Dalby Forest, Yorkshire

While we were on our holidays in Yorkshire at the end of April (yes I know that it was a while ago) as well as visiting castles, seaside and abbeys I wanted to explore some of the natural loveliness of the North York Moors too, which were on our doorstep.

So on a slightly greyer morning we headed on up into the moors. Literally, up, as there was a huge incline on the road from where we were staying (near Thirsk) up into the moors, the scenery was amazing with forests and moors and cliffs. I had seen some information about Dalby Forest online and thought it looked like a great place to go and explore the scenery.

There are numerous trails suitable for all abilities, from accessible routes for buggies and wheelchairs, to more adventurous walks and mountain biking routes. The forest is huge too with so many different parts to it, and we really barely touched the surface on our visit.


We started off at the visitor centre to buy a trail map and look at a couple of accessible routes. I really wanted to do a walk that made the most of the amazing scenery and views, but it was a very grey misty morning so as there was not really any chance of seeing the gorgeous views we started off on an accessible track near to the visitors centre (The Ellerburn red trail).

Taken with Lumia Selfie

I’m afraid to say this was a mistake, as the first leg of this track was a bit dull. It was definitely accessible but there wasn’t really anything there. I was hugely excited about exploring the forest and I didn’t really feel this route allowed that. It all went a bit to pot as I got confused and took a turning that wasn’t a turning and we ended up on a very inaccessible bit of track and had to carry the buggy back up a slope. I was in a foul mood and LM was getting grizzly so we headed back to the visitor centre. I think the second  bit of this track was much prettier and we probably should have carried on… but we didn’t so hey ho!

Back at the visitor centre we enjoyed a lovely little picnic and Monkey had a whale of a time on their amazing play-area – which is huge and fantastic with different areas for all ages.

dalby playarea

With LM asleep and the mist burnt off by the sun we headed to the trail I had originally wanted to go on (the Crosscliff view trial) in the hope of seeing some views. Straight away it had the feel I was hoping for surrounded by gorgeous woodland with the sunlight dappling through the leaves. While still accessible, it was a bumpier track, though LM still managed to sleep through it in the buggy.

We reached a viewpoint and were not disappointed with gorgeous views over the forest out towards the coast.

crosscliff view trailUnfortunately we had by this point realised we had left some of LM’s milk at the cottage…. so had to head back to the car to find a shop where we could buy some ready made formula before she woke up!

So our visit to Dalby Forest was shorter than planned but it is beautiful.  It is £7 to park there for the day so all I would say is choose your trail with care as you want to make the most of the time you are there, and I wouldn’t recommend the Ellerburn red trail particularly as there wasn’t much to see on the initial leg of the trail. The playpark is brilliant and there are others in different areas of the forest too.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire TotsMy Travel MonkeyWe're going on an adventure#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

15 thoughts on “Dalby Forest, Yorkshire

  1. Such a shame the day didn’t go according to plan but then with children days often don’t. Atleast you found the stretch of trail you were hoping for and were rewarded with some lovely views and clear skies and the play area looks perfect for Monkey to enjoy. It is not a part of the country I know at all so lovely to read your post about it, thank you for linking with me on Country Kids.

  2. The play park looks so much fun. Shame about the trail, but it looks like you still managed to enjoy the stunning surroundings and views, even if the trip wasn’t as long as you expected. I love a hike in the forest though, although recently I’ve found cycling a little easier but probably not possible here as it looks to rugged a terrain! Thanks so much for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  3. That looks so beautiful! I would have been disappointed too with the first trail, it sounds a bit boring and I definitely agree that if you’re paying £7 to park, you need to make the most of your walk. The play area looks WONDERFUL, Monkey looks like he’s having so much fun!
    Thank you so much for linking up to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday, Ray xx

  4. You did get some lovely views (and photos) in the end – good tip about the first track, even if you had to find out the hard way! We’ve never been to Dalby Forest – I wanted to go when the Gruffalo trail was there but we didn’t make it but it does look like somewhere we would really enjoy. Thanks for sharing and for linking up with #YorkshrieFamily

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