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Spring Holidays on The North Yorkshire Coast

Shake off the wintertime chill with a staycation on the stunning North Yorkshire coast this spring. When nature bursts into life, bringing wild daffodils, bluebells, birds and bees.

Walking experiences are must-do activities at this time of year, as the forests fill with birdsong and our iconic moorland wildlife reveal their extravagant mating displays.

Common Seal colonies also come ashore to nurture their young. While the beautiful North York Moors are scattered with new growth.

Spring Wildlife Watching

Bempton, Scarborough, Whitby

Take a whale-watching tour from Whitby (not exclusively whales, of course, you can also spot porpoises, dolphins and seabirds), or head down the coast to RSPB Bempton for one of the UK’s great birdwatching spectacles of guillemots and razorbills. Scarborough’s SEA LIFE Centre also brings you up close with some fascinating denizens of the deep.

Spring is also a good time to find goshawks and migrant birds in the forests and moorland of the National Park. While over on the coast, gannets and puffins make an appearance at Bempton.

Don’t know where to look? Join guides from North York Moors Wildlife Tours for a memorable day out on a nature safari, with the chance to see some of the area’s most iconic wildlife.

Find out what wildlife is around at this time of year with the NYMNP nature calendar, full of tips, seasonal walks and ideas on the best places to spot birds, animals and wildflowers.

 

Glorious Springtime Gardens

Filey, Scarborough, Whitby

A visit to the North Yorkshire coast isn’t just about sand and sea; we have some wonderful gardens to explore, which will be bursting into life.

Make the most of Filey’s glorious Glen and Crescent Gardens; Scarborough’s Peasholm Park and heritage South Cliff Gardens, with unparalleled sea views; and Whitby’s beautiful and tranquil Pannett Park.

Fish and Ships Festival, Whitby

In love with Whitby and its remarkable maritime heritage? Head to the annual Fish and Ships Festival (May 18th and 19th) for a weekend of food, music and history. There will be live music, cookery demonstrations, heritage activities and all-round family fun, and don’t forget to enjoy some fish and chips while you’re there.

With no fewer than six medieval monastic ruins set in peaceful locations, the North York Moors is the perfect place for spiritual refreshment. Head to the iconic ruins of Whitby Abbey, set on a dramatic headland with stunning coastal views, which, long before any Dracula associations, played a pivotal part in the setting of today’s date for Easter.

In 664, following disagreements on when it should be celebrated, a Synod was called by the Northumbrian princess Hild, the founding abbess of Whitby Abbey. The Synod finally agreed to follow the Roman calculations for Easter, bringing together the traditions in England for the first time. The calculations agreed are still in use today.

There’s an interactive visitor centre with digital reconstructions and audio tours to accompany you on your wanders. A walk down the 199 steps takes you into town for cobbled streets, museums and a sandy beach.

The Scarborough Fair

Look out for a series of new festivals under the banner of The Scarborough Fair, starting in May with a street art event. June brings an art trail and fringe festival, while September will blend music and sports at Scarborough Extreme. The line-up is completed in November and December by Scarborough Lights, a magical spectacle of illuminations.

 

Holly Cottage North Yorkshire Moors hot tub and outdoor table

Are you searching for a self-catering holiday on the North Yorkshire coast this spring?

Browse our Thirley Cotes Farm collection, close to Scarborough, sleeping 2 – 10 guests across 8 pet-friendly cottages, each with an enclosed garden and private hot tub.

Things to Do This Easter in The Lake District

With the joys of springtime in full swing, and plenty of outdoor adventures (as well as rainy day activities), there’s lots to do for the whole family in the Lake District this Easter.

Here’s a handy list of some egg-citing Easter events taking place in the Lake District over the bank holiday weekend and beyond.

Egg Hunt at Wordsworth House and Garden

Friday 29th March – Wednesday 3rd April

Embark on an Easter adventure at Wordsworth House and Garden, where fun awaits the whole family! Delve into the enchanting childhood home of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, nestled beside the picturesque river Derwent in Keswick.

