Love Parks Week takes place between 28 July-6 August this year, celebrating our green spaces and the people who maintain them year-round. We’re lucky to have some wonderful parks on our doorstep and we've handpicked just a few below, with plenty more to discover.
The breath-taking North York Moors National Park is in a league of its own, stretching across 5,544 square miles and including 26 miles of coastline, encompassing some of the most charming coastal villages in the UK.
The park is a designated International Dark Sky Reserve, making it one of just 18 such reserves on the planet that ‘possess an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment’. Its low light pollution levels make it officially one of the best places in the whole world to go star-gazing – in the darkest areas you can see up to 2,000 stars at any one time. Danby Lodge National Park Centre, Star and Nature Hub at Sutton Bank National Park Centre, and Dalby Observatories in Dalby Forest are designated Dark Sky Discovery sites, where you can often experience the magic of seeing the Milky Way with the naked eye.
For on the ground adventures, enjoy the freedom of miles of walking trails and cycling tracks at Sutton Bank National Park Centre. With family-friendly green trails to red trails for more experienced cyclists, it’s also home to two purpose built all-weather cycling tracks: a pump track with banked turns and rollers; and a 2.5km figure-of-eight family-friendly trail doubling as a cyclocross track for competitive events. Plus, don’t miss the brand new and interactive Ryevitalise exhibition, exploring the habitats, wildlife and cultural significance of the river Rye.
Found on Whitby’s west side, the 3.3 hectare Pannett Park is a peaceful haven just a short (uphill!) walk from the centre of town. Dotted with shrubs, mature trees and manicured lawns, it’s a lovely spot to enjoy a picnic and some quiet away from the bustling streets below. Originally installed in 1953 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, the colourful floral clock is the centrepiece of the park, meanwhile children will love the marine themed play area, with much of the equipment suitable for people with special needs.
If you fancy brushing up on your history, take a visit to the award-winning Whitby Museum which houses artefacts from around the world, and also has a lovely tearoom. If art is more your thing, Pannett Art Gallery features collections and displays from both local and national artists which change throughout the year.
Wander the Jurassic Gardens with their huge, lush plants and fossil footpath, and pop into the Community Garden to see how local groups are developing food crops. If you fancy discovering something new, why not explore with our range of free Love Exploring games and trails?
Please note, the paths in the park can be steep in places and dogs are not allowed in the park.
Just a short walk from the main attractions of Scarborough’s North Bay you’ll find the landscaped oasis that is Peasholm Park. Often named one of the UK’s favourite parks, Peasholm was awarded a prestigious Green Flag in 2022, coinciding with its 100th anniversary.
With a rich history, this oriental themed park offers a beautiful system of bridges, streams and waterfalls which connect to the central lake, overlooked by a striking pagoda. Home to an abundance of wildlife including wild geese, the park also offers a fascinating tree trail with rare trees including the Dickson’s Golden Elm, previously thought to be extinct but which was rediscovered in 2004.
If you fancy exploring the boating lake, there is a selection of brightly painted rowing boats, canoes and dragon themed pedaloes to choose from - or you can sail in the swan launch and let someone do the hard work for you while you admire the scenery. In the middle of the lake sits Peasholm Bandstand which hosts Sunday afternoon band concerts throughout July and August.
If you’re visiting in the summer, you’re in for a treat with the world-famous Naval Warfare. This unique experience dates back almost 100 years and see 20-foot replica boats taking to the lake for the Battle of Peasholm! If you have kids in tow, you can tee off at the putting pitch or the 18-hole mini golf course, then tuck into a tasty snack at the café. Meanwhile, Peasholm Pete will also be entertaining kids every Tuesday and Wednesday in August with his Summer Festival of Fun.
Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome in Peasholm Park, with litter bins dotted around the park.
Jutting half a mile into the North Sea, Filey Brigg is a long narrow peninsula which once served as a Roman signal station. Legend has it this rocky spine is the backbone of a dragon which terrorised the town until enterprising locals fed it so much sticky Yorkshire parkin that it fell, over-stuffed, into the sea, where they were able to despatch it to the beyond. Nowadays, its steep cliffs offer some of the best coastal views in the region and are a popular spot for sightings of whales and dolphins.
The Brigg is fringed by cliffs and on the top of them, you’ll find the Country Park, complete with stunning views across the bay, a children’s play area, mini golf and the Dragon Ring stone circle – and in the autumn, a spectacular kite festival. There’s also a café if you fancy making a day of it, plus toilets. A trek along the Brigg offers some of the best views of the Yorkshire Coast and is the meeting point of the long-distance walking routes “The Cleveland Way” and “The Wolds Way”, and are often a good spot for sightings of whales and dolphins. If you’re heading down to the Brigg, be sure to check the tide times.
You'll find tonnes more ideas of activities, attractions and places to visit on our website at www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com.
Wherever you choose to explore on the Yorkshire Coast, we'd love to see your photos – just tag #DiscoverYorkshireCoast