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Whitby By Rail, Explore The North York Moors By Railway From Whitby

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We get asked a lot, can you get to Whitby by train? The answer is yes, you can!

Travelling to Whitby by rail is a peaceful and picturesque way to explore and appreciate the magnificent landscapes along the way.

Esk Valley Railway
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Esk Valley Railway – Middlesbrough to Whitby

Travel from the heart of Middlesbrough to the historic seaside town of Whitby, passing through the North York Moors National Park and pass 17 stations along the route. This 90-minute journey covers 35 miles.

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The Esk Valley Railway connects the rural communities in the North Yorkshire Moors with the city of Middlesbrough and the historic seaside town of Whitby. The railway also offers an enjoyable, environmentally friendly, and stress-free way to view and explore this magnificent landscape and lovely villages.

Further information to help plan your trip:

  • For inspiration for days out and things to do along the way visit here.
  • Find walking/cycling routes here.
  • Information on fares and discounts is available here.
  • A calendar of upcoming events is available here.
  • Follow their Real Ale Trail, this leaflet gives details of many of the great pubs along the Esk Valley Railway line. Download the PDF here.

Live train times along the Esk Vally are available here.

Route 5: Middlesbrough to Whitby

North York Moors Railway 

North York Moors Railway

The North York Moors heritage railway is one of the best in the world! It takes you on a journey through the heart of the national park and offers spectacular scenery. Stopping at Pickering, Levisham, Newtondale Halt, Goathland Station, Grosmont Station, and Whitby Station. 

For a really memorable journey book yourself a seat and enjoy a day trip packed with stunning scenery. You will totally feel like you are stepping back in time whilst travelling along the 24 miles of magnificent Yorkshire Countryside on one of their steam and heritage diesel trains.

The North York Moors Historical Railway Trust is a not-for-profit charitable organisation run as part of the local community. Day to day operation is carried out by volunteers with railway operations and business experience. 


Book tickets here.

Pickering Station 

The first stop is Pickering, their 1930s style station. A highlight of Pickering Station is the magnificent roof structure which was recently re-instated to the same design as the original, built-in 1847 by G T Andrews. The station itself is a great place to pick up a souvenir or you can pop into the traditional railway tea room serving tasty meals and snacks.

North York Moors Railway Pickering Station

The historic market town of Pickering still holds its traditional market every Monday. Around the corner from the NYMR is Beck Isle Museum where you can discover the heritage, history, and culture of life in Pickering. Visit Pickering’s 13th-century castle originally built by William the Conqueror and don’t forget to head up to the Market Place to browse the many independent shops.

Download our Pickering Station Worksheet.

Visit here for things to see and do, activities, and nearby trips.

Levisham Station

Next, explore Levisham Station which is surrounded by the North York Moors. Take a trip back in history and experience a 1912 styled railway station. During weekends, bank holidays, and special events the Weighbridge Tea Hut is open serving tasty snacks and drinks to visitors, walkers, and cyclists.

North York Moors Railway Levisham Station UK

The track across Levisham Moor runs through a landscape rich in archaeological remains – in fact, the moor itself is the largest ancient monument in the North York Moors. Half-hidden in the heather are traces of human occupation stretching back thousands of years, from Bronze Age barrows to late Iron Age boundary dykes. These mounds, ditches, banks, and ridges are evidence of burial sites, fortified farmsteads, enclosures, and field systems – hard to spot at first glance but obvious once identified.

Visit here for things to see and do, walks, and places to eat and drink.

Newtondale Halt (request stop)

Deep in the heart of the North York Moors National Park lies Newtondale Halt. Access to this station can only be made via the NYMR, on foot, or with the assistance of a mountain bike which makes it the perfect place to spot some magnificent wildlife. Just let the guard know you intend to disembark and enjoy exploring the quiet and magnificent woodland.

For more information and walks visit here.

Goathland Station

No trip on North Yorkshire Moors Railways would be complete without a stop at the famous Goathland Station! This is a must-see is the celebrity station that became Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film and featured as Aidensfield in the ITV programme, Heartbeat.

Goathland Train Station

The charming village of Goathland is just a few minutes walk up the bank from the station, with a great range of shops and pubs. You could explore the national park; embark on a country walk along the Rail Trail back to Grosmont or to the Mallyan Spout Waterfall. Goathland Station has its very own shop and has a tea room which is in a converted 1922 style goods shed.

Visit here for things to see and do, walks, and places to eat and drink.

Grosmont Station

Grosmont Station is home to the operating and engineering world of the NYMR. Here you will find the engine sheds where the steam and diesel locomotives are maintained and restored. Head through the George Stephenson tunnel built in 1835 and you’ll find yourself at the shed shop.

Grosmont Railway Station NYMR

If you are lucky you might also be able to catch a sneaky peak at the work taking place on the engines. The 1952 themed Grosmont Station is the junction where the heritage railway ends and the main rail network begins, connecting both Middlesbrough and Whitby to the NYMR with the Esk Valley Line.

Visit here for things to see and do and walks.

Whitby Station

Steeped in history Whitby is known for its quirky narrow streets and bustling harbour overlooked by the striking ruins of Whitby Abbey. Explore the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, where you can learn about the famous explorer’s life, or visit the Dracula Experience on the seafront.

North York Moors Railway Whitby

Staying in Whitby? Climb-on board a heritage train and explore further afield by taking a trip to the market town of Pickering. Trains depart daily from Whitby Railway Station.


Trains from Whitby

Whitby is lucky to have a railway right in the middle of town. Northern Rail trains run to and from Whitby.

Did you see the Great British Railway Journeys documentary on the BBC featuring Whitby, Grosmont & Goathland?

The Great British Railway Journeys is a documentary from the BBC and one particular episode  covers the trip over the North Yorks Moors to Whitby. Learn about Dracula and his connections to Whitby and the history of the rare gemstone Whitby Jet. A great look at what this famous seaside town has to offer. Great British Railway Journeys is a BBC documentary series presented by Michael Portillo. You can watch this episode online here.

Let us know your own experiences of travelling to Whitby by rail. We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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