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Nature, Parks & Gardens

The North York Moors National Park is one huge paradise for the nature lover. From its sweeping coastline, home to seabirds, waders, wildfowl and marine animals, across the moors where bird-watchers can spot red grouse, curlew, lapwing and predators including hawks and owls, to the Western reaches with their more pastoral areas, wildlife abounds within the 1,400 square miles of the Park.The moors are home to an important number of Britain’s smallest raptor - it’s believed that around 40 pairs of only 1,300 merlins left in the UK live in the Park.

And, of course, the moors are also home to the colour purple – in the form of the heather that flowers in late summer and early autumn. It’s a valuable habitat for other rare species, including birds such as the golden plover and plants including sundew, and cranberry, juniper, dwarf cornel, bog rosemary and cloudberry.

Keep a careful eye out, too, for adders, Britain’s only poisonous snake, which is common on the moors, but rarely seen.

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Newbridge Park

Newbridge Park

Lowther Wood, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 8BX

Newbridge Park have developed bike trails, improved footpaths and created a family picnic area in a disused quarry and adjoining neglected woodland behind Pickering Castle. Locals and visitors can enjoy family walks in a nice woodland area.

The Moors National Park Centre, Danby

The Moors National Park Centre

Lodge Lane, Danby, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 2NB

For inside info on the National Park and a fun free day out. There’s an outdoor adventure play area and indoor climbing wall for kids. Interactive exhibits, a café, gift shop and contemporary gallery, Inspired by… with changing exhibitions.

Enjoying England's "finest view" at Sutton Bank

Sutton Bank National Park Centre

Sutton Bank, Nr Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 2EH

For a great day out head to Sutton Bank National Park Centre, less than 30mls north of York. Soak up England’s finest view on easy walking trails or head out on two wheels along the new spectacular Sutton Bank cliff edge family cycle route.

Laburnum arch at Helmsley Walled Garden

Helmsley Walled Garden

Cleveland Way, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5AH

Helmsley Walled Garden, five acres of stunning herbaceous borders, Victorian vine houses, Kitchen Garden, Orchard and other garden rooms.

Helmsley Castle

Helmsley Castle

Castlegate, Helmsley, York, YO62 5AB

Towering over the attractive market town of Helmsley, and surrounded by spectacular banks and ditches, Helmsley Castle is an imposing sight with a wealth of history.

International Centre for Birds of Prey

National Centre for Birds of Prey

Duncombe Park, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5EB

International Centre for Birds of Prey Duncombe, is home large collection of exotic and spectacular birds of prey.