With a history dating back to 1835, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is England’s most popular heritage steam railway. The 18-mile (29-kilometer) route winds through the North York Moors National Park, stopping at historic railway stations and affording magnificent views of the rugged moorlands.
The railway runs from Pickering station to Grosmont, stopping at Levisham, Newton Dale, and Goathland. Single or return tickets are available from any of the stations, and all train tickets allow you to hop-on and hop-off, so you can explore all the destinations along the way. For an extra special experience, book a seat in the Pullman Dining Train to enjoy lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner on board; opt for a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic trains; or take a ride on one of the steam or diesel footplates (advance bookings essential).
Most visitors opt to ride the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on a day trip from York, often combined with a visit to the seaside resort of Whitby or Yorkshire towns, such as Hutton-le-Hole or Helmsley.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Trains have restrooms on board and refreshments are available to purchase.
- Cafés, paid car parking, and restrooms are available at all stations.
- All trains and stations offer wheelchair access, but it is best to advise at the time of booking if you need assistance.
How to Get to There
Limited car parking is available at the train stations, so if you are planning to drive, it’s recommended to make an early start. Most people choose to visit as part of a guided tour, but it’s also possible to take the train from Whitby to Grosmont station or from York to Pickering.
When to Get There
Steam trains run every day from the end of March through October, and the most impressive views are during the summer months of July and August, when the Yorkshire moors are ablaze with purple heather. During the winter months, service is cut back to select weekends and holidays. Traveling offpeak (typically weekdays outside of school holidays) means cheaper train fares and fewer crowds.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Highlights
North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s star attraction is Goathland station, famously transformed into Hogsmeade station for the first Harry Potter film. The town of Goathland was also the filming location for popular UK TV series Heartbeat. Levisham and Newton Dale are the gateway to the moors, with ample opportunities for hiking and wildlife watching, while visitors to Grosmont station can explore the historic railway sheds and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at the Grosmont Tea Room.