Places to Visit.
Towns and Villages
Ampleforth is an attractive village situated along the southern slopes of the Hambleton Hills. The slopes run down to the Coxwold-Gilling Gap, which separates the Hambleton and Howardian Hills. The river Holbeck runs through the valley. Historically, the village has existed since Saxon times and you can still see remains of the Saxon three field strip system, to the enclosures and high farming of the 1800‘s on the hill to the north of the village. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The main street of the village forms the southern boundary of the North York Moors National Park. It comprises some attractive stone cottages built about the mid 1800s. The village has 2 excellent pubs, The White Horse and The White Swan, Kirks coffee shop and a village shop and post office. The church of St Hilda date back to norman times. For further information:- http://ampleforth.ryedaleconnect.org.uk/
The village is close to Ampleforth Abbey which is a tourist centre in its own right.
Bilsdale, with its walker friendly Buck Inn at Chop Gate and the very interesting Spout House and Sun Inn, will be accessible by the Moorsbus this year, and this should open up many more walking opportunities.
Public toilets are at the Village Hall at Chop Gate.
Botton Village, nestled in Danby Dale in the beautiful North York Moors National Park, is a Camphill Village Trust community, one of nine in the UK supporting people with learning and other disabilities to lead a life of opportunity.
The village has a coffee bar serving home-made, home grown and home reared organic food, farm to fork. Botton also boasts a Village store with organic produce made at the dairy, bakery, and food centre, along with gifts made in their weavery and wood workshops. The store is open Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm and 10am until 12pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and bank holidays. The cafe is open 9.30am until 4.30pm Monday to Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays 2.30pm until 4.30pm.
You will find wonderful walking routes in and around Botton Village and its farms.
The village is open all year round and visitors will be greeted with a very warm Botton Village welcome.
The closest Moorsbus route is Blakey Ridge. Get off at the concrete railings North of the Westerdale turning and find "Shop Lane", a steep unmarked 25 minute road walk down into Botton. You can also walks to us from Ainthorpe; about 3 miles by footpath, bridleway or road.
Castleton is well served by Moorsbuses and the Esk Valley Railway. It has two good pubs, a Co-op which is open on Sundays, the excellent Castleton Tea Rooms, and, near the river, a superb children’s play park (don’t forget to leave them a donation, please.). There is a lovely short walk to Danby along the valley side starting above the Eskdale Inn.
Public toilets are in the centre of the village.
COXWOLD - PASTURES AND MOORS
Coxwold is 20 miles north of York, and lies in the beautiful North York Moors National Park, east of the A19 between Easingwold and Thirsk. The Village is one of the most perfect in Yorkshire, its honey-coloured stone houses lining the broad grass-banked street that climbs the hill to the 15C Church.
Coxwold has all the character you’d expect of a North Yorkshire village: its mood has been described as “busy tranquillity” as its people and visitors go about their lives or enjoy their stay, for Coxwold is a perfect place from which to start exploring the North York Moors or the Cleveland Way. The Moorsbus will take you on to the Moors in the summer months, and other routes serve Thirsk, Helmsley and Easingwold. Alternatively, the Village is a good place to start walking – there are many circular and linear walks which allow the discovery of this perfect corner of England. Theirs is ample car parking at the Village Hall.
As well as being a delightful place to visit, Coxwold has businesses, interest groups, societies and lots of enthusiasm!
Within the Village, St Michael’s Church with its octagonal tower, pierced battlements and crocketed pinnacles was built around 1450 on the site of an earlier church: for a small village church it contains some exceptionally fine monuments of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries by sculptors as famous as Grinling Gibbons and Nicholas Stone. Fragments of early glass are encased in the high tracery of its windows.
Shandy Hall was built c.1450, possibly as a priest’s house. After the Reformation it became part of the Bellasis (Newburgh Priory) Estate, and was extended in the 17th and 18th centuries. By then it was known as Parsonage House. The Reverend Laurence Sterne lived in it for eight years, writing in the tiny study and, in the minds of many, revolutionising the English novel with his works “Tristram Shandy” and “A Sentimental Journey”.
To the north east of the Church over the road is the Old Hall. This was built as the Grammar School in 1603 by Sir John Harte, a lad from Kilburn who went to London to become an apprentice grocer, married his master’s daughter and in due course became Lord Mayor of London.
Other attractions include the Village Market (last Saturday of every month) and Coxwold’s celebrated Open Gardens, a display by the villagers of their private gardens large and small, open one day a year, usually the second Sunday in June. To accompany the event there are raffles, tombola and delicious teas served as you stroll around the Village. Or you can always call at the Coxwold Tea Rooms or the Fauconberg Arms for something stronger.
