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Little Vikings is an award-winning print and online guide to the best of York (and beyond) for kids, independently run by a York family. Read their guide to Five Exciting Family Attractions in the North York Moors!

The North York Moors, just a short drive from York, might be famed for its natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and breath taking 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 just five of some of the amazing family attractions in the North York Moors. In fact, there’s so much to do, you’ll definitely need more than a day…

Eden Camp

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 clearly signed). There are two excellent playgrounds, a cafe, and a gift shop, as well as regular children’s activities during the school holidays, making it a great destination for families. Eden Camp, Malton, YO17 6RT - https://edencamp.co.uk/

Dalby Forest

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 website

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

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! Pickering Station, Park St, Pickering, YO18 7AJ - https://www.nymr.co.uk/

Castle Howard

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 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 - https://www.castlehoward.co.uk...

The World of James Herriot

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 - https://worldofjamesherriot.co...

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