Dalby is particularly known as a haven for mountain bikers. Its southern part is divided by a number of valleys creating a “Rigg and Dale” landscape. The forest sits on an upland plateau. Made up mostly of pines and spruces, there are also many broadleaf trees such as oak, beech, ash, alder and hazel both in the valleys and on the Riggs. Springs yield clear streams that run north and south out of the forest.
Dalby Courtyard complex provides workshop and office space to a range of shops and craftspeople, as well as a café and bike hire business. Big name bands and music acts perform at open-air concerts each summer. Gain a new vantage point from the Go Ape! tree top ropes course in Dalby Forest. You can also hire a Segway, try archery, paintballing or the low ropes course.
Night skies are very dark here: Scarborough & Ryedale Astronomical Society operates an observatory in Dalby, which is celebrated as one of the best places in the country to stargaze.
Langdale Forest contains an internationally important mire known as May Moss, where extensive and ongoing research into the climate and plant history of the area is carried out.
Cropton Forest is considered by the Forestry Commission as a ‘residential’ forest with campsite, forest cabins and outdoor education activity centres. It is also possible to watch badgers from the hide.
Such is the importance attached to the tranquillity of Newtondale, the dramatic gorge near Pickering, that the forest drive through it was closed to general traffic by the Forestry Commission in November 2011. The North Yorkshire Moors Railway runs though the valley bottom though, so there is still good access for walkers and cyclists to what is described as Yorkshire’s most spectacular valley.