The North York Moors is a national park in North Yorkshire, England. The moors is one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom. It covers an area of 1,436 km2. The North York Moors became a National Park in 1952, through the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949.
The North York Moors consist of a moorland plateau, intersected by a number of deep dales or valleys containing cultivated land. The largest dale is Eskdale, the valley of the River Esk which flows from west to east and empties into the North Sea at Whitby. The Cleveland Hills rise north of Eskdale. At the western end of Eskdale the valley divides into three smaller dales, Westerdale (the upper valley of the River Esk), Baysdale and Commondale. A series of side dales drain into Eskdale from the moors on its southern side, from west to east Danby Dale, Little Fryup Dale, Great Fryup Dale, Glaisdale and the Goathland valley. Kildale, west of Commondale and separated only by a low watershed, is drained by the River Leven, which flows west to join the River Tees.
On their south side the moors are demarcated by a series of dales which drain into tributaries of the River Derwent. The westernmost dale is Rye Dale, to the west of which rise the Hambleton Hills. Bilsdale is a side dale of Rye Dale. East of Bilsdale Bransdale, Farndale, Rosedale and Newton Dale cut into the moors. In the south east, the landscape is marked by the narrow valleys of the upper reaches of the Derwent and its upper tributaries.
The Derwent crosses the Vale of Pickering flowing westwards, turns southwards at Malton and flows through the eastern part of the Vale of York before emptying into the River Ouse at Barmby on the Marsh.[
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