Howardian Hills

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Howardian HillsCraykeKirkhamHovinghamHovinghamThe Pyramid, Castle HowardOswaldkirkNunnington HallKirkham PrioryThe Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers 79 square miles (204 sq km) of gentle rolling hills in North Yorkshire, sandwiched between the flatter landscapes of the Vale of York and the Vale of Pickering.

From its shorter northern boundary the hills begin to rise within the North York Moors National Park, while on its south-eastern edge the landscape merges into that of the Yorkshire Wolds.

Although there are no large centres of population within the area, there are many small villages and hamlets. The towns of Malton, Helmsley and Easingwold lie just outside.

The hills are characterised by a melange of farmland, woodland and country house parkland, most notably the grade I listed landscape of Castle Howard, one of Britain's finest stately homes. The area also has historic churches and priories.

The area was defined as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1987. Most of the area was within the former Ryedale district while about one-fifth of the area, to the west, was in the former Hambleton district.


Places within the Howardian Hills AONB are:
Ampleforth Brandsby Bulmer Coneysthorpe Crayke Gilling East Hovingham Kirkham Nunnington Oswaldkirk Terrington Welburn Whitwell-on-the-Hill.

Just outside are:
Coxwold Easingwold Helmsley Husthwaite Malton Sheriff Hutton Slingsby.

Visiting by train

The railway between York and Scarborough passes through the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty alongside the River Derwent through the picturesque Kirkham Gorge. The nearest railway station is at Malton, just under two miles outside the edge of the AONB.

Visiting by bus

The Coastliner 843 service from Leeds via York and Malton to Scarborough operates regularly to stops along the main A64 road which passes through the southern reaches of the Howardian Hills AONB.

East Yorkshire service 128 runs regularly from Scarborough, via Pickering to Helmsley, which is just outside the northernmost point of the AONB.

There are also other less-frequent services reaching some of the villages within the Howardian Hills, running from York, Malton, Easingwold and Helmsley.

Other websites

Howardian Hills   Howardian Hills — Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty website

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