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                        The new visitor centre at Dalby Forest.

Phase 1 -

The Courtyard Complex £1.1m refurbishment has taken place within Low Dalby to create a courtyard complex. The refurbishment has allowed old Forestry Commission offices, estate yard and village hall to be converted into 5 craft workshop units, 5 offices for rent by private organisations, a new community resource centre, which can be hired for meetings and other events, a permanent home for the cycle hire centre, cycle wash facilities, cafe and new improved toilet facilities. The renovations were completed and ready for use in July 2005. Partnership funding from Yorkshire Forward (£375,000), European Rural Development Fund (£249,000) and Ryedale District Council (£50,000) has allowed the successful development of this area for visitor use.

Dalby Courtyard. North York Moors FD




Phase 2

Dalby Visitor Centre Building work started in June 2005 on a £2.6m project incorporating partnership funding to create a 'New Visitor Centre at Dalby Forest', which opened its doors to the public in April 2007. Funding for this project was received from Yorkshire Forward (£1,000,000), European Rural Development Fund (£819,000) and the North York Moors National Park (£24,950).

The aim of the project was to create a visitor centre as part of a package designed to improve and develop the forest as a 'Regional Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Economic Activity'. It was expected that tourism activity would be developed in a way that builds upon, enhances and maintains the distinct character of the forest, which contribute to the special qualities of the National Park and creates real benefit to the local community in terms of economic regeneration, quality of life and an enhanced environment.

The project has enhanced the existing regional tourism product, attracting high growth and high spends within the local area, offering both opportunities for business and employment in the nearby market towns and villages.

Dalby Visitor Centre







The objectives set for the new visitor centre at Low Dalby are to:-

 Extend the length of stay on the site, attracting visitors to Northern Ryedale throughout the year including increasing overnight stays and increasing tourism spends in the local economy. This is to be achieved through the provision of a variety of activities within and around the visitor centre.

 Establish an integrated transport hub for the wider exploration of the National Park from the South. The visitor centre provides a central service for the Moor to Sea Cycle Network, the Moors Bus and the Bike Bus. Future links are to be established with the recently renovated Danby Moors Centre.

 Contribute to the wider understanding of the economic, environmental and social value of the forest. Displays within the visitor centre highlight many issues allowing education to all users. Development of a local heritage resource centre are on going.

 Provide Dalby Forest with a visitor centre built to a high specification, demonstrating a showcase of environmentally sustainable building techniques and operational devices.

Interactive interpretation at Dalby Visitor Centre






Phase 3

Cycle Trails Under phase 3 of the developments at Dalby Forest we have built 50km of new cycle trails to replace the old worn out and unsustainable trails. Our aim was to develop Dalby as a centre of excellence for mountain biking in England. Partnership funding to complete this project was received from European Rural Development Fund (£141,727) and work started in July 2005 and was completed in May 2007.

A skills area known as 'Dixon's Hollow' featuring 'skinnies' and 'northshore' was also created close to Adderstone Field with the assistance from PACE Mountain Bikes and Singletraction.

Dixon's Hollow a new skills park in Dalby Forest.




What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

Could you tell me if the guffalo statue is still at dalby foest

d cartledge, 10/Apr/2015

Hello, thanks for your question about our Gruffalo sculpture, the Gruffalo can still be found in Dalby, he is usually seen along the Superworm Trail. Many thanks

Forestry Commission Response

I have been told there is an archaeological display at the visitor centre in Dalby Forest. Is this still available to see and what are the opening times. Thanks

Mrs Cadman, 23/Mar/2014

Hello, The Visitor Centre is currently closed for building works, it will reopen on 5th April 2014. The opening hours are 9.30am to 5pm. Thank you

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

Dalby forest has been ruined for everyone other than the mountain bile fraternity. It used to be a wonderfully peaceful place to walk and ride(horses). Now it is an urbanised playground.

Zalditxu, 7/Feb/2014

Thank you for your comments regarding Dalby Forest. I am sorry to hear that you feel mountain bikers are catered for more than other visitors. Dalby Forest has hosted major cycling events such as the Tour of Britain and the Cross Country World Cup and these events have left a strong cycling legacy. However, Dalby has more then 20 miles of way marked walking trails and in the Spring we will launch a new play area, multi user trail and refreshed Visitor Centre, these developments will improve what we offer to a wide range of visitors. We have also had discussions with the British Horse Society about introducing a horse trail. With regards to Dalby Forest feeling urbanised, there are 8 car parks along the 9 mile forest drive and I feel this gives visitors the opportunity to find a quieter area of the forest if they wish to. Once again, I am sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the facilities, I hope that these investments will show that we are keen to offer facilities for many user groups.

Forestry Commission Response

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Last updated: 29th February 2016

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What's Here?

  • Educational
  • Barbeque
  • BBQ stands are located around the forest.
  • Cafe
  • The Courtyard Cafe provides good, wholesome and locally sourced food. For more information please call 01751 460439.
  • Cycling
  • Dalby forest has a range of cycle trails, from family routes to some of the best mountain biking in the country. Please find more information on the dedicated page.
  • Cycle wash
  • The cycle wash is located near Dalby Bike Barn.
  • Forest drive
  • Admission Charge
    March to October
    7.00 all day or
    4 after 4pm
    Nov to Feb
    4 all day
    Motorcycles 2.00
    Mini-buses 15.00
    Coaches 30.00 (must book in advance)
    Discovery Pass 42
    7 Day Pass 20
    The forest drive is open 7.30am to 8.30pm. Disabled badge holders are not exempt from charges.
  • Ancient Monuments
  • The signs of past settlers are all around. Burial mounds, linear earthworks of unknown purpose and the remains of a flourishing rabbit warrening industry can be found throughout Dalby.
  • Orienteering
  • Maps for the orienteering course are available from the Visitor Centre.
  • Picnic
  • Picnic benches can be found at the visitor centre and throughout the forest.
  • Play area
  • Play areas are located at the visitor centre and Adderstone Field. Dalby offers exciting adventure play equipment.
  • Restaurant
  • Tree Tops Restaurant is located at the visitor centre. There are large indoor and outdoor seating areas and great views over the forest. Open 10.00am until 4.00pm daily, extended hours of operation in the summer.
  • Walking
  • Waymarkered trails start from several of the car parks and vary in length, so there is something for everyone. Trail maps are available from the visitor centre 1.
  • Visitor centre
  • The visitor centre and forest shop provide information and leaflets for the forest trails and events. Open 10am to 4pm. For more information call 01751 460295.
  • Toliets
  • Toilets can be found at the visitor centre and at Staindale Lake. Ladies, Gents, Disabled, and baby changing facilities.
  • Wildlife
  • Staindale Lake has a resident population of mallard and tufted ducks as well as Canada geese. Occasional visitors include dabchick, goldeneye and heron. The bird feeding station provides close-up views of many woodland species including siskin, great-spotted woodpecker, bullfinch and coal tit.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SE857875
Postcode: YO18 7LT

Get directions


Tanya Rex
Business Centre Manager


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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.