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Top 10 picturesque villages in North Yorkshire

Yorkshire is known for its moors and dales, it’s cities and market towns and its rugged coastline. But what about its villages? We’ve gone under the radar to bring you an alternative tour of North Yorkshire, revealing our top 10 picturesque villages. Enjoy a Yorkshire holiday at Cropton or Keldy and explore these undiscovered treasures.

1. Thornton-le-Dale

Calling itself Yorkshire’s little gem, Thornton-le-Dale is as old as it is pretty. Highlights include the village green (complete with ancient stocks), a stunning thatched stone cottage beside the beck and a grade 2 listed church, overlooking the village.

2. Hutton-le-Hole

Hidden in a hollow (or hole) in the Tabular Mountains, and close to the heather-clad moors, Hutton-le-Hole is picture perfect. It’s also home to the delightful Ryedale Folk Museum.

3. Osmotherly

Tucked in between the Cleveland Hills to the north and the Hambleton Hills to the south, Osmotherly is a popular centre for walkers. It is also an enjoyable country walk away from Mount Grace Priory, House and Gardens (pictured), where you will find the best-preserved Carthusian Priory on the country.

4. Rievaulx village and abbey

In the shelter of the abbey ruins, the tiny village of Rievaulx is a destination for lovers of landscape beauty. In the words of St. Aelred, 'everywhere peace, everywhere serenity'

5. Goathland

The moorland village famous as Aidensfield in TV’s Heartbeat, is best visited on the North York Moors Railway Line. The station has also doubled as Hogsmeade Station in the Harry Potter films. 

6. Runswick Bay

This coastal village tumbles down the hillside towards the arc of the bay and its own sandy beach. It is home to the only thatched cottage on the North Yorkshire coast.

7. Robin Hood’s Bay

An ancient fishing village with a treasure trove of smuggling stories, Robin Hood’s Bay is a popular destination for visitors to North Yorkshire. It is said that contraband could be smuggled from the beach to the top of the village, from house to house, through a series of hidden doorways and passages.

8. Newton upon Rawcliffe

A cluster of Yorkshire stone cottages, a duck pond and a village green tell you that you that you are in the small farming village of Newton upon Radcliffe, near Keldy. In a glorious location between the North York Moors and the Howardian Hills, it also has a lovely, tranquil church and a welcoming country pub.

9. Great Ayton

On the northernmost edge of the North York Moors National Park, Great Ayton was the boyhood home of Captain Cook, and has a museum dedicated to him, as well as the Captain Cook Monument (pictured) on the moors. It’s also close to Roseberry Topping, where the views are tremendous.

10. Cropton village

Well, we couldn’t miss Cropton out could we? Next to our forest cabin location, Cropton is a small but perfectly formed village, with a history that dates back over 2,000 years. It boasts amazing views of the moors, a magnificent horse chestnut tree that is over 100 years old and, perhaps most importantly The Great Yorkshire Brewery.