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Ryedale, North Yorkshire is a region of stunning contrasts with many places to visit offering one of the most diverse landscapes in England, perfect for all outdoor activities.
The unique scenery and special nature of the area has been recognised with the establishment of the North York Moors National Park. This dramatic area is a striking contrast to the tranquil, gently rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds and the patchwork of farmland in the Vale of Pickering and the Vale of York. The mixed greens of fields and woodland in the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, add further variation. Historic market towns and traditional Yorkshire villages provide the visitor with high quality accommodation, places to eat, great shopping and all with a great Yorkshire welcome.
Ryedale's market towns all have something different to enjoy. Helmsley offers local shopping with a number of deli's and an award winning ice cream shop. Pickering is a great base for Dalby forest and its renowned cycling, walking and off-roading routes and Malton is fast becoming Yorkshire's food capital due in main to the success of the Malton Food Lovers Festival and locally grown produce served in many of the area's restaurants and cafe's.
The District of Ryedale includes the dales, which appear as green fingers stretching into the moors. Formed by melting Ice Age waters, these secluded dales include Bilsdale, Bransdale, Farndale, Rosedale and Newtondale. Ancient crosses and waymarkers are a feature of the moors and have guided travellers across this sparse landscape for hundreds of years. The moorland villages are a delight, many with sheep grazing the common land in front of stone houses and cottages. Industry of an age gone by is also visible. In the second half of the 1800s, iron ore mining was at its peak, with a railway taking the iron north to the great blast furnaces in Middlesbrough. Today, the stone archways of the east kilns, high up on Rosedale Moor, are all that remain of a once thriving industry.
The National Park extends from Scarborough, Whitby, Staithes and Saltburn on the coast, to the charming towns of Pickering, Helmsley and Thirsk inland, via some stunning moorland and perfect walking country. About one fifth of the National Park is forestry and, with a forest drive, waymarked walks and cycle routes and easy access trails, Dalby Forest is one of the main recreational areas of Ryedale. Two of Ryedale’s abbeys lie within the National Park boundary, both of which are English Heritage sites. The largest of these is Rievaulx Abbey and these ruins are known to be the most splendid in Yorkshire. The ruins of Byland Abbey are smaller, but the site has the largest collection of medieval floor tiles in their original location. The National Trust site of Rievaulx Terrace and Temples is a half-mile grass covered terrace offering wonderful views over Rievaulx Abbey and the Rye valley.
With the Cleveland Way and Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trails and hundreds of miles of footpaths in the North Yorkshire countryside, this is great walking country, whether you fancy a short stroll or an all day hike. If you prefer two wheels, the Moor to Sea Cycle route links over 80 miles of forest tracks, quiet country lanes and the old coast railway. Or for the more adventurous, try the graded mountain bike routes at Dalby Forest ranging from peaceful trails to challenging climbs.
It's easy to find holiday ideas for all the family to enjoy. You'll be within easy reach of a castle or country house one day and stunning outdoor scenery and great walks the next. And for the kids or young at heart, make sure you visit one of the great beaches along the North Yorkshire Coast.
To get the most out of your Ryedale - North Yorkshire holiday keep browsing the site for more ideas and inspiration.