Esk Valley

The beautiful Esk Valley, which cuts across the North York Moors, is an easy day trip from Raithwaite Sandsend. Running from high up in the moors all the way down to meet the North Sea at Whitby, the River Esk offers a picturesque range of landscapes, perfect for walks, as well as fun days out on the Esk Valley Railway. With various walking routes running through the wooded valley, the Esk Valley is a popular spot with visitors from Whitby and Sandsend, dotted with picturesque Yorkshire villages and offering a peaceful escape from the bustle of the seaside.  

Things to do

Esk Valley Railway

The Esk Valley Railway connects the communities of the North York Moors to the towns of Middlesbrough and Whitby. One of the most rural lines in England, it offers a picturesque way to explore further afield and enjoy the dramatic scenery of the North York Moors National Park. The traditional North Yorkshire Moors Railway is even more popular with visitors, known for its heritage steam engines which are especially popular in the summer. Running from Grosmont to Pickering, this line includes a stop at Goathland, made famous by the Harry Potter films.


The River Esk runs 28 miles from source to sea, with a wide range of walking routes and villages along the way. The Esk Valley Walk is a popular long-distance footpath that circles the moors to the south of Castleton, then follows the winding banks of the River Esk towards the sea at Whitby. The route is sign-posted with a leaping salmon to keep you on track during your walk.

You can also follow the 3.5-mile Rail Trail which runs up the original railway line from Grosmont, via Beck Hole and on to Goathland, a beautiful moorland village. The sweeping dales, wooded trails and annual carpets of bluebells in May keep visitors and hikers coming back year after year to experience the beauty of the Esk Valley.

Explore picturesque villages

The Esk Valley is home to several rural villages that provide a peaceful stop for those enjoying walks along the river. The village of Goathland has been a popular spot since the 19th century but is now best known for its role in several high-profile film and television series. Its heritage railway station was used as a filming location for Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films, and now serves as a stop on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, while the wider village was used extensively as ‘Aidensfield’ in the ITV drama series, Heartbeat.

The isolated valley of Beck Hole lies on the Murk Esk, a tributary of the River Esk, and is a popular pub stop if you’re walking along the river.

Relax at Raithwaite Sandsend

Raithwaite Sandsend is perfectly placed to explore the picturesque Esk Valley and beautiful Whitby coastline. Our broad range of elegant accommodation options are perfect for couples and families to retreat to after a bracing day of walking in the Esk Valley.

Relax and recharge in our Spa, and then tuck into seasonal, sustainable Yorkshire fare at our Restaurant.