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Stay in Yorkshire When You Holiday in Britain
The North York Moors National Park was established in 1952 and is one of the most beautiful places in Britain. It covers 554 square kilometers and is one of the largest areas of heather moorland in the United Kingdom. It has miles of amazing heather, long sea cliffs, remote beaches and grassy beaches, all of which give it its own character. There are over 1,400 hiking trails and access rights available for hikers. But it is not an empty space. 25,000 people live and work there.
The Moors of North York have cool summers and very cold winters. Like most parts of Britain, the weather varies from day to day and from season to season. Most of the time the wind is from the west which brings unsettled and windy weather, especially in winter. The North York Moors are flanked by two rivers. To the north it is drained by the River Esk and its tributary, which meets the North Sea at Whitby. To the south it is followed by the River Derwent which eventually joins the River Ouse at Barmby on the Marsh. The rocks of the North York Moors were mostly deposited in the warm seas of the Jurassic period, 205 to 142 million years ago. The rock types vary from sandstone to sandstone and coral-based limestone. These marine and coastal rocks are prominent on the Yorkshire coast from Staithes to Filey. About 30 million years ago, the land was lifted and tilted to the south by the movement of the earth. The oldest rocks, shales and ironstones form the northern cap of the moors and Cleveland Hills. The middle Jurassic sandstones form the raised moors and the youngest layers of limestone form the tabular hills. Over the past 2 million years, the Ice Age that ended 20,000 years ago carved dramatic valleys into the rocks and created a large lake in the area around Pickering. Eventually the water overflowed and drained the lake, leaving Kirkham Valley.
The main economic factors of the North York Moors are now tourism and agriculture. Agriculture has been the basis of the economy for thousands of years and generations of farmers have shaped the landscapes that attract millions of visitors each year. The main form of agriculture was sheep and the wool produced in the Middle Ages was very important to the development of the region and England in particular. Today, sheep and cattle continue to earn a lot of money on farms, although it has become more difficult to make a living in the highlands. Grouse shooting on heather moors provides an additional source of income. Tourism has become an important part of the local economy and many farms and local shops offer bed and breakfasts and catering. Campgrounds and camping sites can be found throughout the area.
The first people settled in the area about 10,000 years ago and were hunters using stone tools. About 7,000 years ago the North Sea cut off Britain from Europe and the first farmers cleared the trees from what is now the moors. These people cultivated crops, kept livestock and buried their dead in the long ruins found in the area. 4,000 years ago different people moved to this area. These people had better tools made of Bronze and eventually removed the original tree cover. The area that came into contact with the elements lost its nutrients and eventually became the moorland that we have today. These people buried their dead in surrounding graves and about 3,000 of these have been found. During the Iron Age (600 BC) the politics of the area led to the building of hillforts at Rudston Scar and at Boltby Scar. In AD 71 the Romans established a fort at Malton and from here they counted on their other settlements at Pickering, Cawthorn, Lease Rigg and Filey. When the Romans left, the British Kings of the region were gradually defeated by the Anglo Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria which ruled northern Britain until it fell to the Danes in the ninth century.
The Northumbrian Kings established Christian settlements at Whitby, Lastingham and Hackness among others. The Danish people settled heavily in the area and their language is still present in local dialects and place names throughout the region. King William the Conqueror destroyed the land when the local lords rebelled. Its destruction was so complete that nothing was left for the people of the area to eat and famine ensued. He established Norman rule in the area by building several castles, notably Helmsley, Pickering, Scarborough, Ayton, Danby, Mulgrave and Whorlton. and Mount Grace Priory and these became large landowners and became very wealthy in the Wool trade. All were expropriated by King Henry VIII, their wealth was taken from the treasury and their estates and houses were sold. The ruins of these beautiful buildings are now a major tourist attraction. In the late 19th century a railway linked Pickering, Middlesborough and Scarborough to Whitby. With the coming of the railways, Iron Ore became important to mine and many mines and quarries were used. Coal was mined until the early 1900s. Many of these pits have been enlarged or replaced.
There are self-catering and Bed and Breakfasts in many of the moors. Many old farmhouses and outbuildings have been sympathetically converted into holiday accommodation. However, given the remoteness of the area, such accommodation is limited and holidays should be booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Places of interest:
North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Byland Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey, Rosedale Abbey, Guisborough Abbey, Cleveland Way National trail, Lyke Wake Walk, Forge Valley NNR, Farndale LNR, Helmsley Castle, Ashberry Pastures, Bridestones, Ellerburn Bank, Fen Bog, Garbutt Wood Hagg wood Marsh, Hayburn Wyke, Littlebeck, River Seven, River Dove, River Rye, River Seph, River Esk, Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo, Eden Camp Museum.
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