Site logo

Five exciting family attractions in the North York Moors

Eden Camp

The North York Moors, just a short drive from York, might be famed for its natural beauty, diverse landscapes and breathtaking views, but it’s also home to world-class attractions that appeal to even the youngest of visitors. From immersive historical experiences to outdoor adventures, here are five of the best family attractions in the North York Moors.


💰 The best free things to do in the North York Moors

🌳 The best family walks in the North York Moors

🧙‍♂️The best Harry Potter things to do in York

🥴 The best unusual things to do in York

👶🏼 The best things to do in York with a baby/toddler

📗 Read the Little Vikings Family Guide to York

💰 Save money with the Little Vikings Family Card

1. Eden Camp

Eden Camp review

On the outskirts of the lovely market town of Malton, Eden Camp is a modern history museum housed within the grounds of an original WWII prisoner-of-war camp. It’s an immersive and fascinating journey back in time to experience the sights, sounds, and stories of wartime Britain. The camp is divided into themed huts, each representing a different aspect of life during the war, such as the Blitz, the Home Front, and the Battle of Britain. It’s a moving insight into the challenges and triumphs of wartime Britain, and brings it to life much more than a classroom ever could (younger children might want to avoid the more intense/darker elements, which are limited and clearly signed). There are two excellent playgrounds, a cafe and a giftshop, as well as regular children’s activities during the school holidays, making it a great destination for families. Eden Camp, Malton YO17 6RT – Visit the Eden Camp website

2. Dalby Forest

Dalby Forest Things to do for free York

It’s no secret that Dalby Forest is one of our top recommendations for places to go with kids near York. Home to over 8,500 acres of stunning views, endless family-friendly walking, running and cycling trails and Gruffalo adventures, Dalby is an excellent day out with kids of all ages. Admission to the fantastic Visitor Centre is free, just pay to park. There’s a brilliant adventure playground, streams to paddle in, regular family activities and outdoor games, newly refurbished cafe and much more. Seeking a thrill? The Go Ape adventure course offers high-flying fun with zip lines, rope bridges, and Tarzan swings suspended high above the forest floor (extra charge applies; pre-booking required). Dalby Forest is the perfect day out in the North York Moors for families looking to reconnect with nature and create lasting memories together. Dalby Forest Drive, Low Dalby, Pickering YO18 7LT – Visit the Dalby Forest website.

3. North Yorkshire Moors Railway

North York Moors Railway Steam Train

Step aboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and travel back in time on a heritage steam railway that winds its way through the beautiful North York Moors National Park. Operating between the market town of Pickering and the seaside resort of Whitby, this iconic railway offers a nostalgic journey through some of Yorkshire’s most stunning scenery. It’s great fun, with more than a hint of Harry Potter magic (Goathland Station was in one of the films!). At Christmas, their Santa Specials is an award-winning festive experience to remember, and the Light Spectacular during the autumn is great fun too. Under 16s go free! North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Pickering Station, Park St, Pickering YO18 7AJ – Visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway website

4. Castle Howard

castle howard easter

A magnificent stately home set amidst acres of landscaped gardens and parkland, Castle Howard is a must-visit attraction for families exploring the North York Moors. This historic house, famed for its starring role in Brideshead Revisited and, more recently, Bridgerton, has plenty to offer for children throughout the year. Explore the woodland, play hide and seek in the gardens and enjoy lunch in the courtyard or by the lake. Skelf Island, the wonderful new adventure playground, is a real jewel in the crown for kids, with running, climbing and sliding opportunities galore. Castle Howard’s Christmas experience is one of the best in the country, and there are always special activities during the holidays too. Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA – Visit the Castle Howard website

5. The World of James Herriott

world of james herriot review

Located in the picturesque market town of Thirsk, The World of James Herriot is a fascinating museum dedicated to the life and work of much-loved vet and author, James Herriot (real name James Alfred Wight). Housed within the original surgery where he practiced for over 50 years, it’s a fascinating insight into the world of a country vet in rural Yorkshire. There’s a whole room dedicated to imaginative, vet-based children’s activities – read our review to find out more. World of James Herriot Ltd, 23 Kirkgate, Thirsk YO7 1PL – Visit The World of James Herriott website

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter


The best of York and beyond for families, Straight to your inbox every week.

Subscribe now