Outdoor Activities

  • North York Moors Tourism

  • North York Moors Tourism

  • North York Moors Tourism

  • North York Moors Tourism

  • North York Moors Tourism

The North York Moors National Park

There is a superb natural playground right on the doorstep of Overdale Cottage, our Helmsley Hideaway and that is the North York Moors National Park.  It is approximately 554 square miles in area that stretches from Whitby on the North Coast to the Cleveland Hills in the North and West and down south to the Vale of Pickering and the Tabular Hills.

It is large heather moorland with a plateau and a number of Dales of which the most well know is Eskdale which forms the River Esk which runs out to Whitby on the east coast. It is great for walking, hiking, cycling, horse riding and hosts abundant wildlife.


The Moors National Park Centre

Historic visitor centre on the River Esk near Danby with great views from the doorstep. Very good café and base to taste the delights of the moors and head off and explore the National Park. Some great walks, wildlife adventures and also one of the centres for viewing the stars and wonderful dark skies at night. https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/see-and-do/the-moors-national-park-centre

North York Moors Tourism

Hiking & Walking

There are many wonderful walks in and around the North York Moors. In addition there are some very good well marked local footpaths, bridleways and trails making up enjoyable short circular walks around Harome and Helmsley. Take you dog out too and we have our ‘Muddy Boot & Muddy Paw Wash’ option outside our cottage just in case of muddy walks.

Check out a few local walks, long walks and some up on the moors in our Great Things to Do Outdoors Blog article

These include:

There are some other good local walks too

North York Moors Tourism

Biking & Cycling

Explore both the country lanes and the North York Moors by bike.

You can hire bikes locally or up at one of the trail centres which provides safe riding routes for all ages and abilities. Experienced mountain bikers can head off road on the moors up at Dalby Forest and Great Fryup Dale. For road cyclists there are some wonderful enjoyable circuits in and around the moorlands and the quiet lanes and rolling hills of North Yorkshire.

For routes ideas and inspirations have a look at the North York Moors website where some downloadable cycling routes can be found.

Bike hire can be found at

  • Sutton Bank – Safe off-road trails
  • Dalby Forest – Families, recreational cyclists & experienced mountain bikers
  • Great Fryup Dale – Yorkshire Cycle Hub – experienced mountain bikers & road cyclists

For a few other ideas on cycle routes, inspirations and information check out the following:

North York Moors Tourism

Wildlife Watching

Moorland safaris, bird watching, photography tours, sea life boat trips and wildlife walks – https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/enjoy-outdoors/wildlife-watching

Outdoor Adventure Activities

Rock climbing, bush craft, geocaching, rope swings, etc. https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/enjoy-outdoors/adventure-activities

Try geocaching, learn bush craft skills, try basic rock climbing, rope swings and outdoor adventures in the North York Moors. Ideal for family fun and groups.

Horse Riding

Enjoy & explore North Yorkshire and the coast on horseback – https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/enjoy-outdoors/horse-riding


Golf Courses

There are a number of very good golf courses all around the area to suit all abilities and handicaps – https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/enjoy-outdoors/golf


Fly fishing, river fishing, sea fishing trips, coarse fishing on lakes and reservoirs – for the best ideas see – https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/enjoy-outdoors/on-the-water/fishing


Get out on or in the water. Go sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, swimming and more – https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/enjoy-outdoors/on-the-water

Stargazing & Dark Skies at Night

With little or no light pollution the skies at night are just amazing and you can see so much more than you can ever imagine. Get a clear night and go stargazing at the Dark Sky Discovery Sites at The Moors National Park Centre, Dalby Forest & Sutton Bank and be amazed – https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/see-and-do/dark-skies

Other Outdoor Activities & Ideas

For a selection of other outdoor ideas that may be enjoyed too, see the following or check out ‘Things to See and Do in the Local Area at Helmsley Hideaway’:

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