The Easter trail has 10 engaging activities scattered throughout both the house and garden, promising delightful discoveries at every turn.

Easter Egg Hunt at Brockhole on Windermere

Friday 29th March – Friday 5th April 2024

Join the egg-citement at Brockhole on Windermere as they host their annual Easter Egg Hunt! Bring the whole family and explore the stunning grounds while hunting for hidden eggs nestled amongst the flora.

With activities for all ages, including crafts and games, it’s a delightful way to celebrate Easter amidst nature’s beauty.

Honister Slate Mine – Kids Go Free

Friday 29th March – Tuesday 16th April 2024

Honister’s Mine Tour offers a fascinating family day out in the Lake District, regardless of the weather. Learn about slate mining history and processes while exploring Fleetwith Pike’s depths and enjoying breath-taking views of the Lakes.

During the tour, an experienced miner will guide you through the impressive tunnels and caverns while sharing interesting stories about the mine’s history. You will also see the machinery used to extract the slate and watch as the guide demonstrates how the slate is split and trimmed, giving you a hands-on understanding of the process.

For the more adventurous family members, Honister also offers a range of adrenaline-fuelled activities such as climbing the mine (8 yrs+), Via Ferrata (10 yrs+), Canyoning, and Europe’s longest highwire bridge: The Infinity Bridge.

During your visit, there’s also a slate gallery / gift shop to explore with a variety of slate products all made from the slate mined right here at Honister. Take home a unique and authentic souvenir to remember your visit. Kids (under 16yrs) go free with any paying adult on their mine tours.

Easter at The World of Beatrix Potter

Saturday 30th – Sunday 31st March 2024

Experience a mini egg hunt as you explore the enchanting World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness on Windermere! Embark on a delightful quest to discover all the hidden eggs scattered throughout, and be rewarded with a sweet chocolate treat for your efforts.

No need for pre-booking, just keep your eyes peeled for those elusive eggs as you immerse yourself in the wonders of Peter Rabbit and his friends. It’s the perfect way to add a dash of egg-citement to your visit to The Lake District and create lasting memories with family and friends.

Whinlatter Forest, Nature’s Nightlife

Saturday 23rd March. Starts at 6pm (meet at the Yurt)

Join a magical guided evening walk through the forest. Listen out for owls, learn about the local wildlife and experience the wonders of the night sky. Finish with hot chocolate and marshmallows around a campfire.

Attendees are advised to bring a torch, wear warm clothing and sturdy footwear, and all children (5+) must be accompanied by an adult. No dogs are permitted. Find out more.

Complete the Keswick Mouse Trail

All the mischievous little mice from the Keswick Cheese Deli have escaped and they are hiding in lots of wonderful shops around the town.  Can you help to find all 22 of them? Collect a map from the Keswick Cheese Deli on Packhorse Court or download here.

Are you looking to book a Lake District break in 2024 or 2025? Browse our collection of Cumbrian cottages.

Celebrating Mother’s Day in North Yorkshire

Mother’s Day 2024 falls on Sunday 10th March in the UK, and, North Yorkshire – with its awakening moorland, and vibrant coastline, offers a variety of options to make this year extra special.

Whether you live close by or are joining us for a break at our holiday cottages this March, here are some recommendations for celebrating Mother’s Day 2024 in North Yorkshire.

Start the day by immersing yourself in nature! The North York Moors are renowned for breath-taking landscapes, making them the perfect setting for a leisurely Mother’s Day walk.

Explore picturesque trails, enjoy the early spring wildlife, and take in the serene beauty of the rolling hills and moorland. There are walks suitable for all abilities, so, whether you’re up for a gentle Sunday stroll or a more challenging hike, you’ll find the perfect path and there is lots of inspiration available in our cottage guides.

For a unique and memorable Mother’s Day activity, take a steam train ride through the stunning Yorkshire countryside. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway offers scenic journeys that transport you back in time. Experience the nostalgic charm of vintage carriages, beautiful landscapes, and historic stations along the way.

If your mother loves the seaside, take a trip to one of North Yorkshire’s charming coastal towns. WhitbyScarborough, and Robin Hood’s Bay provide picturesque beaches, quaint streets, and a variety of shops and cafes in abundance.

Whether it’s strolling along the shoreline, exploring the local markets, or enjoying fresh seafood, a day exploring the Yorkshire coast is sure to be a hit.

Should you prefer to stay closer to home this Mother’s Day, sink into your private hot tub and explore our 21-acre Thirley Cotes Farm estate at your own pace; surrounded by the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.

Book a self-catering staycation for up to 10 guests at Sycamore Cottage near Scarborough this Mother’s Day from £937.50!! If you are searching for a stay for 6 or less, make the most of our reduced rate discount and book from £663, based on a 3-night break.

Longer stays are also available and there’s a range of cottages at Thirley Cotes Farm sleeping 2 – 10 with availability in March through April.

Each has a hot tub and secure garden and we have huge last-minute savings.

Family Friendly Things to do this February Half Term in the Lake District

The new year may have not long begun, but the half term holiday is already upon us and there’s lots of family friendly things going on in and around Threlkeld, Windermere and Keswick here in the Lake District.

If you’re visiting Cumbria with little ones this February, there’s plenty to entertain, from arts, crafts and nature trails, to museums, playgrounds and more. Here are a few of our favourite family friendly things to do in the Lake District this February half term.

Enjoy a Steam Train Ride

Experience a magical way to travel this February onboard a traditional steam train. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is open for half term (15 – 24 February), with connections available with Windermere Lake Cruises for a fantastic family day out. Add in a trip to the Lakes Aquarium and you’re sure to keep kids entertained for hours!

Have fun in the South Lakes

This half term, there’s a whole host of events and activities taking place at arts & culture attractions across the South Lakes.

At the Windermere Jetty Museum, experience the interactive audio trail, “Step into Steamland”, inspired by stories created by 140 primary school children. Or head to Wordsworth Grasmere for arts, crafts and outdoor activities. Discover what’s on this February in the South Lakes here.

Visit some of Cumbria’s Impressive Castles

On the west coast, Muncaster Castle is a beautiful castle and gardens, with a hawk and owl centre open on weekends during February.

Near Penrith, the impressive ruins of Lowther Castle are set amidst acres of award-winning gardens. Deep within the grounds, discover the Lost Castle adventure playground – one of the largest in the country, with a maze of turrets, zipwires, walkways and slides.

Explore Whinlatter Forest at Night

On Friday 9th February, cover 3-4 miles of twilight trails, and, weather permitting, there will be stops for some amazing star gazing opportunities. As an amateur astronomer, your guide will help you have some fun finding the major constellations and have star maps on hand.

Please be aware the route will be on a range of surfaces and may be wet and muddy. Children under 12 must be within reach of their responsible appropriate adult at all times, older children must have an over 18 on site for the event.

Book a Peter Rabbit Tea Party

Join Beatrix Potter + Peter Rabbit for a fun afternoon at the World of Beatrix Potter attraction from 11th & 17th February.

Beatrix will read the wonderful Tale of Peter Rabbit and the world’s most famous bunny will be available for pictures with all his fans. Every child will have their very own rabbit ears to colour in, plus a special gift to take away.

Tickets cost £28 adults, £22 child 3-16, £16 child 1-2, £7.50 baby and include:

  • Entry to the World of Beatrix Potter attraction between 10 am – 4.30 pm on the day
  • Afternoon Tea, story-time with the wonderful ‘Beatrix Potter’ and gift for every child
  • A photo opportunity with Peter Rabbit. Book via Peter Rabbit events

Get to grips with crafts in Windermere

‘Paint a Planter’ family sessions take place at Brockhole on Windermere 12 – 16th February.

Transform a ready-made wooden structure into a painted, colourful planter. Then plant up with wildflower seeds and watch your creation bloom.

Tickets age 5–11 years cost £8 per child and can be booked online or in the shop prior to the session. Adults go free, but must supervise their children.

  • Monday 12th February 1.30 – 3pm
  • Tuesday 13th February 1.30 – 3pm
  • Wednesday 14th February 1.30 – 3pm
  • Thursday 15th February 1.30 – 3pm
  • Friday 16th February 1.30 – 3pm

Play I Spy at Fitz Park in Keswick

Drop-in to the museum and pick up your free ‘I Spy Trail’. It’s a great way to explore Keswick’s beautiful Fitz Park with your children, any day of the week. Find the numbers, look around, look up high and on the ground, spot an eagle and a fountain, spy a bridge, a bear, a mountain!

There are 10 trail posts to find, and, when you’ve spotted them all, pop back to the museum for a prize. Find out more here.

Visiting The North York Moors In Winter

Winter is on its way, but the robins will still be singing and there’s plenty of activity to enjoy throughout December and beyond across the North York Moors.

Wrap up warm and you’ll find lots going on here in North Yorkshire, from walking and nature days to stargazing and seasonal street stalls. Or, if you prefer a more restful option, we’ve got cosy country pubs, welcoming cafes and afternoon tea with views galore.

Wildlife to look out for across Thirley Cotes Farm and the North York Moors:

  • Bramblings, fieldfare, redwings and chaffinches make themselves at home in Troutsdale.
  • Snow buntings, which will be overwintering on the North York Moors coastline now, take advantage of the festive feeding grounds. Stay at our cottages on the North Yorkshire coast and you may well see the birds making landfall as they fly in from over the North Sea. A busy flock of soft white snow buntings is a wonderful sight.
  • Birds of prey will be hunting during the short daylight hours, including merlin, buzzards, peregrines, sparrowhawks, barn owls and short-eared owls. It is also worth heading to Wykeham Forest Raptor Viewpoint to see what’s around. Tawny owls are still very vocal at dusk. They will be well camouflaged against the brown barks of trees, but now is a great opportunity to see one, when the canopies are devoid of leaves.

Our Recommended Winter Walk in the North York Moors

Hutton le Hole is as pretty as a picture in the snow, but even without the white stuff, this is a charming walk on country lanes and moorland tracks, returning across the Spaunton escarpment for some lovely sweeping views. It’s a cracker for a crisp day, with a country pub in both villages!

What’s On this Christmas in the Lake District, Cumbria

The festive season is fast approaching and the Lake District is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit.

Explore snow topped towns and villages mulled wine in hand or get into the festive spirit with a visit to one of the many markets, where you can enjoy seasonal food and drink and pick up local gifts to take home.

Here’s our run down of festive events taking place this Christmas across the Lake District.

Winter Wonderland, Hayes Garden

If you want to soak up the festive atmosphere, you can’t beat the Winter Wonderland at Hayes Garden World in Ambleside, which is open from early December up to the 23rd.

Explore the magical realm which is decorated with Christmas lights and artificial snow for a real festive feel, leading to Santa’s grotto, where younger visitors may be lucky enough to see the man himself. Don’t forget to fit in some festive shopping at the German-style Christmas market, which has a range of delightful seasonal produce and gifts.

Kendal Christmas Market: 9 December

An enchanting Christmas market in the town of Kendal, with unique gift stalls, food and drink, festive music and Santa’s grotto.

Taste Cumbria Christmas: 9 & 10 December

If you like festive food and drink, you’ll love Taste Cumbria Christmas. Held in Cockermouth, this popular food festival highlights the best of Cumbrian produce, with a local makers market, picnic area and live music and a hot food court. There will also be plenty of gifts and homeware to shop for the perfect Christmas present.

The Magical World of Beatrix Potter at Christmas

Little ones will love a visit to the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere, and it is even more magical in December, with Father Christmas tea parties and a winter wonderland to explore. The price includes admission to the World of Beatrix Potter attraction.

Muncaster Castle Afternoon Tea

For a very special festive afternoon tea, visit Muncaster Castle during the run up to Christmas. You’ll be greeted with a glass of mulled wine to warm you up, and tea, sandwiches, scones + cakes are served in one of the specially decorated state rooms. The price also offers you admission to the gardens, as well as the Hawk and Owl Centre.

Lowther Castle and Gardens

Lowther Castle and Gardens near Penrith has Santa visiting on weekends in December. Children receive a gift and can join in the Christmas activities. Various workshops are being hosted, from creating a decorative wooden reindeer to making a Christmas bird-feeder wreath.

Wrap up warm and you can enjoy fell-walking even in December, but be sure to keep safe and check that the weather forecast is suitable before you set off.

If you don’t fancy exploring the beautiful scenery of the Lakes on foot during the cooler months, there are other ways of getting about and taking in the view.

A boat trip in the Lake District is a pleasure at any time of year, but at Christmas time it has an extra dimension, with sparkling lights on shore adding to the beauty of the scenery. Take a special festive trip on Derwentwater and enjoy a mince pie and sherry, while children receive a present.

Alternatively, get on board one of the Ullswater steamer trips for a festive afternoon tea during December, or, on Sunday 16th December book, one of the special Santa cruises. Departing from Glenridding, the Santa Cruise includes a magic show and a Christmas present for the children, with mince pies and refreshments for grown-ups.

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is operating a series of Santa Specials, running along one of the most scenic lines in the country. Carols, seasonal drinks and a visit from Santa and his elves make for a very special festive train journey.

Santa will also be making an appearance at the Ravenglass & Eskdale Steam Railway, and there will be festive stalls at Ravenglass Station on December weekends leading up to Christmas. Don’t miss the Mince Pie trains running in December! Pick up your token with your ticket and exchange it for a mince pie in the café at Ravenglass Station.

 

Halloween in Whitby & The North York Moors

The North York Moors, with its misty landscapes and mystifying myths and legends, are a haunting backdrop for an atmospheric adventure – but where should budding ghost-hunters start?

Overshadowed by the imposing ruins of the abbey, Whitby is one of our guest’s favourite places to spend time at Halloween. With its winding cobbled streets and eerie cliff-side paths that are seriously spooky, perfect for ghostly encounters and other-worldly explorations.

Famously steeped in gothic folklore, this corner of the North Yorkshire coast is well known as the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and there are plenty of activities and events to celebrate this kooky connection.

Here are some of the best things to do with little one’s in and around Whitby during October half term and beyond.

Illuminated Abbey

One of the most atmospheric and unforgettable events on the North Yorkshire coast returns for 2023. Cameras at the ready, as Whitby Abbey glows with dramatic illuminations once again for Illuminated Abbey this October half term.

It’s an unforgettable, Instagrammable evening that families will love, with Victorian Gothic entertainment thrown in. Visit during the daytime for a more gentle offering, with spooky storytelling and a bewitching trail.

Whitby Goth Weekend (October 27th – 29th)

This half term, see Whitby as you’ve never seen it before, as thousands of goths descend on the picturesque seaside town for Whitby Goth Weekend. This free, alternative festival plays host to live music, unique shopping opportunities and fringe events, many of which are Dracula-related, thanks to Whitby’s links with Bram Stoker.

North Yorkshire Moors Light Spectacular

For an all-singing, all-dancing experience like no other, head for the pretty town of Pickering and the North York Moors Light Spectacular.

Take your seats aboard a vintage engine, adorned with thousands of synchronised LEDs and get ready to dance, sing and watch the illuminated countryside go by. It is a good laugh that gets a thumbs-up from us.

Visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway website for dates and times.

Dark Skies Fringe Festival 2023

Away from the twinkling lights of the region’s towns and cities, the North York Moors is the perfect setting for discovering the wonder of the starry skies. The Dark Skies Fringe Festival from 27th October to 5th November is a unique event that promotes an understanding and appreciation of astronomy and the delights of the world above us.

Book one of the many activities and create lasting memories while you share the awe-inspiring beauty of the universe.

Other things to do in Whitby

  • Climb the 199 steps: A famous landmark and a good workout, climb the 199 steps up from the town to Whitby Abbey and you will be rewarded with mystifying views across the harbour and out to sea. It’s not one to attempt with a pushchair, but older kids will enjoy the challenge and it’s a great way to work up an appetite for freshly caught fish and chips.
  • Set sail on a boat trip: To immerse yourselves in the full seaside experience, nothing beats the sensation of wind in your hair, and the occasional splash from the North Sea. Head over to the bustling harbour, where you’ll find a variety of experiences on offer, from riding an old lifeboat to embarking on an adventure aboard a pirate ship. Most can be booked in person on the day, for maximum spontaneity.
  • Wander along the beach: Great news for those who like their beaches pebble-free; Whitby has a beautiful stretch of golden sand that’s perfect for sandcastle-making, kite-flying, and, if you’re feeling brave, a spot of swimming (brr). Nearby are the quaint fishing villages of Robin Hood’s Bay and Staithes, both excellent places for fossil-hunting.
  • Potter around the shops: Whitby’s brimming with lovely independent shops, from antique and vintage stores to delicious delis. The town’s also well known for its high-quality jet, made from fossilised wood and a favourite souvenir is a Whitby Lucky Duck from Whitby Glass.

Little Vikings is an award-winning print and online guide to the best of York and beyond for kids, independently run by a local family.

For more recommendations of the best things to do with little ones when joining us for a stay in North Yorkshire throughout the year, visit the Little Vikings website and follow on Facebook, Instagram, X and TikTok.

Things to do in the Lake District when it Rains

A holiday when the weather is wet doesn’t mean a washout, as there are still plenty of things to see and do in the Lake District when it rains.

Here are some of the brilliant attractions you can visit close to our Lake District cottages come rain or (fingers crossed) sunshine.

Honister Slate Mine

Honister Slate Mine is located on the main road from Borrowdale to Buttermere, at the top of Honister Pass and is a still working mine which offers underground tours throughout the day.

It gives you the chance to see exactly how the mine works and how the renowned Westmorland green slate is extracted. The tours also include a historical element and there is even the chance to follow the original miner’s track, using a series of metal cables, rungs, ladders and bridges, if you’re feeling brave.

Muncaster Castle and Gardens

Muncaster Castle has been in the Pennington Family since 1208 and is today known as one of the most haunted castles in the UK.

With its stunning gardens (perhaps not on the rainiest of days), an owlery and ornately decorated rooms to explore, many ‘unusual happenings’ have been reported at Muncaster over the decades, and it’s an interesting afternoon even in wet weather, especially if you take a stroll under the cover of the canopy in Bluebell Wood.

The Lakes Distillery

The Lakes Distillery practises holistic spirit production, with a whisky-maker at the helm throughout the journey through the distillery and beyond.

There’s the chance to sample a mix of tipples along the way and the on-site bistro serves up lunch, afternoon tea and dinner once you’ve had your fill of the drinks. You are also not far from the River Derwent if in need of some fresh air to walk it all off.

Ruskin’s Residence

Brantwood in Coniston was the former home of the area’s most renowned resident, artist and critic John Ruskin.

It is a ‘hidden gem’, providing both artistic and natural feats of beauty and the chance to explore the former home of a highly-acclaimed visionary. You can explore the Ruskin Museum and learn about his time living in the Lakes, while examining fine furnishings, beautiful paintings and many of Ruskin’s most treasured possessions. Brantwood also boasts 250 acres of gardens, which are beautiful whatever the weather.

Aira Force Waterfall

Aira Force in Ullswater is even more stunning when it’s wet. Simply walk under the shelter of the leafy canopy and view the waterfalls with added drama, as it drops a staggering 65 foot!! The rain further amplifies the crash, cascading to the ground below and the atmosphere can be something quite unique, thanks to the absence of crowds.

