarborough, Whitby, Filey

Castle Howard

Duncombe Park

Nunnington Hall

Iknow Yorkshire North York Moors attractions

Castle Howard
© HarshLight, Flickr

Flamingo Land
© J. Thompson, Flickr

Dalby Forest Trail
© T. E. Baldwin, Flickr


© S Fowler, Flickr

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