Photographer Travel Guide: North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway offers ample photographic opportunities of trains, landscapes and more.

| General Photography

Photographer Travel Guide: North Yorkshire Moors Railway : Pickering

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) give photographers, and train fans, the chance to enjoy scenic journeys through one of Britain's picturesque National Parks. Various train journeys are available which take in the sites of Heartbeat country as well as stopping at Pickering, Whitby and other locations well-worth visiting with your camera. 

It's open seasonally, so do check the website for the timetable, and special events often taken place such as the visit from the Flying Scotsman between 12-20 March 2016 that's most certainly a cracking photo opportunity. All tickets for the Flying Scotsman journey have been sold out but there should be opportunity to capture shots of it moving through stations on-route. 

You can navigate this guide via the following links:


What To Photograph

As well as trains, stations and characters on and around the trains, nearby landscape locations are in abundance. There are several waterfalls all within walking distance of Goathland Station. A little further afield, around a 30-minute drive away from Pickering station, are Farndale and Rosedale; both of which are fantastic areas for landscape photography. In August, when the heather is in bloom, the Moors are particularly photogenic and don't forget about the seascape opportunities the coastal town of Whitby offers. 


Photographer Travel Guide: North Yorkshire Moors Railway : Heather on the Moors


Grosmont is the station that's home to the railway's engine sheds, there's also a gift shop and tea room and many walks begin at the station and take you through the Moors. 

Goathland is famous for its links to Heartbeat and younger members will probably recognise it for being the Hogsmeade station in the first Harry Potter film. Goathland village is only a short walk away from the station and there's also a couple of countryside walks well-worth taking a stroll on. The first is a bit energetic but it does take you to the Spout Waterfall while the easier path follows the route of the original rope-worked railway.


Photographer Travel Guide: North Yorkshire Moors Railway : Thomason Foss Goathland


Newtondale Halt is a stop but only if you let the guard know you want to disembark. As this stop is deep in the North York Moors, there's plenty of photographic opportunities for landscape fans but do remember to wave the train down when you want to get back on it. 

Levisham is a great stop for these travelling with families as it has picnic benches and plenty of grass areas for picnics. There's also a forest trail and Levisham village is only around 1.5 miles away but be warned; it is up hill. 

Pickering is a market town that's full of photographic opportunities and also museums to visit. There's also a wartime and 1940's weekend held in the town yearly that's well worth a visit with your camera as you'll have plenty of opportunities to capture portraits of people in 1940's themed clothing. The event is very popular though so it can get very busy. 

For those looking for a little guidance with their photography, the NYMR has teamed up with photographer John Potter to offer various fun workshops. These one-day workshops are ideal for those wishing to learn to use their digital cameras more creatively, whilst photographing trains, stations, people and landscapes along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

For more information on walks available around the NYMR, take a look at this video: 



How To Get There


Pickering station can be found between Scarborough and Thirsk, just off the A169 while Goathland and Grosmont Stations can be driven to via the A169 Pickering to Whitby road. Those coming from Whitby can use the A171 Guisborough road.

There is a large car park to the rear of Pickering Station, and several car parks in Goathland village. Levisham and Grosmont Stations also offer parking but spaces are limited at all locations. The NYMR also has an overspill car park at Moorland Trout Farm, Pickering.

Car park prices range from free - £5.00 per day, visit the NYMR website for more information. 


Photographer Travel Guide: North Yorkshire Moors Railway : Train


Photography Advice

Fast shutter speeds are the order of the day even though the trains move relatively slowly, and especially for the character portraits on the stations. The drivers and other staff have a brief break when the train pulls up so cameras have to be set up and ready to shoot so as not to miss fleeting opportunities and ISO settings are typically around ISO1200 with medium to wide apertures for the character portraits.

For landscapes, much lower ISO settings are needed along with a good tripod, smaller apertures, correct white balance and accurate focusing to obtain a good depth of field. 


Photographer Travel Guide: North Yorkshire Moors Railway : Engine Driver


Don't Forget Essential Equipment

A couple of zoom lenses are useful, on wide/medium range and another medium/long range. Super wide lenses are not really needed. Tripods are handy, but not essential as they can get in the way of people using the platforms. They are worth carrying for your waterfall shots, though as you'll be able to use slower shutter speeds to blur the water movement. ND and polarising filters are always handy to pack and don't forget your comfy walking shoes. Dressing for the weather is also essential; don't forget your waterproof jacket just in case! 



Fares for the train journeys vary, depending on the type of ticket you purchase. An adult Pickering - Whitby Day Rover is priced at £26 while a Whitby - Goathland Return is available for £16 (2015 prices, subject to change). More details on fairs are available on the NYMR website


Photographer Travel Guide: North Yorkshire Moors Railway : Darnholme


More Information

For more information about the NYMR, visit their website -

You can see more of John Potter's work, including his greeting card collection, on the following websites - & 

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