The Milky Way over Skelton Tower on the North York Moors
© Martin Williams/Alam
Happy 70th to the North York Moors. North York Moors 70th anniversary
Happy birthday to the North York Moors! Seventy years ago today, it became the UK’s sixth national park, one of a series created in the 1950s, following decades of campaigning by right to roam campaigners. Today it covers 554 sq miles of open moorland dissected by deep dales, green pastures and woodland, as well as an unspoilt coastline and clear views of dark skies filled with stars, far from the glow of urban lights.
This part of north-eastern Yorkshire has been home to humans since the Stone Age and is littered with thousands of archaeological sites, including roughly 1,500 ancient boundary stones. The romantic ruin on our homepage is Skelton Tower, perched on a grassy headland on the edge of Newtondale. Built around 1830 by a former rector of the nearby village of Levisham, the Reverend Robert Skelton, this Grade II listed building might be in ruins, but it remains a popular picnic spot. From here, visitors can enjoy fantastic views of the moors and dales, while spotting steam trains chugging along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.