Car-free adventures nearNorthallertonYorkshire

The North York Moors are not the easiest place to reach by public transport, but the rewards are incredible. Catch a bus from Northallerton and climb the steep hills behind Yorkshire’s pretty villages - you’ll find breath-taking views and wild countryside where grouse chirr through the heather, hiding their red wattles in the cotton grass. Visit Mount Grace Priory, its atmospheric gardens backed by woods and banks of flowers, or cycle around Swainby and be back in time for tea. Regular trains arrive in Northallerton from Middlesbrough, Manchester, York, London, Leeds and Liverpool.

  • County: Yorkshire
  • Great for: birds | cycling | local food | monastery | viewpoints | walking |
  • Refreshments: Lots of pubs and cafes to choose from
  • Please note: researched/updated March 2018. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch: features@goodjourney.org.uk
  1. 4. Walk the Cleveland Way

    Northallerton makes a good base for walking some moorland sections of the epic Cleveland Way. This long distance route runs for more than a hundred miles. From Helmsley, through rugged hills and wild landscapes, it loops across the moors and then heads for the sea at Saltburn, where the route turns south along the coast towards Filey and Scarborough. The Ordnance Survey’s Explorer map OL26 is helpful for walks in the area

    • From Northerallerton, adventurous walkers can access one of the toughest, but most rewarding sections of the route. Get the bus to Osmotherley (see 1) and walk up the hill, following the Cleveland Way signs.
    • Follow the well-marked track through woods and moorland, looking out for the grouse that chirr out of the heather with their distinctive red-topped heads.
    • Thanks to the 80/89 bus, you can choose to walk four miles to Swainby (see 3 above), six miles to Faceby, the next village, or nine miles to Carlton-in-Cleveland.
    • Each of these options involves climbing down from the Cleveland Way at the end of the walk, often along winding country roads, but there are spectacular views to make up for the bit of road walking. If you walk down the long road to Carlton, you’ll find the cosy wood-panelled Blackwell Ox Inn, with a real fire and pints of Helmsley Pale Ale.
    • The bus back to Northallerton leaves from opposite Carlton-in-Cleveland’s school at 5.10pm.
  1. 5. Lordstones to Wain Stones

    Very fit walkers can combine this relatively short, spectacular section with 4 (above), but don’t underestimate how much the series of strenuous hills will add to the mileage. This linear walk is about six miles in all, but might feel like at least twice that! As well as the Cleveland Way, Wainright’s famous Coast to Coast walk runs close by.

    • Lordstones café has been cleverly designed to fit the local landscape. It is part of a campsite and country park with beautiful views all round it. To get there, walk up the (two mile!) hill from Carlton-in-Cleveland until you see the sign on your left.
    • Lordstones serves breakfast from 9am – tea, a crispy bacon roll and three eggs benedict, or coffee and a giant fruit scone will amply reward you for making it up the hill.
    • Set off, revived, along the Cleveland Way and you will soon feel the wind in your hair and a mounting sense of adventure.
    • There are incredible views from the edge of Cringle Moor and the flagged path runs on round Kirby Bank, across another valley, to reach a rocky outcrop called the Wain Stones, set dramatically on a hill like a cliff top castle.
    • Rather than walk down the busy B1257, it’s better – from the Wain Stones – to head back a short way and turn right down the (very steep!) track to Bank Lane, which will lead you (eventually) to the scenic village of Great Broughton.
    • This was a jet mining area (there are industrial relics up on the moors) and one of the local pubs is the Jet Miners Inn. Before that, you’ll reach the creeper-covered Bay Horse with its popular restaurant.
    • The last bus back to Northallerton goes (from Kirby Lane, round the corner from the Jet Miners) just before 5pm.

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount