Raisdale Mill Cottages

           in the North York Moors

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Spirituality and Tranquility 

In the 12th century Aelred, Abbot of Rievaulx Abbey, summed up the spirituality of the North York Moors area when he wrote: ďEverywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world

Visit the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey set in the tranquil valley of the river Rye and youíll see this still holds true. One of Britainís most complete and impressive abbeys, its displays show the links between the monks and their beautiful surroundings.

Byland Abbey was once one of Englandís greatest monasteries, inspiring the design of church buildings throughout the North.

Mount Grace Priory, huddled on the edge of the Hambleton Hills, is the best-preserved Carthusian priory in Britain, complete with reconstructed monkís cell and intriguing medieval plumbing.

Ampleforth Abbey is home to the largest Benedictine community in Britain and remains at the heart of the famous Roman Catholic boarding school. Now it has a visitor centre and is known for its award-winning cider, beer and liqueurs.

Handale Priory was founded by William de Percy in 1133 and housed a small community of Benedictine nuns sent here from Rosedale Abbey as a penance. Handale Abbey Walled Garden has recently been restored; a 19th century listed walled garden, itís a hidden gem.

The area continues to attract those in search of peace and tranquillity. A new order recently arrived in the area: members of the Conventus of Our Lady of Consolation relocated from Worcestershire to the eco-friendly Stanbrook Abbey near Wass, a stonemasonís throw from Byland Abbey.

From time to time, itís good to escape the hustle and bustle of todayís busy world. Some ways to enjoy the serenity of the North York Moors National Park and Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty:

  • Slow down, fill your lungs with fresh air, walk on the moors to enjoy the solitude and awe-inspiring nature.
  • Enjoy each season: evocative calls of the breeding curlews and impressive acrobatic displays of male lapwings in spring; watch the bees on the heather and the skylarks in summer; pick delicious bilberries in autumn; a bracing walk followed by a drink by a log fire in a traditional pub in winter.
  • Experience the amazing dawn chorus at Skelton Tower on Levisham Moor or on a nature walk in Dalby Forest.
  • Marvel at the stars from Sutton Bank, the observatories outside Dalby Forest Visitor Centre and on the moors.
  • Leave the car behind and explore at a pace to suit you. Walk a section of one of the many well-marked trails such as the Rail Trail between Goathland and Grosmont, the Esk Valley Walk, or the Cleveland Way.
  • Climb a hill for a picnic with a 360 degree view. Clamber up distinctive Roseberry Topping, take in Newgate Bank top on a circular walk or look out across the Vales of York and Mowbray from Sutton Bank.
  • Watch the sun rise and set over the sea at Sandsend, one of only two places in the country where you can do this.

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You know you're in the North York Moors when you see...

Don't leave until you've....

Market Towns and Villages

Forests and Woods

Sutton Bank and the escarpment

Heritage coast and fishing villages

Hidden Valleys

Howardian Hills AoNB

The Cleveland Hills


Amazing buildings

Arts an crafts

Nature and outdoors

Special Qualities of the North York Moors National Park