For more information, visit www.coxwoldvillage.org – you won’t be disappointed.
Dalby Forest, managed by the Forestry Commission, offers over 8,000 acres of woodland to explore, enjoy and discover, including the Grand Father Oak play area for children, family BBQ and picnic areas, adrenalin activities for the thrill seekers and walking and cycling trails for all.
The Visitor Centre houses a café serving a wide range of locally produced snacks and meals for all the family, information point and toilets. Dalby Courtyard is home to art & business workshops, café and a bike hire centre.
Burn off some energy on the cycle trails and explore the forest. Quality trails range from family routes to highly technical routes. www.forestryengland.uk/dalby-forest/cycling-and-mountain-biking-trails
Go Ape have adventure courses, with high ropes and zip wires amongst the trees for adults and children, or Forest Segways for fun on the ground. Visit www.goape.co.uk. 0845 094 9362
For a relaxing stroll within the forest choose a way-marked trail, including some trails classified as suitable for all abilities, wheelchair users and pushchairs. www.forestryengland.uk/dalby-forest/walking-trails-dalby-forest
Danby is another pretty little Eskdale village, well served by the Moorsbus services and the Esk Valley Railway. It’s an excellent start or finish to a walk, has a lovely packhorse bridge nearby, and what was the last working watermill on the Esk. Nearby is the picture postcard village of Ainthorpe, with its stunning view across Danby Dale. A short walk – or Moorsbus ride - away is the wonderful Moors National Park Centre, with its fine facilities for young and old, as well as a lovely woodland trail. Moorsbuses and the Moors Explorer ME1 from Hull all call here.
Farndale is a beautiful valley that can be reached by a walk from the Moorsbus system. The wild daffodils appearing around Easter time are – justifiably – world famous. The 8 – 9 mile walk from Blakey Junction down Blakey Bank to Church Houses and then down the valley past Low Mill to Lowna and Hutton le Hole makes an unforgettable day when the daffodils are in bloom. Farndale Show, later in the year, can be reached by the same route, and this again makes for a memorable day.
Public toilets are at Low Mill.
Great Ayton is a very popular village with two village greens, gazed down upon by the remarkable Roseberry Topping. The life of its most famous resident can be discovered at the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum. Some of the best walks in the area start or finish here, and climbing the “Yorkshire Matterhorn” is a Moorsbus must. The railway station, on the Esk Valley Railway, is just three quarters of a mile beyond the village. Please visit the visitgreatayton.com website here for all of their details and items such as hotels, restaurants and pubs. You can also visit the Great Ayton Discovery Centre.
Public toilets are on the High Street, which runs up behind the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum.
Guisborough is easily accessible by Moorsbus, and the beautiful ruin of Gisborough Priory is a wonderful place for a picnic on a nice day. Plenty of good pubs and cafes are to be found here. The Guisborough Walkway passes by the town, and links with footpaths to Great Ayton and Stokesley at one end and the Moors and Moorsbuses at the other.
The small museum is well worth a look, and has some very good exhibitions. A restored, and very complete watermill, Tocketts Mill can be reached by a short trip from here on the Arriva Service 5 from the Market Place, or by public footpaths.
Public toilets are in the Northgate Car Park, 100m from the bus stops along the passageway by the Black Swan.
If you are local to the area, http://www.guisborough-bridge.org.uk/ is a great website to find out about community activities.
Helmsley, with its picture postcard town centre, is gazed down upon by the spectacular ruins of the very popular Helmsley Castle. It is worth giving yourself a few hours to visit the Walled Garden, a beautiful oasis of tranquillity where the enthusiasm and skill of the gardeners is reflected in the stunning garden. A recent addition to the town’s attractions is the newest branch of the International Centre for Birds of Prey at Duncombe Park with its hawk flying demonstrations. Rievaulx Abbey and Rievaulx Terrace are nearby, with the latter being very close to a Moorsbus route. Moorsbuses from Helmsley call at the Sutton Bank National Park Centre where you will find what some claim is the finest view in all England, as well as a chance to try mountain biking or watch gliders soaring at the club nearby. Sutton Bank is the start and finish of some excellent walks to or from other areas served by the Moorsbus system. Helmsley itself is the start of the Cleveland Way.
Public toilets are located in Borogate, just to the south of the Market Place.
HUTTON LE HOLE
Hutton le Hole, with its picture postcard scenery, is home to the superb Ryedale Folk Museum. The reconstructed local buildings are a great favourite and really do transport the visitor back to Ryedale life of centuries ago. Allow the better part of a day to see it all. You can make Hutton le Hole the start or end of many good buswalks between Moorsbuses. There are plenty of cafes, ice cream shops and a pub here to fortify walkers as well.
