Walking through history: Ancient and medieval North York Moors


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Activity types:

  • Coastal
  • Hills & moorland
  • History


  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £439.00 - 4 nights


Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Explore the stories and histories of the North York Moors with walks that wind their way across this beautiful heather clad landscape, to uncover the ancient and medieval history of this peaceful landscape. This itinerary has been devised by leader David Garside, who will be leading your holiday. David has spend many days exploring the unique history of this area and is looking forward to sharing his stories with you.

Holiday highlights

  • Enjoy walks along the ancient causeways or "trods" that cross the heather-clad North York Moors
  • Discover the area’s ancient and medieval history, including medieval moorland crosses and neolithic burial mounds
  • Explore the unspoilt villages of the moors with their characteristic red-pantiled roofs
  • Relax in the comfort of our Country House - Larpool Hall

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include full board en-suite accommodation, and transport to and from the walks
  • Great walking: enjoy a unique set of new walks with our experienced and informative leader
  • Accommodation: relax in the comfort of peaceful Larpool Hall, just a 15min stroll from picturesque Whitby harbour and abbey


The splendid Georgian mansion, Larpool Hall, commands a wonderful position above the harbour town of Whitby. With excellent accommodation and spacious public rooms it is a most attractive base for our 4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodationwalking and leisure activity holidays.  

We also have a lodge in the grounds of Larpool Hall, ideal for families or groups of friends.


Larpool Hall has 28 newly refurbished bedrooms in the main building. Rooms at the front of the house enjoy wonderful views across the Esk Valley.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.

The lodge at Whitby

The Whitby lodge is a comfortable, self-contained lodge in the grounds of Larpool Hall, available to book for holidays.  

The lodge has two twin bedrooms, one double bedroom, two bathrooms and a lounge with double sofa bed. It will sleep up to eight people, making it ideal for families, groups of friends or even couples who would like the luxury of some extra space.

You can book the whole lodge for any holiday at Whitby – Walking, Leisure Activities, and Country House Escapes. All holidays are Full Board, with breakfast and dinner served in Larpool Hall (only 30 metres away), and our famous self-select picnic lunch. When you book the lodge for 3 or more persons you can receive a discount of 15% off the price of your booking.

For more information, contact our friendly Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.
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All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

Larpool Hall has a large lounge with a central dance floor. This connects with the spacious bar and the outdoor terrace to provide a very comfortable and flexible space. There are also two smaller lounges and an attractive dining room. A range of board games and books is available. Free WiFi is available in the public rooms.

There are extensive views from the front of the house across the Esk Valley. The gardens include a putting green and croquet lawn.

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All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk about Whitby's colourful history from a visiting speaker or a team quiz. In summer our guests love our open-top bus ride around the town (most Tuesday nights in the summer). Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Larpool Hall is accessible to wheelchair users 

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • There is a large car parking area at the front of the house for 30-40 cars
  • There are 9 stone steps up to the front door, each of the steps is 2.4m wide and 5.5 inches high. Front steps have a handrail
  • The outside area is made of large gravel with good lighting
  • Disabled car parking for 2 cars in the back courtyard with a level access to the house via the back door. No steps 

Main entrance & reception

  • General office is situated off the entrance hall
  • The entrance hall with tiled floor measures 10m x 6m 

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • The house has 3 floors. The ground floor consists of the entrance hall, 2 lounges, the dining room, a games room, a ladies rest room, the main function room and 2 guest bedrooms
  • The bar area and the gents rest room are 6 steps down from the ground floor level. There is a handrail in the centre of the steps
  • All carpeted, except the bar area, which have non-slip flooring
  • All corridors on the ground floor are 5 feet in width, with no ramps or grab rails 

Public areas - lounge & bar

  • The lounge has comfortable chairs, tables and a fire place.
  • The minimum main door width is 36 inches. The minimum back door width is 29 inches
  • The lounge measures 5.8m by 5m 

Public WCs

  • Both the ladies and gents are situated on the ground floor. Gents accessed via 6 steps
  • The door width to the ladies is 29 inches and the cubicle door width is 26 inches. Toilet seat height is 17 inches
  • Main door to the gents is 32 inches wide and the cubicle door is 29 inches wide. The toilet seat height is 17 inches and the urinal height is 24 inches 

Dining room

  • The carpeted dining room is on the ground floor with level access
  • The door width is 35 inches
  • It has 5 round tables (28 inches high), each seating up to 9 guests. The chairs (18 inches high) have soft fabric seats and wooden back rests
  • All furniture is easily movable
  • The breakfast / picnic room is off the dining room, accessed via 2 steps with a handrail to the right. Both steps are 7 inches deep
  • Continental breakfast buffet with waitress service for cooked foods and hot drinks. Waitress service at dinner 

Outdoor facilities

  • There are 14 acres of grounds and gardens. Excellent outdoor lighting
  • Patio area with garden furniture and umbrellas. Level access to the patio 


  • There are another 4 bedrooms that are suitable for those with mobility issues
  • All rooms are en-suite, most with shower 

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied


This itinerary may be subject to change, depending on walking conditions during the week.

 Saturday: arrival day

 Sunday: Fat Betty and Young Ralph!

We start high in the North York Moors and follow an ancient trade route or "trod" , the George Gap Causeway. We then visit 3 iconic moorland crosses in quick succession , Fat Betty, Young Ralph and Old Ralph before completing the day at the famous Lion Inn , high on the moors.

8 miles/ 13km, 600ft with 80m of ascent

Monday: Moorland crosses and a Norman crypt

This day starts on Blakey Ridge where we visit a burial mound before following the dis-used Rosedale Railway. We then visit two more moorland crosses, Ana Cross and Redman Cross before arriving at Lastingham, one of the earliest sites of christianity in England, to visit the unspoiled Norman Crypt beneath the church. The day ends at the picture-postcard village of Hutton-le-Hole.

