Neighbourhood know-how, places and people

Great British Life: Malton (c) Tony BartholomewMalton (c) Tony Bartholomew (Image: ©Tony Bartholomew)

Location, location

The traditional market town of Malton is located slap bang in the middle of some of the UK's most beautiful countryside. It's right on the edge of the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and just below the North York Moors National Park. Head a few miles south-east and you're in the rolling Yorkshire Wolds - the Wolds Way National Trail passes not far from the town's outskirts.

If you work in York or Leeds, Malton is perfect commuter territory - the hourly trains take fewer than 30 minutes to the former, and just under an hour to the latter. You can head for the coast by rail and be in Scarborough within 25 minutes. The main road is the A64 from Scarborough to York, but Malton is also easily accessible from the nearby North York Moors via the A169 and Pickering. There are regular bus services from York, Scarborough, Leeds, Pickering and Helmsley, and on Fridays and Saturdays, a direct link from York on the Moorsbus, a fabulous volunteer-run scheme.

Great British Life: Malton (c) Tony BartholomewMalton (c) Tony Bartholomew (Image: ©Tony Bartholomew)

Bag a property

A Malton insider tells me the place to be is The Mount, a gracious tree-lined avenue of detached properties. It seems she's right - at time of writing, there were no homes to be found for sale, suggesting that once you're there, you stay put.

The new Copperfields estate offers homes to suit most pockets, and all within walking distance of the town centre and railway station.

Great British Life: Malton (c) Tony BartholomewMalton (c) Tony Bartholomew (Image: ©Tony Bartholomew)


As you head out of Malton towards Scarborough, look out for Orchard Fields and Lady Spring Wood, the site of the Roman Fort of Derventio Brigantum, a Scheduled Ancient Monument. There's a gloriously leafy walk there, spectacular in the autumn, that takes you to the Castle Garden, a secret(ish) little haven for wildlife.

Twenty minutes away from town is Wharram Percy, probably the UK's best known deserted medieval village. The recently-restored 18th century watermill at Howsham was a finalist on the popular BBC programme Restoration Village. And for history right under your nose, make an appointment to see the remarkable social history collection of local men Sid Woodhams and John Stone - the Woodhams Stone Collection is currently refurbishing a property in Norton (the Gateshead to Malton's Newcastle), so that the collection can be permanently available to the public.

Great British Life: Malton (c) Tony BartholomewMalton (c) Tony Bartholomew (Image: ©Tony Bartholomew)

Café & cocktails

Talbot Yard is a friendly red-brick courtyard that's home to Roost Coffee (I'm told that, when they're roasting, the whole town knows!); the Bluebird Bakery; Rare Bird Gin; Groovy Moo ices; the Food 2 Remember butchery; and an exquisite rainbow of macarons at Florian Poirot. Take a cake-and-coffee break at YO Bakehouse or The Patisserie, or afternoon tea at The Talbot Hotel.

And once the sun's over the yardarm, head for one of Malton's two excellent craft breweries, Bad Seed and Brass Castle - the latter with its own cosy taproom in town - or the glamorous Maison du Vin, with its wide range of wines and gins.

Great British Life: Malton (c) Tony BartholomewMalton (c) Tony Bartholomew (Image: ©Tony Bartholomew)

Retail therapy

From the cool Scandi-style minimalism of Hare and Wild to the riot of colour in Rickshaw Bazaar, Malton has a great selection of homeware and gift shops. Head up The Shambles (York isn't the only place to have one of those) for antiques, Universal Geek (the name is self-explanatory), tactile wooden pieces at The Woodlark and new jewellery-and-pretty-things store Gale and Temple.

Around the marketplace, look out for Plum, and Smash Boutique. And if your heart leaps at the sight of a traditional butcher's, you'll love Derek Fox - they were selling their three-bird roast Yorkshire pots years before the supermarkets caught onto them.