Threlkeld Quarry

Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum offers the opportunity to discover even more about the history of the Lake District and venture on an underground tour, where you can view a varied collection of machinery. The quarry even has its own narrow gauge railway, via which you can take in some stunning views of Blencathra and shelter from the wet weather.

A holiday during the colder months does not mean you have to hide away indoors, should you not wish to, of course! It can even make some attractions more unique and there are plenty of things to do in the Lake District when it rains, even if you’re forced to swap the fells for stately homes and museums.

Feeling inspired to book an autumnal or winter break? Browse our collection of Cumbrian cottages. 

Moor to Sea Cycle Route

The “Moor to Sea” cycle network connects Scarborough, Whitby, Dalby Forest, Great Ayton and Pickering across a series of moorland, forest and coastal loops.

There are around 150 miles to explore through the heart of the North York Moors National Park, on quiet winding roads, woodland tracks and bridleways, as well as along the route of the former Scarborough to Whitby railway (the ‘Cinder Track’).

Riding the whole network would provide 5 or 6 days’ great cycling, however it is split into eleven separate sections so that you can tackle shorter stages on day rides and outings. It’s also possible to do smaller circular trails off the main network, particularly starting from nearby Dalby Forest.

The ‘Moor to Sea Cycle Network’ book, a useful route guide, is available from the National Park Centres at Danby and Sutton Bank and from local shops and tourist information centres. As well as the route guide, we recommend you use Ordnance Survey maps OL26 and OL27, which cover the area and have information available in our Thirley Cotes cottages and on-site reception.

The route is marked all the way, using cycle route signs and waymark arrows. Although the odd sign may be missing, so make regular map checks to save unnecessary miles.

Looking for a great day ride? Discover Yorkshire Coast have planned a 32-mile (51.5km) circular route taking in some of the best bits of the Moor to Sea. Download the directions from the DYC website – then all you have to do is pedal!

Basic cycling skills and reasonable fitness are required to cycle the “Moor to Sea” network. It is suitable for family cycling, although it does pass through remote countryside in places, offering little in the way of shelter or facilities.

• The route uses forest tracks, green lanes and minor roads, as well as the Cinder Track. Surfaces are mostly good, although some sections are stony and there may be seasonal rain damage

• “Moor to Sea” crosses varied terrain, from the largely flat Cinder Track to gradual ascents and descents within the forests. It is mostly moderate, but there are also shorter / steeper sections (clearly indicated on the downloadable detailed route directions)

• Be aware that there is limited mobile telephone reception along much of the route

Visiting the North York Moors in July / August

Summer has arrived and full-leaf oaks, ashes and beeches are supporting hundreds of birds across our Thirley Cotes Farm estate and beyond, which is a spectacle to see / hear.

White carpets of cotton-grass on the fell plateaux, filled with soft seed heads, are also a glorious sight; the fluffy ‘flower’ tops appear like cotton wool balls blowing in the warm breeze and were once used for stuffing mattresses and pillows.

Blakey Ridge between Hutton le Hole and the Lion Inn is a good spot, looking west to Farndale.

At the National Trust managed Bridestones, stroll through the wildflower meadows at Dovedale along the route of the Bridestones Trail, and, as harvesting gets underway toward the end of the month, the scent of lavender will be filling the air, along with bees, dragonflies and butterflies.

Kingfishers are one of the most brilliantly coloured birds in Britain and you may be fortunate to see a flash of blue as you walk by, should one dash across the water or dive to catch small fish.

July is the perfect time for a woodland walk at Thirley Cotes Farm and ‘Seafest’ is Scarborough’s annual maritime weekend celebration, taking place from the 14th – 16th.

The West Pier on Scarborough’s South Bay comes to life with a great musical programme, street entertainers, family activities and a variety of stalls from local businesses.

A fantastic fireworks display on Saturday evening rounds off the first day’s events and there will be plenty of entertainment to start the summer season here on the North Yorkshire coast.