Family camping in North Yorkshire

A rural Northern English region of ancient moorlands, valleys, and limestone landscapes.

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Family camping in North Yorkshire guide


The Northern English region of North Yorkshire is a treat for outdoor enthusiasts and keen campers: it’s mostly rural, dedicated to national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). The Yorkshire cities of Leeds and York are nearby but far enough that campers won’t feel like they’re travelling through urban sprawl. Much of North Yorkshire is privately owned or conservation land, so wild camping isn’t generally allowed but there are plenty of campsites, caravan parks, and glamping opportunities around the region. Avid readers can also enjoy a book inspired by North Yorkshire by torchlight: Wuthering Heights and Dracula were both set in the region.

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Tent camping in North Yorkshire

North York Moors National Park

Campers who enjoy natural flora and fauna will love the North York Moors National Park, in eastern North Yorkshire, which contains huge swathes of heather moorland that burst into colour in summer. There are options for walking, cycling, and horse riding throughout the park, and plenty of places to camp (although wild camping isn’t allowed). The region also extends all the way to the sea, so campers can explore the coastline and stay at a seaside campground, especially around the charming town of Whitby.

Howardian Hills AONB

South of the North York Moors National Park, the Howardian Hills AONB is an area of rolling pastoral land and the only Jurassic-era limestone landscape in Northern England. Visitors can walk, bike, and ride horses through the AONB, as well as check out the many lovely villages. Accommodation can be found on rural farms and in the villages, and range from historic cottages to tent sites and glamping pods.

Yorkshire Dales National Park

In western North Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a region of hills, valleys, waterfalls, ravines, and villages. It also offers some of England’s clearest skies thanks to its distance from major settlements, and is designated as a Dark Sky Reserve. Campers who enjoy stargazing and sleeping outside on a cloudless night can see the Milky Way, planets, meteors, and sometimes the Northern Lights. There are many campsites throughout the park but wild camping or sleeping in your vehicle isn’t allowed.

Nidderdale AONB

Bordering the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Nidderdale AONB is an extension of the same beautiful landscape, with moorlands, valleys, flower-covered woodlands, and rolling farmland. It’s also home to many birds, adders, and lizards, so is a fun spot for campers who enjoy looking out for wildlife. There are campsites of various kinds throughout the AONB.

Top regions in and near North Yorkshire

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