The North York Moors – forged by nature, shaped by generations. Come and explore our National Park – 554 square miles of secluded dales, magical moors, ancient woodland, historic sites and 26 miles of stunning coastline, all easily reached from York, Teesside and County Durham. Read about our work here, and then pay us a visit!
10 great things about the National Park’s coastline
With a name like the North York Moors, people often don’t realise that we have a coastline too – 26 miles of stunning land and seascapes stretch between Staithes and Cloughton.
Over 35% of our coastline is protected as a site of special scientific interest [SSSI] – one of the highest conservation designations you can get in this country, reflecting the amount of prime wildlife habitat we have here.
Our coastline boasts beautiful clear inshore waters, dramatic craggy headlands, miles of golden beaches, hidden, secret coves, magnificent ancient gill woodlands, rocky reefs covered in marine life and undulating cliffs sweeping down to the shore.
Our coastline is also a Heritage Coast, a national label given by Natural England because of its marvellous landscape qualities making it extra special amongst English rural coasts.
Known to some visitors as the Dinosaur Coast, over 180 million years of geological history can be seen in the cliffs here and plenty of Jurassic fossils are to be found lying on the shore if you’ve a keen eye.
The coastal villages, some dating back to 12th century, were once a haven for smugglers with their narrow cobbled yards and alleyways providing handy hiding places for illegal contraband and goods.
Our coast has been protected from invaders for centuries with many monuments and features designed to signal further inland that our island was under attack. Ravenscar, Robin Hood’s Bay, Goldsborough and Boulby all have obvious lookouts and signalling points still visible today.
Access along the coast has never been better. Strolling along the Cleveland Way National Trail or cycling the Cinder Track between Scarborough and Whitby are great ways of exploring our coastal landscapes. Visits to the beach are equally rewarding.
The smell of the sea air, the crashing waves on the shore, the bracing winds and the dramatic scenery make the National Park’s coastline an invigorating place to visit.