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Spotlight - North Yorkshire Moors Railway

One of the region’s most beloved attractions and certainly one of Britain’s most famous heritage railway is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. With stations located all throughout the national park, the railway takes visitors on a ride through North England’s beautiful countryside, from the coast of Whitby down to the beautiful market town of Pickering.

In its current state, the railway has been operating since 1973 as a tourist attraction, but was initially opened in 1836 as a means to transport goods and passengers through the moors. After being pulled by horses for almost a decade, the line was transformed into a steam powered railway in 1845.

Today, there’s daily services in the high season from March to November, with special events and services taking place during winter. The heritage railway is connected to the main rail network via Whitby and Grosmont, which can easily be reached by train.

The route leads through the North Yorkshire Moors, stopping at Goathland, Levisham and Pickering.

About the North York Moors

Located in the North East of England, the North York Moors national park comprises over 550 square miles of heather moorland and rolling hills. Its beautiful coastline is speckled with villages nestled into the cliffs - Robin Hood’s Bay, Staithes and Flamborough with their quaint little cottages and sandy beaches are amongst the most popular.

Lying just outside the border of the national park but just as well worth a visit are the beautiful towns of Whitby, Scarborough and Saltburn-by-the-Sea.

While its outstanding nature is North Yorkshire’s biggest asset, there’s lots more activities and attractions to discover. From Whitby’s Abbey, the Whalebone Arch and the Captain Cook Memorial Museum to Staithes’ harbour and beach or Saltburn’s Cliff Tramway, there’s plenty to choose from when going on a trip up North.

A day trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Feeling inspired and want to go see the real deal? You can get on the railway at five different stations, depending on the length of the route you'd like to travel and the NYMR timetable. 

If you'd like to travel to North Yorkshire by train, book your tickets to either Whitby or Grosmont as both stations are connected to the national rail network. 


Getting there

North Yorkshire is well connected by rail and easy to reach from other parts of the country, too. There's regular train services taking visitors from London to York in under two hours, or to Darlington in 2h22. From there, the train goes straight to Whitby via Middlesbrough. 

Alternatively, there are local bus services connecting to some of the stations along the NYMR line. 

Car parking is also available at Pickering, Levisham, Goathland and Grosmont stations, however those spots are verry popular on busy days, so it is advised to take public transport instead. 

The North York Moors Railway route

The railway offers both southbound and northbound services, starting in Whitby and Pickering respectively. 

The train services the the following stations:

  • Whitby station
  • Grosmont station
  • Goathland station
  • Newtondale halt (request stop)
  • Levisham station
  • Pickering station

Hollywood in North Yorkshire

From 'The Railway Children' to 'Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves' and numerous adaptions of 'Wuthering Heights', many films have been shot in North Yorkshire. 

North Yorkshire's mix of moors, woodlands, rivers and coasts have inspired creatives for centuries and provide the perfect backdrop for all kinds of stories. 



The North York Moors Railway in film and TV

Goathland is without a doubt one of the most quaint little railway stations in the country. Film makers agree - Goathland and the North York Moors Railway have made numerous TV and film appearances over the years. 

The station has starred in popular British TV series 'Heartbeat' as the railway station of fictional town Aidensfield for a staggering 372 episodes.

In recent years, Goathland has risen to unprecedented fame after starring as Hogsmeade station in 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'. 

Where to go from here

The Yorkshire dales are speckled with beautiful villages and coastal towns - why not extend your day trip into a weekend and visit some more of the stunning places Yorkshire has to offer? 


The ruins of the abbey towering over this small seaside town have allegedly inspired Bram Stoker to create his infamous character Dracula. Climb up the 199 steps to the Abbey or stay in Whitby town for some afternoon tea in one of the many little cafés in the old city centre. 


Saltburn is a small seaside town on the northern outskirts of the North York Moors National Park. Located near the bigger Middlesbrough, Saltburn makes for a great stop along the coast. Enjoy the view from the cliffs or take the Saltburn Cliff Lift down to the pier and the town's sandy beach. 


Located just outside the National Park, Scarborough is a seaside resort well worth a visit. Grab an ice cream and stroll along the beachfront in summer or enjoy a nice cuppa overlooking the bay when visiting in the colder months. 


Just outside the borders of North Yorkshire lies the ancient city of York. Founded and walled by the Romans, the city today attracts tourists and local visitors alike. 

York Minster, just a short 10 minute walk from the station, is one of the world's most beautiful gothic cathedrals. 

Another highlight are The Shambles, a cobbled street lined with timber-framed houses that contain tea rooms and souvenir shops. 

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