Events and Activities
There’s always plenty to see and do in and around the North York Moors National Park. In addition to the destinations mentioned in ‘Out and About’ we’ve collated some information and links below to help you plan your visit, and we often mention forthcoming events in our Facebook page.
With Halloween and Bonfire Night behind us, it must be Christmas next! There are lots of Christmas themed events and opportunities to shop for special gifts in the coming weeks. We've mentioned some of them below. Click here for a comprehensive list of activities and events in the National Park this month.
Places to visit
Castle Howard - one of Britain’s finest historic houses, just 25 minutes from High Rigg.
This year's Christmas theme is ‘A Christmas Masquerade’ with flamboyant displays and installations to surprise and delight. From 16 November until 5 January (closed 24-25 December).
Nunnington Hall (National Trust) – a picturesque Yorkshire manor house with organic garden and exciting exhibitions.
At weekends only, from 15 November until 15 December, you can experience 'Christmas through the ages', from the Georgian era to the war years.
National Centre for Birds of Prey
Situated at the magnificent Duncombe Park estate, the National Centre for Birds of Prey houses the largest collection of birds of prey in the north of England. In addition to spectacular flying demonstrations, you can book a range of personal experiences including;
- raptor experience and
- hawk hike
Every Saturday until Christmas, there's a flying demonstration of tiny owls by candlelight, including a 2-course meal and mulled wine. Pre-booking required.
‘Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world.’ So said Aelred, Rievaulx Abbey’s most famous abbot, over eight centuries ago. That description of Rievaulx is still true today. The scale and majesty of Rievaulx, one of England's most powerful Cistercian monasteries, never fails to inspire.
North York Moors Railway
There are daily services between Pickering and Whitby with several stops en-route, including Goathland station (Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films). As well as a fantastic way to travel and see the North York Moors, you can enjoy a number of experiences including Speciality Dining, Footplate Experience and Digital Photography workshops.
Moors National Park Centres
At the Moors National Park Centre near Danby you can see Briganta's 'Uniquely Made' exhibition in the Inspired by... gallery (16 November until early February 2020). And the very popular annual Christmas Craft Fair returns on 16-17 November. There’s also a Christmas shopping weekend at the Sutton Bank National Park Centre (23-24 November), with live music, children's activities and crafts.
Lighting up the dark skies, the Whitby Christmas Festival (15-17 November) includes a lantern parade, live music, Santa and the official Christmas lights switch-on (Friday). On Saturday there arre market stalls with plenty of gift ideas, artists, crafts, hot food and drinks, as well as live music, a First World War fashion show and fireworks.
Only a mile from High Rigg B&B, Beadlam Grange Farm Shop's annual Christmas Gift Fair in aid of St Catherine's Hospice, Scarborough returns 15-17 November. Free entry and a chance to browse more than 35 stalls in their covered yard.
Kirkbymoorside's Christmas Market, on Saturday November 30th wil feature around 40 craft, handicraft and produce stalls. Kirkbymoorside Brass Band will entertain visitors playing seasonal music in front of the Christmas Tree.
There's a rare chance to visit Ryedale Folk Museum at Night (4 December) – all ready for Christmas. Free entry with a chance to browse for gifts and stocking fillers in the Museum’s shop.
Get in the Christmas spirit with the Helmsley Christmas Light Switch on (29 November). Swinton Brass Band will be performing in the square with carols by the tree. Don't forget to pop into the church for the annual Tree Festival (29 November - 15 December).
Food and Drink
There’s an abundance of food and drink events in the area, from typical farmers markets to more comprehensive events such as Malton’s Monthly Food Market, which has live chef demonstrations, street food and music. The farmers’ markets of the North York Moors area are wonderful places to experience the best in North Yorkshire food and drink and there is one or more most weekends.
Helmsley - 3rd Friday of the month
Hovingham - 1st Saturday of the month
Malton - Monthly food market 2nd Saturday of the month; Ryedale farmers market last Saturday of the month,
Pickering - 1st Thursday of the month
Saltburn - 2nd Saturday of the month
Stokesley - 1st Saturday of the month
Whitby - Every Thursday, May to October.
The North York Moors area is Britain’s Capital of Cake"! Check out the cafes, coffee shops and tea gardens where you can treat yourselves to a refreshing brew and freshly baked cake.
High Rigg is recognised as a Walking Friendly accommodation provider by the National Park.
We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to walking, with breath-taking scenery and fascinating seasonal and natural variation from wooded dales to heather clad moor to coastline routes. The Cleveland Way, one of England's seven great trails, starts just three miles away in Helmsley. Lots of walking information is available from the National Park (click here), with favourite routes and a comprehensive programme of guided walks. We are also happy to share our experiences and lend maps and guide books, as well as providing kit washing/drying services.
There are three cycle centres within the National Park, providing mountain bike trails and cycle hire in the wonderful settings of Sutton Bank, Dalby Forest and Fryup Dale respectively. High Rigg is conveniently in the middle of these three centres.
Of course there are many great bike rides in the area. What better way to see the natural beauty of the countryside and coastline? Click here for details of some of the established trails and downloadable maps (the lovely Bransdale Loop is on our doorstep). For the highly energetic and competitive cyclist there are several organised events throughout the year - details here.
- Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society (SARAS) has regular stargazing events in Dalby Forest, held on the first Friday of most months between October and March from 8.00 - 9.30 pm. These are free to attend (charitable donations welcome). The Forestry Commission will charge £3 per car on exit.