Howardian Hills Walking Guide
This AONB lies to the south of the North York Moors National Park. The area offers a varied landscape with many opportunities for walking and other outdoor activities.
The Howardian Hills AONB covers 204 sq km (79 sq miles) of the North Yorkshire countryside, lying between the North York Moors National Park, the Yorkshire Wolds and the Vale of York. The AONB status was confirmed in 1987 as a result of the importance of its landscape.
The Hills consist of an area of wooded undulating countryside rising between the flat agricultural plains of Pickering and York. The landscape's character is a direct result of the underlying Jurassic Limestone. Rising to over 500 feet above sea level the ridges of the Howardian Hills are associated with the North York Moors which lie directly to the north.
Contrasting with the wooded hills are fields and rolling farmland. From the higher ground there are excellent views across the agricultural plains below. In the east of the area is the river Derwent, which cuts through the Hills in the dramatic Kirkham Gorge.
There are no towns in the Howardian Hills AONB. However the market towns of Helmsley and Malton are just outside the boundary. Within the AONB there are, many attractive stone-built, red pantile-roofed villages. In contrast to the humble character of the cottages the area is famous for a number of fine country houses, whose parklands are an intrinsic part of the landscape. Most notable of these is Vanbrugh's famous masterpiece, Castle Howard. In addition Hovingham Hall, Newburgh Priory, Nunnington Hall and Gilling Castle have all made a contribution to the landscape with their parklands.
For more information on this area visit the
official web site for Howardian Hills