North Yorkshire

Thornton-le-Dale is a village in the Ryedale former district of North Yorkshire.

Village cross and stocks, Thornton-le-DaleChestnut Avenue, Thornton-le-DaleThornton BeckThe picturesque village is in the North York Moors National Park at the crossroads of the main road between Pickering and Scarborough and a route between Malton and Whitby.

Thornton-le-Dale is 2 miles east of Pickering, 7 miles north-north-east of Malton and 13 miles west-south-west of Scarborough.

The Buck, Thornton-le-DaleThornton-le-Dale Village HallThe garage of TV's "Bangers and Cash" fameThe village has become well-known to classic car fans in recent years as the location of Mathewsons, the car auctioneers featured in the TV series "Bangers and Cash", whose garage is situated in Pickering Road.

Thornton-le-Dale is also on the bus route voted Britain's Most Scenic in 2018 — the 840 Coastliner travelling from Leeds, York, Malton and Pickering calls here before heading over the North York Moors via Goathland to Whitby.

The village holds a popular one-day agricultural show each year in early August.

 Village features

Thornton-le-Dale is in the North York Moors National Park.
Thornton-le-Dale has a choice of pubs - The New Inn and The Buck.
The village has shops. Thornton-le-Dale offers antiques, flowers, gifts, sweets and other goods.
The village has a Post Office.
The village has a pharmacy.
The village has cafes and tea-rooms.
Bistro and cafe dining can be found in Thornton-le-Dale.
Takeaway food outlets in the village include fish and chips, pizzas.
Places to stay in Thornton-le-Dale include guest house, inn, caravan, camping accommodation.
Thornton-le-Dale has a village hall.
Place of worship: Anglican, Methodist.
Thornton-le-Dale has a school.


Bus travel

The village has bus services to neighbouring towns and villages, the Yorkshire coast, York and Leeds.

Road travel

Thornton-le-Dale can be reached via the A170 .

Places to visit

North York Moors National Park

The Ryedale district north of Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Pickering includes some of the beautiful scenery of the North York Moors National Park. The park covers a total of 554 square miles (1,435 square kilometres). Within its area are moorland and coast, historic stateley homes, remains of castles and abbeys and attractive villages. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway provides a historic railway journey into the National Park from Pickering. For more information see our page dedicated to the North York Moors.

Pickering Castle

Pickering Castle

Castlegate, Pickering
Pickering Castle was originally built as a Norman motte and bailey timber castle at a time when the Manor of Pickering was held by the king, William the Conqueror, as recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. It was mostly rebuilt in stone between 1180 and 1236, although the stonework of the outer bailey was not completed until about 1326 in the reign of Edward II. The castle then guarded the nearby forest, was also used as a court and prison and was the place where Edward II's royal stud was managed. The castle's remains are well-preserved in comparison to some other castles as it did not suffer during the War of the Roses or the English Civil War. The castle is managed by English Heritage.

More information at the  English Heritage - Pickering Castle website.
Find on map:  Pickering Castle

Helmsley Castle

Helmsley Castle

Castlegate, Helmsley, North Yorkshire
Helmsley Castle is at the western side of Helmsley overlooking the River Rye. The ruins provide an insight into the development and remodelling of the castle between the 12th and 14th centuries and the Tudor mansion house created on the site in the 16th century. An unusual feature of the early castle was the creation of two great towers rather than the more common single keep. Through most of its life it was the centre of a family estate, but the castle was briefly in royal hands when in 1478 it was bought by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who owned the castle until his death as King Richard III in 1485. In the English Civil War the castle had been held for the Royalists, but surrendered to Parliament in November 1644, after which it was slighted. The castle, managed by English Heritage, is generally open daily through the spring and summer with Friday and weekend opening times through the autumn and winter months. Helmsley is also the location of an English Heritage archaeology store for the north of England which can be visited on pre-bookable tour dates.

