Things to Do in Guisborough: Discovering the Town's Best Kept Secrets

3 months ago   •   8 min read

By More Yorkshire
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Things to Do in Guisborough

Situated on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, Guisborough is a charming market town that boasts a rich history and stunning natural scenery. This picturesque town serves as the perfect base for exploring the moorland and offers a variety of activities for visitors.

Whether one is keen on uncovering the past or simply enjoying outdoor pursuits, Guisborough has much to offer.

The town is home to the remains of the 12th-century Gisborough Priory, which stands as a testament to its historical significance.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the scenic walks available in the area, including a circular trail around Scaling Dam. Here, one can take in the beautiful wild heather moorland or partake in fly and bait fishing.

For families, the dam provides picnic areas, creating an ideal spot for a leisurely lunch while enjoying the local wildlife.

For evening entertainment, Guisborough's small yet vibrant scene presents a selection of public houses and eateries that reflect its welcoming atmosphere.

The town's location also provides ample opportunities for walkers to venture into the North York Moors, offering a serene escape into nature.


Historical Landmarks

Guisborough is home to several significant historical landmarks that offer a window into the region's rich past.

Gisborough Priory

Gisborough Priory stands as a testament to medieval architecture. Established in the 12th century, its dramatic ruins are a treasured Grade I listed monument. Visitors often praise the knowledge of the staff and the well-maintained grounds encasing these ancient stones.

Guisborough Hall

Guisborough Hall, a noteworthy Victorian mansion, tells the story of historic British elegance.

This imposing structure, now functioning as a hotel, still retains much of its original grandeur, with lavish interiors and picturesque gardens that evoke its aristocratic legacy.

Saint Nicholas' Church

Saint Nicholas' Church has been a focal point of worship since the 12th century. With its intricate stonework and historic significance, it continues to play an important role in the community. The church is noted for its beautiful stained glass windows and serves as an enduring symbol of Guisborough's ecclesiastical heritage.


Outdoor Activities

Guisborough offers a variety of engaging outdoor activities surrounded by picturesque landscapes. From the dense woodlands of Guisborough Forest to the scenic views atop Highcliff Nab and Roseberry Topping, visitors can find ample opportunities for hiking, wildlife observation, and photography.

Roseberry Topping

This distinctive hill with its unique half-cone shape and jagged cliff edge offers a moderate hiking challenge and is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

The paths leading to Roseberry Topping's summit reveal stunning panoramic views, and the area is steeped in geologic and historic significance.

Guisborough Forest

Guisborough Forest serves as a tranquil retreat with its extensive network of walking paths and cycling trails.

The forest provides a habitat for diverse wildlife and is particularly known for its birdwatching prospects. It also features bike hire facilities and a play area, making it suitable for family outings.

Highcliff Nab

Highcliff Nab stands as a prominent local landmark, presenting a more challenging hiking experience.

The steep climb is rewarded with expansive views of the surrounding countryside. The summit is a favoured spot for climbers and hikers looking to test their abilities against the rugged terrain.


Cultural Experiences

In Guisborough, visitors can immerse themselves in the town's rich cultural heritage through its bustling market, informative museum, and vibrant art galleries. Each venue offers a unique perspective on the local traditions and artistic expression within the town.

Guisborough Market

Guisborough Market town is renowned for its traditional market, held every Thursday and Saturday.

Visitors have the opportunity to browse a variety of stalls offering fresh local produce, handcrafted goods, and unique gifts. The market reflects the town's historical importance as a centre of commerce and social gathering.

Guisborough Museum

Housed in a charming location to the rear of Sunnyfield House on Westgate Road, Guisborough Museum offers insights into the town's past.

It is run by dedicated volunteers and features exhibits on the social, agricultural, and commercial development of Guisborough. Artifacts, photographs, and recreated historical settings like a Victorian parlour provide a vivid picture of the town through the ages.

Art Galleries

For those interested in the arts, Guisborough plays host to several art galleries showcasing local talent.

From contemporary pieces to traditional crafts, these galleries display a wide array of art forms. They serve as a platform for artists to exhibit their work and for art enthusiasts to engage with the region's creative scene.


Dining Out

Image Source: whatpub.com

In Guisborough, diners are spoiled for choice with a variety of pubs, gourmet restaurants, and cosy cafés. Each venue caters to different tastes and occasions, offering anything from traditional, hearty pub fare to fine dining experiences.

Local Pubs

Pubs in Guisborough, such as The Voyager often serve a Sunday carvery with a selection of quality meats and hot vegetables, alongside an array of sides.

Gourmet Restaurants

Those looking for a more upscale dining experience will find that Guisborough's gourmet restaurants boast excellent reviews.

Diners can expect hand-cooked chips, fresh fruit scones with jam and cream, and attentive service.

Cafés and Tea Rooms

For a more relaxed atmosphere, visitors can head to the local cafés and tea rooms.

These establishments serve light meals and snacks, including freshly baked scones, perfect for an afternoon indulgence. They're also noted for being dog-friendly, ensuring that pet owners can enjoy their meal with their furry friends by their side.


Festivals and Events

Image Source: Adam Hambley

Guisborough hosts an array of vibrant events that cater to a variety of interests, from music lovers to food enthusiasts.

Guisborough Festival

The Summer Sound Music Festival stands as a hallmark event, bringing a spirited weekend of entertainment to Guisborough.

