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The Yorkshire Moors

The Coast south of RavenscarThe North York Moors may not be one of the best known national parks, but the area includes some breathtakingly beautiful scenery, including vast expanses of open moorland, dramatic sea cliffs, sudden escarpments and hidden valleys.

View from Sutton BankThis site is going to be my personal guide to the Yorkshire Moors, based on twenty years of walking in the national park. We will be building up a collection of suggested walks (fifty two at the moment), complete with maps and easy to follow instructions, each based on my own walks over the last few years, and illustrated by some of the thousands of photos I've taken on the moors.

The Open Moors The heart of the site is going to be the gazetteer, which we hope to develop into a complete guide to the Yorkshire Moors, supported by a series of maps created for this site. Gazetteer entries will be created as I visit the Moors, and expanded as more information is found, so keep coming back. We also hope to create a series of articles about the wildlife and history of the moors.

If you have any questions, then get in touch using our contact form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Most recent addition: 21 November 2015: Two valleys carry the Wheeldale name, running on the northern and eastern sides of Wheeldale Moor, and merging at its north-eastern corner

17 October 2015: Bransdale is one of the most isolated valleys in the North York Moors, surrounded by high moors on all sides, apart from the narrow ravine of Hodge Beck

At the end of July 2006 I walked Hadrian's Wall for the Perthes Disease Association.

Click on the map below to go to more detailed maps of the Moors, linked to our gazatteer.

Link to map of moors

Earlier updates

19 September 2015: Baysdale lies at the western end of Esk Dale, merging with Westerdale just upstream of Dibble Bridge, west of Castleton.

14 June 2015: Glaisdale is one of a series of side-valleys that run into Esk Dale, and falls into two distinct areas. Most of the dale is a typical Moors valley, flat bottomed and steep sided, but close to the Esk the valley closes up, with Glaisdale Beck running through a narrow wooded valley.

May 2015: Bilsdale is the valley of the River Seph, and one of the longest dales in the Moors, running from the north-western edge of the moors between Hasty Bank and Urra Moor to its junction with the River Rye about a miles east of Hawnby.

12 April 2015: Farndale is one of my favourite valleys of the North York Moors, a quieter version of its near neighbour Rosedale, a long steep-sided trench cut into the high moors, with a super mix of a gentle valley bottom, steep sides and wild moorland.

15 March 2015: The Moors are cut into by dozens of Dales, varying is size from lengthy Esk Dale in the north to some truly tiny valleys in the southern part of the park.

14 February 2015: Rawland Howe and Nean Howe are both a round barrows near Danby,

3 January 2015: Loose Howe is a well excavated round barrow above Rosedale. Flat Howe is a less well understood round barrow on the eastern edge of Glaisedale High Moor.

6 December 2014: Danby Beacon and Brown Rigg Howe are two barrows on the ridge east of Danby village, part of a sizable cluster of prehistoric monuments.

1 November 2014: The impressive ruins of Whitby Abbey loom above the town from their position on a headland to the east of the River Esk.

7 September 2014: Newburgh Priory was a house of Augustinian Canons that was founded in 1145 and survived until the dissolution of the monasteries, when it was given to Anthony Bellasis, Henry VIII's chaplain. The priory was built half a mile to the south-east of Coxwold, and its stones were later used to build the country house of the same name (the reputed burial place of Oliver Cromwell).

7 June 2014: Wykeham Abbey was a priory of Cistercian nuns, founded in around 1153 by Pain Fitz Osbert and that survived until the dissolution of the monasteries.

11 May 2014: Lastingham Abbey went through two incarnations. It was originally founded in 651-655 during the early days of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England, and was ruled by St. Cedd and then his brother St. Chad. This abbey was ruined by 1066, and a new abbey was founded on the same site in around 1078 by monks from Whitby, but this second foundation was very short-lived and the monks had moved to York by 1086.

13 April 2014: Grosmont Priory was one of only three Grandmontine Priories to be founded in England, and was the last to survive, only going at the dissolution of the monasteries.

2 March 2014: Guisborough Priory was an Augustine priory that was founded by Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale, an ancestor of Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, and was one of the wealthiest abbeys in Yorkshire.

9 February 2014: There have been two monastic foundations at Hackness, first an Anglo-Saxon nunnery founded in 680 and second a cell of Whitby Abbey that was used as a refuge when pirates forced the monks away from the coast.

26 January 2014: We start 2014 with a clickable map showing the monasteries of the North York Moors, once incredibly important institutions in the history of the moors.

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Copyright John Rickard, 2005-2009