North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Pickering Station Park Street Pickering YO18 7AJ

You really have to leave the car behind and take to the train to see the finest moorland scenery, courtesy of the vintage wood-panelled carriages and heritage steam and diesel engines of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Children will need no persuading – the station at Goathland was Hogsmeade station in the first Harry Potter film – but the whole line is a joy, taking you from the market town of Pickering all the way to the coast at Whitby, with stops at several isolated halts and stations en route. There are great local walks from all the stations – and proper old tea rooms too at several. If we had to choose one day out – wait for the sun – it would be to get off at Levisham and do the walk to the stupendous Hole of Horcum and back, but idyllically rustic places like Goathland (Aidensfield in TV's Heartbeat) and Grosmont (site of the steam engine sheds) are also well worth a visit. You can buy one-way and return tickets for any journey, but the day rovers are the best value as you can get on and off – and note that the trains don't always go to Whitby (though they do in summer and school holidays), with the main terminus being at Grosmont, 18 miles from Pickering.

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