It features some of the UK's top tribute bands and artists, making it a magnet for music aficionados. The festival's 10th anniversary promises an especially grand celebration. As a tradition, it takes place at Guisborough Rugby Club, with the upcoming event scheduled for the end of July.

Seasonal Markets

Seasonal markets serve as a hub for local produce and crafts, offering a taste of the region's culinary delights and artisanal talents.

Notably, the Malton Food Lovers Festival is a local gastronomic highlight, boasting over 150 food stalls, a cookery theatre, and a blend of street food that reflects the area's rich flavours. Live music and a festive atmosphere complement the culinary experience.


Walking Trails

Guisborough presents diverse walking experiences, from the lush countryside to historical sites. Whether one is a casual walker or an avid hiker, the trails in Guisborough cater to all levels of expertise and interest.

Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way is one of the most prominent walking routes near Guisborough, showcasing the beauty of North Yorkshire through a variety of landscapes.

This route forms part of the National Trails, stretching over 170 kilometres and offering panoramic views, coastal scenery, and heather moorland. Walkers can experience a portion of this trail in the Guisborough area, taking in the sights of Roseberry Topping and the surrounding countryside.

Heritage Trails

Guisborough's Heritage Trails take enthusiasts through a journey in time, with routes that highlight the town's rich history.

Detailed interpretation boards along the way provide insight into Guisborough's past, making it an educational and physically engaging activity. These paths often lead through or near significant landmarks, giving one a glimpse into the historical tapestry of the area.


Local Parks and Gardens

Guisborough offers serene green spaces that blend historic remnants with natural beauty, making for both relaxing and educative visits.

Priory Gardens

Adjacent to the remains of the 12th-century Guisborough Priory, the Priory Gardens boast well-manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and meandering paths.

They serve as a tranquil haven for locals and visitors alike, inviting them to enjoy the blend of historical architecture with horticultural charm.

Hutton Lowcross Woods

Hutton Lowcross Woods are a part of the expansive Guisborough Forest and offer an array of trails through mixed woodland.

The woods provide opportunities for leisurely walks or more energetic hikes, with each pathway promising views of diverse wildlife and the chance to appreciate the peaceful surroundings.


Physical Activities

Image Source: gazettelive.co.uk

Guisborough offers an array of physical activities for those looking to maintain fitness or simply enjoy outdoor sports. The town caters to a variety of sporting interests through its well-equipped sports centres and scenic golf courses.

Sports Centres

Guisborough boasts sports centres that provide facilities for individuals of all ages and skill levels.

The Guisborough Swim and Fitness Centre is equipped with a swimming pool for aquatic activities, lessons, and lane swimming. The centre also offers a range of fitness classes and a gym with modern equipment.

Additionally, Laurence Jackson Sports Village provides a wide selection of options, including indoor courts and pitches for badminton, football, and other team sports.

Golf Courses

Golf enthusiasts can take pleasure in Guisborough's picturesque golf courses.

The most notable is Guisborough Golf Club, which presents a challenging 18-hole course with a unique mix of parkland and moorland terrain. The course is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Golfers of all abilities are welcome and can enjoy the clubhouse amenities after a round.


Family Entertainment

Guisborough offers a variety of family-friendly entertainment options that cater to both outdoor and indoor activities. Whether it's exploring play areas or solving puzzles in escape rooms, families have ample choices for a fun day out.

Escape Rooms

For those who enjoy thrilling indoor activities, Adventure Out Game Gisborough Priory provides an engaging escape room experience.

Families can embark on a scavenger hunt, challenging themselves with puzzles and mysteries themed around the historic Gisborough Priory. This activity not only creates an exciting atmosphere but also incorporates a touch of local history.

Play Areas

Guisborough is equipped with multiple play areas suitable for children of all ages.

Guisborough Forest & Walkway Visitor Centre is a prime location offering an outdoor play space amidst the tranquility of nature. Here, kids can revel in the play equipment and surrounding woodland, perfect for a family picnic and some quality outdoor time.


Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides answers to common queries regarding attractions and activities in Guisborough.

What are the top attractions to visit in Guisborough?

The most notable attractions in Guisborough include Gisborough Priory, the historic parish Saint Nicholas' Church, and Guisborough Hall. These landmarks offer insights into the town's rich heritage.

Where can I find information about market days in Guisborough?

Information about Guisborough's market days can be obtained from the local visitor centre or by checking the official Guisborough Town Council website for updates and schedules.

Near Gisborough Hall, visitors can enjoy walking trails, scenic picnics, and exploring the nearby woodland. Fishing and bird-watching are also popular activities in this area.

Can you tell me about the history and visitation details of Guisborough Priory?

Guisborough Priory is a historical monastery dating back to the 12th century. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about its architecture and ecclesiastical history. Opening times vary seasonally, and current details can be found on their official website.

Are there any notable walking trails in Guisborough Forest?

Guisborough Forest offers several walking trails suitable for varying levels of difficulty. The trails are well-maintained, providing opportunities to enjoy the local wildlife and stunning views of the moorland.

What are the best cultural venues to explore in Middlesbrough?

While Middlesbrough is a separate town from Guisborough, it offers cultural venues such as the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) and the Riverside Stadium for those interested in modern art and football, respectively.

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