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  • Writer's pictureTom Backhouse

Finding Narnia in the North York Moors ❄️

The North York Moors (NYM) is one of the most underrated national parks in the UK. It's vast moorland & forests span huge areas creating some of the best wild places in England. Large areas of the park are pretty much inaccessible to anything other than foot, mountain bike, horse or 4x4, making it one of our favourite places to build out our adventure experiences. The NYM has even got its own coastline, with high cliffs, embedded with fossils & Jet, ancient harbours & sprawling beaches offering some of the best coastal adventures in the North.

Often overlooked to its big brother the Lakes and less accessible than the Peaks from the major northern cities, the NYM hides some truly magnificent adventures and at Black Rock, we are lucky enough to be based only 45 mins away so it is a go to destination.

Despite its low elevation, with the majority of moors beneath 400m and its forests often lying only 200m above sea level, each winter the NYM transforms into a landscape only comparable to Narnia. The northerly winds often bring freezing fogs & snow in from the North Sea creating a winter scape fit for the Artic circle.

The focus for this blog is an area just a 20 minute drive from the 19th century tourist town of Scarborough and less than 45 minutes from York. The forests of Dalby, Langdale, Broxa, Harwood Dale & Wykeham. These forests are vast, managed by the forestry commission and cross crossed with Byways & footpaths. Amongst the wandering pines, evidence of human pre-history is everywhere with up to 8000 year old burial mounds, stones circles & dykes around every corner. Visiting in summer is an adventure, but turn the temperature down to several degrees below zero and you have entered the magic wardrobe and stepped straight into Narnia.

Driving the Jeeps through the forest roads in the deep of winter, you could be literally anywhere in the northern hemisphere - think Alaska, Norway, Canada, Siberia. There is something truly primal and surreal about being amongst endless pine trees frozen in time and covered with rime ice.

With the Jeeps, it is possible to get deep into the forests before pulling up and exploring. The Bridestones, Whisperdales, Deepdale, Foss Gill, the list could double the word count in this blog.

At Black Rock, our goal is to create a new type of experience; 'Adventure Camping', blending offgrid camping in the wildest of places by unlocking private land, inspiring micro-adventures highlighting the best natural and historical points of interest & nature-based education that brings out the best for the local community.

We have targeted this area for one of our first exclusive adventure campsites, in the heart of the Langdale forest. We are super excited to bring this experience to life, so watch this space!

In our humble opinion the NYM is hugely underrated and an absolute gem of a national park (particularly in the winter) and we are very lucky to live so close!

You can discover this national park too. Collect a Jeep from York train station and be in the NYM in less than an hour. Take the jeeps for a day with our Winter Explorers day hire or plan an adventure to remember with a winters camp in the heart of the moors.

Get in touch today!

Beyondthepath 🤙🏼

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