The Howardian Hills, easily accesible from York, is an area just waiting to be explored.
Rolling hills, woodlands, country estates and visitor attractions make for a great day out in every season.
In Spring enjoy the bluebells as you take a wander along the many woodland paths, In Summer stroll alongside the River Derwent or Rye as damselflies and dragonflies feed over the water. Autumn colour turns the AONB landscape beautiful shades of red and orange and in winter the trees stand out against snow covered hills.
The landscape and villages of the Howardian Hills have been shaped by the numerous Country Estates with their grand houses, forestry, parklands and follies. Explore the parklands and wider estates of these country houses using the extensive network of footpaths and bridleways, or take a closer look at the houses and their gardens?
Why not visit Ampleforth Abbey, with its visitor centre and cider mill tours, the tranquil ruins of Kirkham Priory or the beautifully-restored Howsham Mill where you can learn about hydro-power and renewable energy.
Within and close to the Howardian Hills you will find a diverse range of beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces:
Our local market towns of Malton, Pickering, Kirkbymoorside, Helmsley and Easingwold provide ample opportunities for shopping, eating out and hotel accommodation. Picturesque villages such as Slingsby, Hovingham, Nunnington, Husthwaite, Crayke and Terrington offer a chance to admire the stone and brick vernacular architecture of the area.
Slightly further afield are a rich variety of opportunities within easy reach for day trips:
Heather-covered hills and dramatic coastline characterise the North York Moors National Park. Sutton Bank Visitor Centre lies at the south west corner of the North York Moors, offering advice about visiting and exploring the area, a cafe, gift shop and Sutton Bank Bikes for cycle hire.
The Yorkshire Nature Triangle encapsulates the rolling chalk hills of the Yorkshire Wolds and the varied, wildlife-rich coastline of the North and East Yorkshire Coast. There are many opportunities to discover the wildlife and landscape of the area through guided walks and events, visits to reserves and walks along the cliff-top paths.
The Forestry Commission-owned Dalby Forest offers a multitude of activities and facilities set within a rich and varied forest landscape. Stay close to the action around the modern, sustainable visitor centre or head off into the depths of the forest on one of the many trails. A wholesome day trip for everyone from toddlers to top-class mountain bikers.
Photographs: AONB Unit, apart from:
Hovingham Hall – Robert Wainright; Nunnington Hall – Liz Bassindale; Newburgh Priory – Newburgh Priory website; Ampleforth Abbey – Ampleforth Abbey website; Kirkham Priory – English Heritage; Howsham Mill – Howsham Mill website; Yorkshire Lavender – Yorkshire Lavender website; The Dutch House – The Dutch House website; Helmsley Walled Garden – Colin Dilcock