10 miles/ 15.5km, with 250ft/80m of ascent

Tuesday: Skelton Tower, boundary dykes and the Hole of Horcum

We start by exploring the attractive moors villages of Lockton and Levisham before visiting Skelton Tower and it's superb view of the the North York Moors Railway in Newton Dale. We then visit Levisham Moor and it's mysterious boundary dykes before dropping into the spectacular Hole Of Horcum valley. The day finishes in the moors village of Levisham.     

9 miles/ 15km, with 1,350ft/420m of ascent

Wednesday: Departure day

Local area

During your stay at Larpool Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Whitby:     

Whitby is a bustling harbour town and a popular tourist destination. From Larpool Hall it is a 1½ miles downhill walk, or a short drive to the town centre. The town has a full range of facilities including shops, banks, pubs and cafés. If you don’t mind the queue, the Magpie café on the waterfront is said to serve England’s best fish and chips!

Ruined stone walls of Whitby AbbeyWhitby Abbey               
The iconic ruined abbey commands a wonderful position above the harbour and can be reached by climbing the famous 199 steps. About 10 minutes' drive or a 1½ mile walk. www.english-heritage.org.uk//whitby-abbey



Old houses and harbour at StaithesStaithes            
The pretty fishing village of Staithes is a pleasant spot to visit. Young children may well recognise the village as the setting for Old Jacks Boat on CBeebies. Around 25 minutes' drive from Whitby.



Steam train in the North York MoorsNorth Yorkshire Moors Railway               
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway operates steam trains over its 18 mile line between Grosmont and Pickering and in the summer some trains continue over the British Rail branch line to Whitby. This is a highly scenic route: one reason why the line has become Britain’s most visited steam railway. The well-kept and historic stations are worth seeing for their own sake and you may well recognise Goathland which has doubled as ‘Adensfield’ on the Heartbeat TV series, and as ‘Hogsmeade’ in the Harry Potter films. Either join the train at Whitby, or at Grosmont, about 20 minutes' drive away. www.nymr.co.uk

Scarborough & Stephen Joseph Theatre
Scarborough is a quintessential Victorian seaside resort with plenty of attractions for both young and old. The Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough is home to Alan Ayckbourn, the renowned playwright. It has two theatres - the round and the McCarthy which doubles as a cinema, plus a restaurant and shop. www.sjt.uk.com

Whitby to Scarborough Cycle Trail
This superb trail uses the route of disused railway line and offers miles of traffic-free cycling, often with outstanding sea views. The trail passes right next to Larpool Hall and heads south  to Robin Hoods Bay, Ravenscar, or if you are feeling keen to Scarborough. Bikes can be hired at nearby Hawsker. www.trailways.info

Rydale Folk Museum
This museum is located at Hutton-Le-Hole, about 50 minutes' drive from Whitby. This pretty village west of Pickering that has a feel of a Cotswold village, being built of mellow stone and with a stream though the middle. The museum houses exhaustive displays of rural life and crafts in buildings spread over several acres. www.ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk

Fountain and extrerior of Castle Howard houseCastle Howard
Located near Malton about an hour's drive from Whitby, Castle Howard is one of Britain’s grandest stately homes. It is well known as the location for the TV series Brideshead Revisited. Today the house is still owned by the Howard family and the building hosts many exhibitions & events throughout the year. Also of interest are the extensive gardens that contain a formal rose garden and elegant ponds and fountains. www.castlehoward.co.uk


Blue Mallard locomotive at National Railway MuseumYork
One of Britain’s most attractive historic cities, York is about a 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Larpool Hall. Attractions include the city walls, Minster, National Railway Museum, and Yorvik Viking Centre. www.yorkminster.org  www.nrm.org.uk or www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk



Larpool Hall, Larpool Drive, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4ND.

By train: The nearest railway station to Larpool Hall is Whitby. However, you may find that the journey to Scarborough station is more convenient.  For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By taxi: The 2 mile journey from Whitby station takes approximately 10 minutes, with a cost of around £6 per taxi. The 21 mile journey from Scarborough rail station takes approximately 40 minutes, with a cost of around £30. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Larpool Hall Manager.

By car: Most guests approach Whitby via the A171 from Teeside or the A169 from Pickering and Malton; these roads converge at a roundabout about 2 miles from Whitby. After this roundabout and as you approach Whitby, cross another roundabout then turn right at the traffic lights signposted to Scarborough. Cross the large bridge over the River Esk, then immediately turn right into Larpool Lane. After 500 metres turn left into the narrowing road of Larpool Drive. Larpool Hall is directly ahead at the end of this road. A large car park is available in the grounds with free parking. 

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info


David Garside

David has been a walking leader for HF Holidays since 2011 and has led UK walking holidays at most HF houses in England and Wales. Although he enjoys the mountains, he is happy to walk wherever there are hills, irrespective of size! A favourite area of the country is the North York Moors where he has spent many days exploring the unique history of the region. This includes ancient trods or trade routes, moorland crosses, monastic sites, boundary stones and Neolithic burial mounds and dykes.

In his career, David worked in a head-office management role for a national supermarket chain for over 20 years. His time is now spent mainly in the outdoors climbing mountains, walking long distance trails and visiting historic sites. This he combines with voluntary work as a member of Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team in the South Pennines.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
3 Jun 2017 WYWTH - Walking through history - Whitby 4 £499.00 £439.00 Offer - £60 off pp Book Now
19 Aug 2017 WYWTH - Walking through history - Whitby 4 £499.00 £439.00 Offer - £60 off pp Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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