North Yorkshire Moors Railway Visitor Guide

The most famous and longest heritage railway in Yorkshire is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The track runs from Pickering to Whitby through 24 miles of Yorkshire countryside, the North Yorkshire Moors National park. You can choose to alight at some of the stops along the way or catch the return train back to where you came from.

The railway line first opened in 1836 with a means to open up trade routes inland from the then important seaport of Whitby. It is owned and run by a charitable trust and is now said to be the UK’s most popular heritage railway.

The trains run from Pickering to Whitby via Levisham, Newton Dale Halt which is a request stop, Goathland and Grosmont. Or you can board the train at Whitby and travel to Pickering in the opposite manner.

Please check the timetable if you are visiting to check where they stop and for how long.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review

Although there is a large car park in Pickering you have to pay around £5 to park all day, although this is cheaper than parking in Whitby. It is then quite a walk from the car park to the train station so make sure you leave plenty of time in which to catch your train. The car park off to the left has a shorter walk.

They mostly run a steam service although sometimes they may have to run one of their diesel engines. They do usually mark their diesel services with a D on the timetable but they may have to sometimes change the steam engines without prior notice.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Visitor Guide

It is highly recommended that you prebook your tickets online in advance. Although unless you are prebooking first class you don’t reserve a seat and you can travel as you please on that day. If you do want to spend time at some of the other stations please use their timetable to plan your journey.

The train station at Pickering felt to us like we were stepping back in time. It is themed to look like a station from the 1930s and has been decorated according to that time. It is worth spending a bit of time here if you can wandering over the bridge and posing for photos.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Visitor Guide
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Visitor Guide

I can recommend sitting near the engine as the sounds from the whistle and the steam engine truly make the journey that extra bit special. It took about 15 minutes for our train to arrive at Levisham station. This was a really quick stop with no time to get off and on again. You can look around here on the return train but it’s worth checking that with someone first in case that’s changed. This station is themed to the period of 1912.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Visitor Guide
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Visitor Guide

Next stop is Goathland which if you are a Harry Potter fan you will certainly recognise and this may even be your main reason for travelling on the railway. The station featured in the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as Hogsmede station.

You can alight here and visit the pretty village of Goathland. This is a short walk away and there are some pubs and shops including a 1922 style tea room at the station. The ITV program Heartbeat was filmed in Goathland. If you just want to take photos of the station it’s worth asking which journey the train spends longer at the station for as it didn’t correspond to the timetable when we visited.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Visitor Guide
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review

By the time we arrived in Grosmont, we had been on the train for around an hour. We had a 15 minute stop here and this was the same on the return journey. On our return journey, they changed the steam engine that was pulling our carriages. This was fun to watch, the kids especially loved it. This station is themed from 1952 and it was certainly my favourite of the stations.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review

With a lot of heritage railways that we’ve travelled on, we’ve found the scenery to be a little dull and mostly just hedges and trees. This journey was much better as we saw a lot of open countrysides and it was especially nice on the approach to Whitby.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Reviewq

We finally arrived in Whitby 1 hour 45 minutes after we had left Pickering. The train station is conveniently located right by the harbour in Whitby where there are plenty of restaurants and things to do nearby. We decided to have some lunch and then catch the return train which was the same train that we’d arrived on.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review

There were plenty of carriages and there was plenty of choice as to where to sit. The train was even quieter on our return journey and we came across some first-class cabins with no one in them which we decided to sit in. My son fell in love with the seats in there (they are very comfy) but we spotted a sign informing us that if you want to sit in first class you have to upgrade your ticket.

They also host annual events such as Santa trains, dining trains and more.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Review

We were so comfy though! We went to get the other half to try out the seats and we ended up deciding that we’d upgrade. Luckily they only cost £4 extra each. Apparently that is for a return trip so although we only got to do one trip it was still worth it. We have said we’ll pay for first-class next time and take a picnic.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway FAQ & Further Information

Address: Pickering Station, Pickering YO18 7AJ, North Yorkshire. Phone: 01751 472508

Category – Heritage Railway – Mostly Indoors – Suitable for all ages.

What are the ticket prices?

Adult online return costs £31, £15.50 for a child aged 4-15 years. Under 4s are free, family tickets are available. Other pricing options are also available.

What are the main facilities and things to do?

Heritage railway from Pickering to Whitby through the North Yorkshire Moors including the famous Hogsmede station from Harry Potter. There are toilets on the train.

When are they open?

Their trains run from early April until late October including over the Christmas period. For up to date opening times please visit their website.

Is there food available?

There are places to purchase food and drinks at or near some of the stations.

Is there parking?

There is parking at Pickering, Levisham, Goathland and Grosmont Stations. Pickering and Grosmont Stations offer all-day car parking for £5. Goathland Station costs £3.50 per day. Levisham Station offers free car parking but a donation to Levisham Station Group is requested. There is a large harbour car park in Whitby close to the train station, this £9 all day.

Are they dog friendly?

Dogs are welcome except on dining trains.

Are they accessible?

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