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The Best Photography Spots In The North York Moors

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Endless moors, steam trains, waterfalls, fairytale villages and wildlife at every turn make the North York Moors seriously photogenic! Here are the best photography spots in the North York Moors.

The North York Moors is a total dream for photographers. With its diverse landscape, historical sites, and wildlife, you’ll have endless opportunities to practice or capture incredible images. We love to see how each photographer interprets this incredible area. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the top photography spots in the North York Moors that will leave you inspired and eager to snap away.


Roseberry Topping

Roseberry Topping.

Known as the “Matterhorn of Yorkshire,” Roseberry Topping is a striking hill with a distinctive shape. Mining subsidence and geological faults appear to have caused a landslip in 1914, resulting in the summit’s current shape.

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Roseberry Topping is now owned and cared for by the National Trust. It was thought to be the highest peak on the North York Moors, standing at 1,049 feet (320 m). However, there are 15 higher peaks, and Urra Moor, nearby, is the highest, reaching 1,490 feet (450 m).

Roseberry Topping.

Many people like to climb to the summit to photograph the surrounding moorland and countryside, with magnificent views as far as the Pennines on clear days.

Sunrise and sunset are particularly magical times to photograph Roseberry Topping, with the changing light casting dramatic shadows and vibrant colours across the landscape. However, there are many potentially great photographs to take all year round of one of the highest points in the North York Moors.

Roseberry Topping is also a popular destination for those looking to photograph the springtime bluebells in nearby Newton Wood.

Click here for Roseberry Topping walks and further information.

Roseberry Topping, Middlesbrough TS9 6QR


Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey arch way.

Whitby Abbey is bodly sat on the cliff overlooking Whitby. Its Gothic arches and towering remains are an incredible backdrop for photography.

The grounds Whitby Abbey sits on only add to the scope of beautiful images you can achieve. To the South and behind the Abbey is a small lake/pond, a great spot to photograph from. You find this spot by entering the Abbey grounds.

Little boy at Whitby Abbey.

If you’re interested in photography, a great time to visit Whitby Abbey is for the Illuminated Abbey event. Seeing Whitby Abbey lit up for the Illuminated Abbey event is truly spectacular. Every year, we are astonished by the photos.

You don’t have to enter the grounds to get interesting photos. Images of the Abbey from Whitby town and harbour are particularly iconic, too. Additionally, nearby attractions like St. Mary’s Churchyard and the 199 Steps offer more photographic opportunities.

Learn more about Whitby Abbey here.

Whitby Abbey, Abbey Ln, Whitby YO22 4JT


Farndale Daffodil Walk

Farndale Daffodil Walk.

In the spring, Farndale transforms into a sea of golden daffodils. The daffodil walk, which follows the River Dove, is perfect for photographing the vibrant colours of the flowers set against the green backdrop of the moors. This spot is ideal for macro photography, allowing you to focus on the intricate details of the blooms.

Daffodil walk.

This natural spectacle is made even more astounding when you learn that the first daffodil bulbs were said to have been planted by medieval monks from nearby Rievaulx Abbey. The daffodils are protected within the Farndale Nature Reserve, established in 1955 to safeguard the valley’s famous flowers.

Follow the Farndale Daffodil walk here.

Low Mill, North York Moors National Park, York YO62 7UY


Rosedale Chimney Bank

Rosedale Chimney Bank top.

Chimney Bank shares the steepest road in England with Hardknott Pass in Cumbria. This hill pass carries a minor road between Rosedale Abbey and Hutton-le-Hole in the Ryedale district of the North York Moors. Cyclists often refer to it as The Chain Breaker.

Rosedale Chimney Bank offers dramatic views of the surrounding moorland and is a great spot for capturing the essence of the North York Moors. The winding road, steep inclines, and expansive vistas provide a variety of compositions. This area is lovely in autumn when the heather is in full bloom, painting the moors in shades of purple and pink.

Rosedale Chimney Bank, Pickering YO18 8SE


Goathland and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Goathland Station.

Goathland, a pretty village often associated with the TV series Heartbeat, is also home to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. You will feel like you have stepped back in time here.

More recently, Goathland Railway Station appeared in the internationally known Harry Potter films as ‘Hogsmeade’.

Steam trains chugging through the scenic landscape make for nostalgic and evocative photographs. Capture the trains passing through stations, crossing bridges, or winding through the moors for timeless images.

Learn more about Goathland here.

Goathland, Whitby YO22 5NF


Mallyan Spout Waterfall

Mallyan Spout Waterfall.

Near Goathland, Mallyan Spout is a 70-foot waterfall that cascades into a rocky gorge, perfect for long-exposure photography. Capture the water’s movement against the surrounding forest’s stillness. It is accessible via a pathway behind the Mallyan Spout Hotel. These beautiful falls were a popular attraction for visitors during the Victorian era.

Learn more about the Mallyan Spout Waterfall and how to visit here.

Mallyan Spout Waterfall, Goathland, Whitby YO22 5AW


RAF Danby Beacon

Danby Beacon.
Brazier sculpture at Danby Beacon by Colin Grice, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want panoramic views of the North York Moors, head to RAF Danby Beacon. This vantage point offers moorland views that are breathtaking at sunrise and sunset. The changing light and weather conditions can dramatically alter the scene, providing endless opportunities for creative photography.

RAF Danby Beacon was a crucial early warning system and communication tool from the Roman occupation through the Napoleonic era and the Second World War. Surrounded by charming villages like Danby and Lealholm, the beacon’s significance continues to interest visitors and history enthusiasts.

Danby Beacon, Houlsyke, Whitby YO21 2AD


Hole of Horcum

Hole of Horcum.

The Hole of Horcum was created through a geological process known as spring-sapping. This process involves water welling up from the hillside and gradually eroding the slopes above, leading to the widening and deepening of the valley over thousands of years. The continuous action of spring-sapping means that the Hole of Horcum is in a state of constant change.

Known as the “Devil’s Punchbowl,” the Hole of Horcum is a massive natural amphitheatre that offers stunning views and unique compositions. The vast, bowl-shaped valley is an excellent subject for wide-angle shots, capturing the scale of the landscape. It’s incredibly photogenic in the early morning or late afternoon light.

Click to learn more about the Hole of Horcum and how to get there.

Hole of Horcum, Pickering YO18 7NW


Staithes

Staithes Village in North Yorkshire.

The North Yorkshire seaside town of Staithes is just 10 miles from Whitby. Once one of the busiest fishing ports on the North East coast, Staithes boasts a long, proud history as the one-time home of famous Royal Navy captain and explorer Captain James Cook.

It’s a really pretty fishing village, with its narrow streets, colourful cottages, and small harbour, which is a photographer’s delight. The contrast between the rugged coastline and the quaint village offers numerous opportunities for truly beautiful images. Try shooting from the clifftops for sweeping views of the village against the cliffs.

Learn more about Staithes here.

Staithes, Saltburn-by-the-Sea TS13 5AD


Fylingdales Moor

Kestrel.

Fylingdales Moor offers vast expanses of heather and rugged terrain for a more wild and untamed landscape. This area is perfect for capturing the raw beauty of the moors.

It’s also a great spot for wildlife photography; the open spaces allow for excellent visibility and opportunities to photograph birds of prey, deer, and other native species.

Additionally, the changing weather and lighting conditions on the moor create dynamic and atmospheric settings for photography.

Fylingdales Moor, Scarborough YO13 0LA


So there we have it: the North York Moors is the perfect backdrop for incredible photography. Whether you’re captivated by the dramatic coastlines, serene moorlands, or historic sites, there’s something here to inspire every photographer.

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