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The moors, on the other side of the Vale of York, have a wild beauty all their own, quite different from that of the dales. This rather barren moorland blossoms in summer with purple heather. Bounded on the east by the North Sea, it embraces a 1,440-sq.-km (554-sq.-mile) area, which has been preserved as a national park.

If you're looking for a hot, sunny beach vacation, the North Yorkshire coast isn't for you -- the climate is cool because of the brisk waters of the North Sea. Even summer months don't get very hot. Many Britons do visit North Yorkshire for beach vacations, however, so you will find a beach-town atmosphere along the coast, with brightly colored stalls lining the seafront.

The national park is perfect for solitary strolls and peaceful drives. For remnants of the area's exciting days of smugglers and brave explorers, visitors can follow the Captain Cook Heritage Trail along the coast. The fishing industry is still alive in the area, though the whaling ships of yesteryear have been anchored.