Find out more at the  English Heritage - Helmsley Castle website.
Find on map:  Helmsley Castle

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx, near Helmsley, North Yorkshire
The first Cistercian abbey in the North of England was founded in 1132 but became one of the most important in the country, quickly growing to a 650-strong community within its first 30 years. However by the time of supression of the monastery in December 1538 the number had fallen to 23 monks. The abbey in the valley of the River Rye in the North York Moors National Park has substantial remains, particularly of its 13th century church which were saved from further collapse by repair work 100 years ago. The abbey also has a museum containing architectural stonework and other artefacts found at the site, including chess pieces, coins and small personal possessions. The visitor centre also has a tearoom. Rievaulx is 2.5 miles west-north-west of Helmsley and about 11 miles east of Thirsk. The abbey is managed by English Heritage.

More information at the  English Heritage - Rievaulx Abbey website.  Find Rievaulx Abbey on map

Ryedale Folk Museum

Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton-le-Hole
Main Street, Hutton-le-Hole
Located in the picturesque village of Hutton-le-Hole, The Ryedale Folk Museum has thousands of fascinating objects located outdoors and in more than 20 heritage buildings which explore the history around Ryedale. Check out the museum's website for opening days and times (Friday and winter closing in 2022).

Further details at the  Ryedale Folk Museum website.
Find on map:  Ryedale Folk Museum

National Centre for Birds of Prey

Duncombe Park, Helmsley
Falconry has been part of life on the Duncombe Park estate at the edge of Helmsley for more than 150 years, but it is only over the past decade or so that it has become established as the National Centre for Birds of Prey. The centre has falcons, hawks, buzzards, eagles and owls and offers flying demonstrations every day. The centre is set in woodland at Duncombe Park, along a drive from Buckingham Square at the end of Castlegate and about a mile from the centre of Helmsley. Visitors to the centre can also enjoy trails through the parkland at Duncombe Park.
Further details at the  National Centre for Birds of Prey website.
Find on map:  National Centre for Birds of Prey

Helmsley Walled Garden

Cleveland Way, Helmsley
Helmsley Walled Garden is situated alongside Helmsley Castle. It was originally built in 1759 to grow fruit and vegetables for the family owners of the Duncombe Park estate. In the 1990s it was brought back from a period of decline to be a five-acre garden of therapeutic horticulture which is now a visitor attraction. It includes a mixture of formal gardens, meadows and community plots gardened by volunteers. For admission pricing and opening times check the Helmsley Walled Garden website. In 2022, the garden is open daily except Monday and Tuesday.
Further details at the  Helmsley Walled Garden website.
Find on map:  Helmsley Walled Garden

Nunnington Hall

Nunnington HallSituated on the banks of the River Rye, around a 7 mile drive from Helmsley, 10 miles from Malton and 13 miles from Pickering, Nunnington Hall offers the chance to explore period rooms of a Yorkshire manor house. Although there has been a large house at the site since the mid 13th century, the present Hall has developed from one of the Tudor period with extensive remodelling in the late 17th century. The house has an organic walled garden, spring flowering meadows and a tea room. It also houses one of the finest collections of scale miniature period rooms, offers a changing programme of art and photography exhibitions and hosts various events including the Ryedale Book Festival. The house is managed by the National Trust.
More information at the  National Trust - Nunnington Hall web pages.
Locate on map:  Nunnington Hall

Byland Abbey

Byland Abbey

Byland, near Coxwold, North Yorkshire
Byland Abbey features the ruins of one of the largest and grandest Cistercian abbey churches in England. Completed towards the end of the 12th century, it is noted for its Gothic architecture which inspired that in other church buildings, including York Minster. The lower portion of a huge rose window gives some idea of the scale and magnificence of the building before the dissolution of the monastery. The abbey also has tiled floors surviving from the 13th century. The abbey is in the North York Moors National Park about 5 miles south-west of Helmsley (6 miles by road) and 8 miles east-south-east of Thirsk (12 miles by road). The abbey is managed by English Heritage.