Public toilets are in the car park, 250m from the bus stops at the museum.
Kirkbymoorside makes an excellent starting place for several walks, including some of our Moorsbus Guided Walks. It’s a fascinating hard-working market town that looks both to the past and to the future, with some very high-tech industries involved in aerospace and marine engineering. A good Sunday lunch can be found here, and the three pubs all pride themselves on their real ale.
Public toilets are located in the Town Farm car park behind the Kings Head Hotel, 250m north of the Market Place bus stops.
Northallerton is, of course, the county town for North Yorkshire. We call at the railway station, with its frequent services to London, Newcastle and Middlesbrough. Twenty minutes’ walk away is the Wensleydale Railway’s new Northallerton West Station. A few miles to the south of the town is the Thirsk Birds of Prey Centre; let the bus driver know if you want to be dropped off here, and collected on the way home.
Public toilets are at the Railway Station.
Pickering is an attractive and historic market town on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. Spend a day here, or call in to one of the many good cafés, restaurants or pubs for a meal or drink before you catch the bus home.
Some excellent walks, long and short, start or end at Pickering, and Moorsbus try to arrange at least one short but fascinating Town Walk each year.
Public toilets are located on the Ropery and at the entrance to the Eastgate car park.
Rosedale Abbey is on the M6 Moorsbus route and close to M3 one. It’s the main village in Rosedale itself, a very beautiful valley, as is Farndale next door. A bit of ingenuity will see many good walks including one or both of these Dales from our services. The trackbed of the old Rosedale Railway provides good all weather walking around much of Rosedale and the head of Farndale. Try getting off the M3 near Blakey, circling the valley head on the Rosedale Railway, walk past the remarkable remains of the Rosedale Mines, Ironstone Kilns then down the valley to catch the M6 bus at the Abbey. Rosedale is part of the very interesting Land of Iron project; keep an eye on their website.
Public toilets are 100m from the Green on the road running north out of the village.
Scarborough has been a seaside resort for around 350 years, and is often known as “The Queen of the Yorkshire Coast”. The castle bears more than a few battle scars, and has a Roman signal station within its walls. Well worth a visit. The sands are magnificent, and other attractions are the busy harbour, fish and chips aplenty, the Market Hall with its Vaults, St Mary’s Church with Anne Brontë’s grave, and Peasholm Park with its many attractions. You’ll find some excellent museums here as well, from the Rotunda, and the Art Gallery to the wonderfully petite but very comprehensive Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre. Scarborough is easily accessible by public transport, which connects with the Moorsbus.
Stokesley is something of a hidden gem. It’s a very unspoilt market town which is surrounded by good walking, contains some wonderful Georgian architecture and some excellent places to find a decent Sunday lunch. The short walk along the river, with its fine packhorse bridge, is a good way to fill in time between buses. The town easily justifies a morning or afternoon spent here, though.
Public toilets are on the High Street.
For local information and events try https://www.stokesleytowncouncil.gov.uk/town-council
Thirsk is a fascinating market town with an architectural quirkiness that stems from the Viking settlement. James Herriot fans will enjoy the World of James Herriot. The volunteer - run Thirsk Tourist Information is staffed by extremely helpful people, and should be your first port of call when you visit their town on the Moorsbus! We stop at the railway station here.
Public toilets are at the entrance to Millgate car park, 150m north of the Market Place.
THORNTON LE DALE
Thornton le Dale is a chocolate-box village with its beautiful cottages and the beck tumbling along beside the streets. There are many good walks to and from here, with buses serving both start and finish. You’ll find a free concert on the Green on summer Sundays, plenty of cafes, a couple of pubs and a small Motor Museum. All in all, a nice place to while away a sunny summer afternoon.
Public toilets are 100m along the path from the Green to the car park.
Whitby has become one of most popular destinations on the east coast. Whitby sailors have made a huge contribution to our understanding of the world, and early religious leaders meeting here shaped the future of Christianity in England. The remarkable dinosaur fossils found in the area were the reason for the formation of the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society and their excellent museum, and again broadened our knowledge of the world we live in. All this has left an incredibly picturesque town which is overlooked by the strikingly beautiful ruin of the Abbey and the fascinating parish church. The harbour is still home to a fishing fleet, small trawlers are built here, and the results can be tasted in many of the town’s fish and chip restaurants. One of the country’s earliest railways still provides access to the town, and Whitby Station serves both the national network and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.