The North York Moors is an upland area in North Yorkshire, England, containing one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom. The North York Moors National Park was designated in 1952, through the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The National Park covers an area of 554 square miles.
To the east the area is clearly defined by the impressive cliffs of the North Sea coast. The northern and western boundaries are defined by the steep scarp slopes of the Cleveland Hills edging the Tees lowlands and the Hambleton Hills above the Vale of Mowbray. To the south lies the broken line of the Tabular Hills and the Vale of Pickering.
Four roads cross the moors from north to south. In the east the A171 joins Whitby and Scarborough. Further inland, the A169 runs between Pickering and Whitby. More centrally, a minor road departs from the A170 at Keldholme and passes through Castleton before joining the A171 which connects Whitby and Guisborough. The most westerly route is the B1257 connecting Helmsley to Stokesley. The A170 from Thirsk to Scarborough marks the southern boundary of the moors area.
The Esk Valley Line is an east-west branch line rail link from Whitby to Middlesbrough in the north, and the North Yorkshire Moors steam railway runs from Pickering to Grosmont with a link to Whitby.
The cyclists in the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire passed through a section of the Moors.
From forests and fields of heather to market towns and a stunning coast line, the North York Moors National Park is vast. It's highly suitable for dark sky astronomy. The best practice is to incorporate their website into your planning. The recommended starting point is here: https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/see-and-do.
When to Go
It's stunning year round and weather is always a factor. It will be a heavily travelled area on bank holidays and during the summer months.