Middleton Cottages are perfectly located to explore the North Yorkshire Moors, The Yorkshire Dales and other areas of Yorkshire. To the east, we have the Yorkshire Coast forty five minutes away, while a forty minute drive sees you at the City of York.
Closer to home, we have convenient cafes, shopping and Bistro dining in Stokesley, Yarm and Northallerton. This guide gives you a whole list of things to do with links to helpful websites to enable you to plan your stay.
Walking and Cycling
We have a secure bike store on site, so you can bring your cycles and know they are secure. The driveway of Middleton Cottages take you straight out to the local country lanes.
A short drive away, you will find the majestic Rosebery Topping and Captain Cooks Monument, which when linked with Great Ayton make a great circular cross country walk.
Beyond the town of Stokesley, you will find the Cleveland Hills and Carlton Bank. The Lordstones Cafe has become very well known in recent years for it’s great food and majestic views from the top of the bank. It’s also a good place to park and take a walk along part of the Cleveland Way. Here’s a very useful guide to a nine mile walk from Carlton Bank to Osmotherley.
Should you not wish to walk that far, Osmotherly itself is a great place to visit and is easily reached by car from the A19. In the hills behind the village, you will find Cod Beck reservoir and a lovely meandering stream, perfect for the kids to go chasing sticklebacks!
Attractions and Activities
We cannot possibly hope to cover the huge variety of attractions and things to do in our region. However, this guide gives you details of some of our own favourite places and also things to do that our guests have told us they’ve enjoyed.
Things to do Around Cleveland and Close by
Stokesley Golf Course – A nine hole parr three course, coupled with a modern driving range, a 12 hole crazy golf course and a 9 hole ‘foot golf’ course. A versatile course, great for family fun and more advanced golfers alike.
Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum – Situated in Great Ayton, the birthplace of Captain Cook, the Museum covers his early life and education in the Charity School, the village he grew up in and his adventures on the high seas.
Gisbrough Priory – This English Heritage site is the home of the skeleton of the former Priory built in the 14th Century. One of the first Augustinian priories to be built in England, Gisborough was founded by the Bruce family, ancestors of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland. The canons rebuilt their church no fewer than three times, and what survives gives us a tantalising glimpse of the priory’s former riches.
White Water Rafting – The white water course in Stockton was rebuilt several years ago as an Olympic training venue for kayaking. The course is powered by huge Archimedes Screw turbines which provide power whenever needed. White water rafting is hilarious fun and the course runs regular sessions. Their expert instructors mean that no previous experience is needed.
Ormesby Hall – A National Trust property, formerly the stately home and residence of the Pennyman family. The home was bequeathed to The National Trust and is preserved as it was in the period.
Preston Park Museum – Nestled alongside the River Tees, Preston Hall, a former Georgian gentleman’s residence and once home to local industrial magnate Robert Ropner, houses a vast collection of artefacts which tell the story of Stockton-On-Tees.
The location is also home to Butterfly World, open in summer months. A great chance to see some truly beautiful butterflies from around the world, living in natural conditions in a heated tropical environment.
Things to Do Yorkshire Coast
If you enjoy a walk along the beach, the Victorian town of Saltburn has pristine beaches, with a beautiful pier and a water powered funicular railway lift to ascend the 200 feet to the cliff tops for a wonderful view out to seas.
Further south, Whitby needs no introduction. Always a popular town to visit, especially in summer time. We recommend parking at the South Cliff car park and walking down into the town as parking in the town can be difficult. The narrow streets of the old fishing port house a multitude of craft shops, interesting galleries and, of course, there’s no shortage of fish and chip shops to choose from!
Whitby Abbey – Perched high on a cliff, it’s easy to see why the haunting remains of Whitby Abbey were inspiration for Bram Stoker’s gothic tale of ‘Dracula’. Experience the Abbey’s years of history, amazing views and a regular events programme, its a fairly steep climb up from the town, but well worth the effort. Better still, park at the cliff top car park and drop down into Whitby on foot.
Sands End – Just to the north of Whitby, Sands End has some lovely clean beaches with a combination of eating options from teat rooms to beach shacks.
Things to do in Helmsley / Thirsk / Bedale / Northallerton
This picturesque part of Yorkshire holds many things to do when on holiday here. The drive to Helmsley via Stokesley is particularly colourful, the route via Chop Gate and Clay bank makes Helmsley marketplace popular on summer weekends.
Rievaulx Abbey – situated deep in a valley just outside of Helmsley, the ruins date back to the 11th Century. Just one of many Yorkshire Abbeys that were decimated by Henry VIII, the ruins are both picturesque and surprisingly atmospheric
Helmsley Castle is another English Heritage property and is just a short walk from the centre of the town.
Duncombe Park is also situated in Helmsley and operates a seasonal calendar. It is also home to the National Birds of Prey Centre, which operates within the grounds but to a different calendar. http://www.ncbp.co.uk/
Sutton Bank offers tremendous views over the Vale of York. Part of the National Parks network, it has a wide variety of cycle routes and offers cycle hire to visitors. For the adventurous, Sutton Bank is also home to the Yorkshire Gliding Club. For a truly superb view of Yorkshire, trial lessons can be booked.
Thirsk is known as James Herriot Country, the famous books that gave birth to the TV series were written here. The James Herriot Visitor Centre has lots of information on the TV series and the life of the famous vet
Sion Hill Hall – One of the last Edwardian stately homes to be built in Yorkshire prior to the Great War, Sion Hill Hall is a fine example of neo-Georgian architecture. It’s beautifully furnished rooms and charming garden make this a splendid example of a grand Edwardian home.
The Forbidden Corner – an amazing visitor attraction, The Forbidden Corner is difficult to describe! You really need to see the complex network that was originally started as a private folly. Public demand meant that it became a visitor attraction with a labyrinth of concealed areas, tunnels and chambers to keep a whole family occupied
Lightwater Valley operates seasonal opening hours, but is a theme park full of great rides for all the family Situated just outside of Ripon, easy to find and a great place to spend the day.
York and The Vale of York
There are a huge variety of things to do in York and the surrounding area. York is around 50 minutes from our cottages and a firm favourite with our guests.
City of York
Railway Museum – The National Railway Museum houses the nations collection of steam engines, home of Mallard and The Flying Scotsman
York Dungeons – the original dungeons in York. Are they haunted? We’ll let you decide.
York Minster – Dominating the skyline of York, The Minster’s majestic stonework is matched by it’s amazing interior.
Yorkshire Air Museum – The largest independent air museum in the UK, home to a full size Halifax WW2 bomber and a large collection of military jet aircraft.
Yorkshire Farming Museum – An amazing collection covering the history of agriculture, with many exhibits in fully working order.
There are many, many more things to find and explore, all within less than a one hour drive of the cottages. Wer hope you enjoy exploring some of the things on this list, plus of course, finding new places of your own.