The Esk Valley
Villages along the course of the Esk as it flows down to the sea at Whitby (known for jet mining, fishing and Dracula) include Castleton, Danby, Lealholm, Glaisdale, Egton Bridge, Grosmont, Sleights and Ruswarp, some of which, at one time, were important for their ironstone mines. These villages are linked to Whitby and Middlesbrough via the scenic Esk Valley Railway, offering fantastic opportunities for walkers and cyclists to access the National Park.
Other places within easy reach and closely linked with the area are Goathland (the setting for many films and TV series), Botton Village, Rosedale, Farndale (famous for its daffodils), Dalby Forest, Hutton le Hole (and the Ryedale Folk Museum), Sandsend, Port Mulgrave, Robin Hood's Bay, Staithes, Runswick Bay, Ravenscar, Saltburn, Moorsholm and Kildale; a little further away (but within an hour's drive) are Helmsley, Pickering, Kirkbymoorside, Guisborough, Malton, Scarborough, Stokesley, Northallerton and Middlesbrough. York, Durham, Harrogate, Richmond, Bedale, Masham and the Yorkshire Dales are about 1–1.5 hours' drive away.
There is a traditional farming community in the Esk Valley together with a more recent population of ex-urbanites and self-employed professionals; the communities support each other and form a closely knit and active group.
The area is an important destination for holidaymakers drawn by the heritage North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Grosmont, the National Park Visitor Centres and their many outdoor activities, the magnificent Jurassic ('fossil') coast, with its industrial heritage of alum and jet mining, and the wild moorland landscape cut through by tranquil dales. It is a paradise for walkers (the Coast to Coast and Esk Valley Walk and plenty more) and a magnet for artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers and photographers. Regular art exhibitions, craft fairs and concerts are held around the village venues. In the summer months there are agricultural shows in many of the villages and in Glaisdale there is a theatre – The Esk Valley Theatre. There are also fabulous places to eat with traditional pubs and restaurants up and down the Esk Valley and in Whitby town, some with live music.
In short there is an incredible vitality in this beautiful corner of Northern England with a great variety of people and things going on.
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