Our top 3 days out with children if you’re staying in Goathland

If you’re planning a holiday to the North York Moors, then we would love to welcome you to Homestead Cottage. This is our rental at the far end of the farmhouse, the other end from our restaurant (we live in the middle section!) The cottage sleeps up to 6, with three bedrooms (2 x king, 1 x twin) and is set up to make your family holiday as stress free as possible. We have a large kitchen diner, that connects to the lounge area, you’ll find kids crockery, a highchair on request, and there is even a built in stairgate at the top of the landing. To the front you have a walled south facing garden for little ones to get some fresh air within earshot if you’re in the house. The moors are such a magical place for walks and exploring, just down the side of the house is the footpath to the Mallyan Spout waterfall, or down the road the village playground, and a little further is the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway.

Goathland is an amazing place to base yourself for a holiday with children. Our boys are 2 and 5, with a love of the outdoors, so I thought I would share some of our favourite things to do in the area. I found it so hard to whittle the list to just three days out, so have had to do an extra round up of other things to check out at the bottom too!

  1. Hit the beach.

We love nothing more than going to the beach, and this doesn’t only mean when the sun is shining, in actual fact, it can be a great thing to do even without the sunshine as there are fewer people and less queuing for coffees and snacks! We usually head for Sandsend, between October and March you can park for free along the roads, but there are also two reasonably big car parks.

The best spot for little ones is where the river meets the sea, just by Tides café. You can set up camp and there is a lovely bit of shallow water for them to play, and of course with very easy access to nip up to the café.

There is a great selection of places to eat and drink in Sandsend depending on what you’re looking for. Sandside café serves breakfasts, along with lunch and has some lovely outdoor seating. Or for a bigger meal you can head to the Fish Cottage (recommend the tacos) and newly opened is Mary’s, a neighbourhood spot offering subs, pastries and drinks in the day, and burgers on certain nights of the week.

Walk to Whitby – takes around 40 minutes one way along the beach, but be sure the check the tides! You can hunt for fossils, and if you’re lucky there have been sightings of pods of dolphins passing by. If you don’t want to walk back, there is a bus route to get back to Sandsend.

Accessibility: From the carparks there are footpaths to the access points for the beaches. Along the road you will find that to get to the beach you have to go down quite a few steps, but if you aim for either Sandside Café or Tides café, both have sloping slipways which gives you step free access.

There are public toilets in the village, some in the carpark and some next to the doctors surgery. No baby change facilities at the public toilets.

  1. Danby Lodge National Park Visitor Centre

This place has enough going on for a full day. You park in the paid for car park, but then entry is free.

We love this place for the fact it does give a rainy day option. Inside you will find a really interesting walk through hands on exhibition of the local area, from it’s mining history, to the wildlife you might find, and the old railways lines. Head upstairs and there are interactive activities like building your own bridge, an indoor climbing wall, and other educational elements.

Back down to the ground floor there is a big café, shop and the Inspired By Gallery which offers an ever changing display of exhibitions by local artists. Last time we went, the children loved watching someone demonstrating making pots on a wheel.

If the weather is kind, there is a whole world of exploration in the grounds. We spent a lot of time in the adventure playground, which is actually having a big renovation this year and looks like it will be amazing. There is a labyrinth, woodland mud kitchen, quoits pitch, and Crow Wood has a circular route starting in the main car park.


Accessible toilets, plus baby changing facilities. Platform lift available for access to the first floor or the centre. You can check the full details here:


  1. Pannett Park Museum and Gardens

The seaside town of Whitby is only a 20 minute drive from here. If you want to leave the car at home, you can get the Coastliner 840 bus (which stops right outside the Homestead), or depending on the season the train from the steam railway in the village. If you are into Harry Potter, then they will love to see the station that featured as Hogsmeade. My claim to fame was being an extra in the first film, we were the rabble of school children on the platform waving to Hagrid!

We usually head to the park which has a great playground for the little ones, and they also have just as much exploring the gardens with the winding paths and little pond, you’ll see lots of squirrels and wildlife along the way. Inside there is a museum, and at the time of writing, entry is £8 for adults and children go free. You can explore Whitby’s rich history, take in the artwork, and there are often different events going on so do check their website. In holidays the boys have loved going to see a local lady called Bidi who does story telling.

You can either take a picnic, or there is a café downstairs from the museum. You’re also pretty close to town, so perhaps you will prefer to have a walk and find some fish and chips, or you can see our favourite spots on our local area page here.


I hope this gives you some inspiration for your visit. I am always more than happy to give suggestions for days out when you come to stay with us. Having lived in either Whitby or Goathland pretty much my entire life, I have certainly got to know the area. Below are a few of our other favourite spots to take the children:

Drop a comment with your favourite places, or anything else you might like to know about visiting Goathland with children!

For more information or to book the cottage, please see our dedicated webpage.

Cecily x


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