More information at  English Heritage - Byland Abbey website.
Find on map:  Byland Abbey


North Yorkshire Moors Railway

GrosmontPickering to Goathland, Grosmont and Whitby
A heritage railway running for 18 miles through the beautiful scenery of the North York Moors National Park. The line runs from Pickering, through Goathland, one of Yorkshire's famous TV and film locations to Grosmont with some journeys extended over the Network Rail Esk Valley line to the picturesque seaside harbour town of Whitby. The 10,000-member charitable Trust behind the railway celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017 and the line is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the restoration of passenger services in 2023. With more than 350,000 passengers a year the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is possibly the most popular heritage railway in the world.

For details see the  North Yorkshire Moors Railway website.

Flamingo Land

Kirkby Misperton
Opened as a zoo in 1959, Flamingo Land has since the 1970s been blended with a growing number of theme park rides and now also offers a holiday village. The resort, covering 375 acres, is situated 3 miles south-south-west of Pickering and 5 miles north of Malton.

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Civil parish council

Thorton-le-Dale Parish Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website:  Thorton-le-Dale Parish Council

Unitary authority

North Yorkshire Council

The North Yorkshire Council is a new unitary authority formed from the previous County Council from April 1, 2023. It covers the existing county duties including highways, schools, libraries and transport planning over an area of 3,109 square miles while also taking over the responsibilities of the seven huge district authorities also created in 1974 — Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby — these including local planning, waste collection, street cleaning, parks and car parks, housing and markets serving a population of around 615,500*.

Councillors were elected to the County Council in 2022 and continue as councillors of the new North Yorkshire Council unitary authority. There have been a few by-elections to fill councillor vacancies since then.

Places in  North Yorkshire
Link to council website:  North Yorkshire Council

^ Area figure from ONS Standard Area Measurements 2022 (converted from hectares).
* Population figure from Census 2021 (combined total of former districts).
Contains public sector information licensed under the  Open Government Licence v3.0.

Political composition:

453CI 1311 NY Ind92 LC421
90 members

CI = Conservative & Independent    NY Ind = North Yorkshire Independents group   LC = Labour & Cooperative
Composition and groupings - source North Yorkshire Council (February 2024)

Strategic authority

York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority
The York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority was created in December 2023 combining the unitary authority of York and the unitary authority of North Yorkshire — that created in April 2023 after the abolition of the county authority and its seven district authorities. The combined authority will run some functions under the new mayor elected in May 2024 as part of the government's so-called "Devolution deal" which ties the availablity of funding to the new governance arrangements. As well as having powers over housing development, transport and boosting skills and education across the 3,214 square miles of York and North Yorkshire, the elected mayor also takes on the role and functions of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner across the area.

Elected mayor: David Skaith Labour & Cooperative
 York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority website.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York. This role is being transferred to the new elected mayor of York and North Yorkshire in 2024.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

Parliamentary constituency

Thirsk and Malton
Elected MP: Kevin Hollinrake Conservative

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


Ryedale district was one of seven large authorities abolished in 2023 as they were merged into a new North Yorkshire unitary authorityBefore 1974: Within the North Riding of Yorkshire, which had the River Derwent as its southern boundary.
1974: Ryedale district of new County of North Yorkshire was formed mostly from parts of the North Riding, but also areas of the East Riding of Yorkshire south of the River Derwent, including Norton-on-Derwent. Malton was the administrative centre of the Ryedale district.
1996: Ryedale was reduced in size when the City of York expanded and became a unitary authority. Although the area lost was relatively small compared to the overall area of Ryedale, it did house around half its original population.
2023: Ryedale district and the County of North Yorkshire were abolished as a new unitary authority of North Yorkshire was formed covering the county area and the seven large district authorities within it, including Ryedale.

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