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Danby Visitors Centre
Moors Centre, Danby, Yorkshire

Danby Visitors Centre, North York Moors

Danby Visitors Centre - North York Moors National Park

Start off your adventure in the North York Moors with an informative visit to the Danby Visitors Centre. Info on the area, walks, maps and a great base from where to explore....

Find out more...

A really good place to start your visit to the North York Moors National Park is the Moors Centre in Danby.

This is an excellent education centre and information point that can really help to point you in the right direction to enjoy your visit.

About the Moors Centre

There's plenty of information at the Danby Visitors Centre about:

  • Natural history of the Moors
  • Moorland Wildlife
  • Maps and local walk leaflets and information
  • Local history about the Moors Centre and the Danby Estate
  • Local history
  • Tourist information

bird display, Danby Visitors centre, North York Moors

The info is all easy to understand and accessible, and there is much suitable for kids including interactive exhibits and videos.

Also on site:

  • Tearoom/Cafe (looked very pretty, and with great views)
  • Interactive exhibitions
  • Indoor and Outdoor children's play areas
  • Organised kids' events (holiday periods)
  • Terraced gardens:

    Lady Danby interactive figure, Danby Visitors cEntre, North York Moors National Park

    • including interactive figure of Lady Danby from the 1930's, explaining a little about the history of the lodge and the Danby visitors centre
    • including a bird feeding station
  • Crow Wood
  • Bird Hide
  • Picnic Areas
  • Sculptures
  • Walks from the Centre
  • Gift Shop
  • Art Galleries and Local Crafts
  • Toilets

History of the Moors Centre

Danby shooting lodge, Danby Visitors centre, North York Moors

  • The Moors centre opened in 1976, in the former shooting lodge belonging to the Danby Estate (Dawnay family).
  • The buildings we see now grew from a 17th Century farmhouse, into a smart shooting lodge in the 18th century. 'Dawnay Lodge' or 'Danby Lodge', as it was known, was used by the Dawnay family and guests, to enjoy grouse shooting parties across the moors.
  • Also nearby are the remains of the original 14th Century Danby Castle. The castle was once the home of Catherine Parr (Queen of King Henry VIII).

    The castle is now incorporated into a farmhouse and is not open to the public, however, visits may be able to be arranged for a small charge, by asking at the Moors Centre).

What to Do at the Moors Centre

  • Today, the Moors Centre itself is set on a sizable site, and visitors can enjoy:
    • picnic areas
    • riverside trails
    • woodland walks in the beautiful Crow Wood

  • Moors centre - Crow Wood, Danby Vsitors centre, North York Moors

  • Crow Wood contains the remains of an ancient forest that once covered the whole local area of moorland around Esk Dale. Around 2,000 years ago the forest began to be cleared for farmland.

  • Danby Visitors Centre - entering Crow Wood

  • Stroll around this beautiful wood and see:
    • info points
    • interactive sculptures
    • bird hide

  • me and the gamekeeper in the woods! Danby Visitors Centre, North York Moors

    Meeting the locals!

  • When we visited, there was a wonderful carpet of lovely snowdrops in the wood.

  • Carpet of snowdrops, early March, at the Danby Visitors centre, North York Moors National Park

  • The Moors Centre is also an excellent start point for a variety of moorland walks...
  • We bought a handy little booklet for just £1.90 (correct at time of writing - March 2010), with a selection of 5 easy walks from the centre, all between 2-4 miles each.
  • The walks are clearly mapped and described in the booklet, and very easy to follow, so I highly recommend this as a starting point for moorland walking.
  • We did the Clitherbeck Walk, which I really enjoyed - more about the Clitherbeck Walk.
  • The walks all start in the Moors Centre Car Park or the Danby Visitors Centre - this is a large car park (although it does get quite busy) with Pay and Display parking at £2.20 per day (correct at the time of our visit - March 2010).
  • There are many events and exhibitions on at the Moors Centre and all around the National Park throughout the year - check out our What's On Guide to find out more about upcoming events.

Moors Centre on the Map

Find the Danby Visitors Centre just outside Danby village to the east - the centre and car park are well signposted and should be easy to find.

This map is interactive.

  • Just use the + and - buttons in the top left corner of the map to zoom in and out.
  • Use the arrows to move about the area.

Enjoy this short walk right from the Moors Centre Car Park

More about the beautiful North York Moors

Our Mallyan Spout Waterfall Walk

More about the nearby town of Whitby

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