If you are interested in history, and are stuck for something to do whilst staying here in Whitby, why not jump in the car and head on down to Rosedale Abbey. Shaped by over a thousand years of hard working Yorkshire hill farmers Rosedale Abbey is almost right in the middle of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, with easy access to Pickering, Scarborough and Whitby on the East Coast.
Rosedale is perfect for peace and quiet, beauty and fresh air, great walking, good food, culture and more history than you can take in in one day!
The North Yorkshire Moors have been continuously inhabited by humans for at least 10,000 years, when Stone Age people began settling the area after trudging across the land bridge that joined Europe. Back then, the Moors (as they are known today) were part of a huge forest that covered most of the country. As different waves of people settled and used the land, the forest slowly vanished giving way to the moors that we know so well today.
In the 9th CenturyViking Raiders began to attack the Yorkshire Coast eventually establishing the Danelaw, which made much of the East of England a Danish Kingdom. They introduced their language to the region of which elements still remain in the local dialect, and also renamed a number of settlements. It seems probable that Rosedale's name has Viking origins either deriving from a personal name, name for a horse or from the word "Rhos" which meant moor.
The Abbey part is quite misleading as the "abbey" ruins that the name refers to are actually the remains of a Cistercian Priory. The difference between the two is that nuns lived in a priory and monks lived in an Abbey. The small group of nuns who lived in the priory from 1158 to 1535 were probably the first people to farm sheep comercially in the region.
The old priory building was eventually dismantled during the iron mining boom of the 19th century when the stone was reclaimed for the building of a new church on the site of the original priory. One tower of the old priory can still be seen.
Locally sourced iron ore has been processed on the North Yorkshire Moors since medieval times but the discovery of high grade magnetic ironstone in Rosedale during the 1850's saw the villages population explode in just a couple of decades.
The railway soon followed carrying iron ore from Rosedale down onto the Cleveland plains, and for seventy years Rosedale was a noisy, dusty and active part of industrial Britain. The mines shut in 1920s but many impressive industrial ruins still line the valley today and the spectacularly scenic route of the railway can now be followed on foot all of the way around Rosedale and across the top of Farndale.
Things to do
Gillies Jones Studios- enjoy a changing exhibition of contemporary blown glass, or buy finely crafted hand made bowls, all designed and made in Rosedale. Internationally acclaimed Gillies Jones Glass is highly sought after.
Rosedale Abbey Golf Course - Golfers of all ages and abilities are welcome at this nine hole course. There's no membership required and once round will cost you just £3 if you've brought your own clubs with you with reduced fees for a full 18 holes. Clubs are available to hire for 50p per 9 hole round. Open seven days a week.
Sycamores Spa and Beauty - The Sycamores Rosedale offers a full range of spa and beauty treatments. Unwind in the relaxation lounge and admire the stunning views, indulge in treatments of your choice then completely relax by using the spa hot tub and foot spas. Treatment packages are also available.
Walks in Rosedale - There are walks for all levels of ability and energy throughout Rosedale, including the old railway which affords a breathtaking panorama of the whole of Rosedale. Two popular walks are the four mile walk across to Northdale and the longer Northdale Rigg.
Wild Country Walkabouts - runs high quality, low impact outdoor activities in and around Rosedale. They offer courses in bushcraft, archery wildlife awareness, problem solving and group work. With Wild Country Walkabouts you will expand your knowledge, develop new skills and again a deeper understanding of yourself and the natural world.
There are several places to eat and drink in and around Rosedale. There's the Coach House Inn, Graze On The Grass and White Horse Farm Inn to name but a few.
So as you can see, there is plenty for you to do in and around Rosedale, whether it's learning about the history of the place or partaking in one of the activities that are available, or whether you want to relax in the spa whilst the other half has a day on the golf course.