Out and About: heather, lovely but time limited

Continuing our occasional series of things to do and see in the local area

The heather is out! And has been for some time, one of the best displays for some years, so pop out and enjoy it while it lasts, because it won’t last much longer.

The National Park website describes what is special about heather:

Heather – an evergreen shrub with twiggy stems – covers the local open moorland. Usually lots of heather plants grow together, forming a thick, bushy carpet, sometimes up to half a metre tall. This helps the plant to survive strong winds. Heather also has tiny, narrow leaves shaped like the needles on a Christmas tree, which stop the plant from losing too much water as the winds blow across the moors. Nectar from heather flowers makes excellent honey, and local beekeepers often bring their hives on to the moors in late-summer when the heather comes into bloom.” 

But none of that says how glorious it looks in the summer sunshine: see the picture below, from the NYMR Twitter feed.

There are three ways to enjoy the heather, rail, road or on foot. You can ride up to Whitby and back on the NYMR, or on the Coastliner bus, both giving grand views of the moors. Or if you take the car, you have access to more isolated spots: our favourite is to drive from Pickering towards Whitby on the A169, turn left at the roundabout onto the A171, then take the moor road through Egton and Egton Bridge, and down to Rosedale Abbey. On foot is probably best of all. There are several suitable walks on the National Park website, or just arm yourself with the OS map and go.

If you want to impress on your bank holiday visitors that you live in the most beautiful part of the country, this is the way to do it.

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