market town and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England

Malton is a town in North Yorkshire, England on the north bank of the River Derwent, with Norton-in-Derwent on the south. They're 18 miles northeast of York with a combined population in 2011 of 12,275. The main reason to visit is Castle Howard 8 miles west; Malton is also a base for exploring the North York Moors.

Understand edit

Malton owes its position to the odd course of the River Derwent, Yorkshire's answer to the River Niger, rising almost on the coast near Scarborough and heading inland between the Wolds and North York Moors before turning south to the Ouse. The valley is a natural trade route and the river is navigable, though not this far upstream since a 19th-century railway company bought control and deliberately neglected it. Malton grew up around a Roman camp on the north bank while Norton (oddly enough) is on the south, with the historic road from York passing though; the modern A64 bypasses to the north. A string of priories, castles and stately mansions were built in the rich surrounding farmland. One such was Easthorpe Hall, home of the lawyer Charles Smithson. Charles Dickens was a friend and visitor, and the area is reflected in Dickens' works. Easthorpe is long gone but many other interesting buildings remain.

Get in edit

Castle Howard

By train: Malton is on the York to Scarborough line. TransPennine Express trains run hourly from Liverpool Lime Street via Manchester Victoria, Leeds and York to Malton, continuing east to Seamer and Scarborough. Change at Seamer for Filey, Bridlington, Beverley and Hull, but this is a tight connection onto an infrequent service. On summer weekends these trains are packed with families heading to the seaside.

By bus: the Yorkshire Coastliner 843 runs hourly from Leeds via Tadcaster and York to Malton and Scarborough. At Malton it connects with the 840 to Eden Camp, Kirby Misperton (for Flamingo Land), Pickering (for North Yorkshire Moors Railway) and Thornton le Dale; two buses per day continue to Whitby. The connection to Filey and Bridlington has been axed, change at Scarborough for buses along the coast.

1 Malton bus and railway station is south bank of the river 200 yards from town centre.

By road follow A64. In summer this road gets very congested east of York where the dual carriageway narrows to an undivided highway.

Get around edit

Map of Malton (England)

You need a car or bike to reach most places. Bus 193 potters around Malton and Norton every hour or so. The 840 runs past Eden Camp and Flamingo Land; other local buses are sparse.

Bus 181 runs four times M-Sa from York railway station to Castle Howard and Malton, taking about an hour. July and Aug two extra buses (and a third Sunday bus) run as far as the Castle. This means that Castle Howard has a better bus service from York than from Malton.

See edit

  • Malton Museum, 36 Yorkersgate, Malton YO17 7AB. Th-Sa 10AM-4PM. Small local history museum, just two rooms. The Roman camp Derventio stood here for 400 years, and the area made jet jewellery.
Malton Priory
  • 1 Malton Priory, 18 Town Street, Old Malton YO17 7HB. usually open. Remains of a Gilbertine priory founded in 1131. The main surviving building is St Mary's Priory Church, nowadays Anglican. It's smaller than it first looks: the full west facade stands but the church behind has been scaled down. There are two modern revivals of the Gilbertine Order, in Leicestershire and in Canada, but they have no formal link with this priory. Free.    
  • Saints Leonard & Mary, Church Hill, Malton YO17 7EJ. This is the oldest church in England still used by Roman Catholics — they were ejected from all their original churches (such as Malton Priory) at the Reformation, and only permitted new buildings from the 19th century. St Leonard's was established circa 1190 as a "chapel of ease", ecclesiastic-speak for "the priory is a bit far for our elderly parishioners to attend". It too was taken over by the Church of England, but they vacated in 1969 and offered it back to the Catholics. Malton's RC congregation transferred from their Chapel of St Mary's so the church dedication was extended to Saints Leonard and Mary.  
  • 2 Castle Garden is a pleasant bosky space. The Roman camp Derventio was here; a wooden castle was built in the 11th century and replaced in stone in the 12th century. It was twice held by the Scots; Robert the Bruce left it in ruins in 1322. In the 16th century, a mansion was built here but in 1674 two sisters feuded over its ownership: the county sheriff's "Judgement of Solomon" was to award each a pile of half the bricks. Only the gatehouse was spared, nowadays the Old Lodge Hotel. The park is freely accessible during daylight hours. It leads into Orchard Fields but this is private property.
  • 3 Eden Camp, Malton YO17 6RT, +44 1653 697777. Daily 10AM-5PM. A Second World War prisoner of war camp turned into a museum. Adult £12, child £10.    
  • 4 Castle Howard, Malton YO60 7DA (8 miles west of Malton off A64). The garden is open year round. The house is open Apr-Oct. Daily 10:30AM-5PM (gardens from 10AM). Magnificent Baroque 18th-century stately home designed by Vanbrugh, in extensive gardens. It's much in demand as a film and TV location, best known being Brideshead Revisited. Ticket prices vary by time and date. Garden: £9-17, house and garden: £19-27; 50% discount for children.    
  • Howardian Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty rising west of Castle Howard. They're the southern extension of the Hambleton Hills and described as part of North York Moors.
  • 5 Kirkham Priory, Malton Lane, Whitwell on the Hill YO60 7JS (6 miles southwest of Malton), +44 1653 618768. Daily 10AM-4PM. 12th-century Augustinian Priory ruined after the Dissolution, though the gatehouse is still impressive. Its weirdest episode was as a training ground for the D-Day landings of 1944, the River Derwent being considered a passable imitation of the English Channel, with the priory's high western wall a make-believe "transport ship" for troops to scramble down on netting. Adult £5, child £3, conc £4.50.    
  • 6 Scampston Walled Garden, Scampston YO17 8NG (off A64 five miles east of Malton), +44 1944 759111. Apr-Oct: Th-Su 10AM-5PM. The Hall is a grand affair from the late 17th century, but can only occasionally be visited by guided tour. The main attraction is the garden created by "Capability" Brown, and refurbished in 2004. Adult £8.50, child £5.  
  • 7 Nunnington Hall 11 miles northwest of Malton is a sumptuously decorated 1680s mansion house. See Helmsley for details.
  • 8 Wharram Percy is an abandoned medieval village on the edge of the Wolds. It was visited by the Black Death (bubonic plague), but what finished it off was conversion from barley growing to sheep grazing, with the last residents evicted in the 16th century and their houses demolished. (Such "clearances" were common in England centuries before they affected the Scottish Highlands.) The church of St Martin remained in use for many more years and still stands, and with a bit of imagination you can make out the streets and field-pattern. The site is free and always accessible by footpath from the car park on B1248.

Do edit

Wharram Percy: emptied not by plague but by sheep-grazing
  • Palace Cinema on Chancery Lane is a family-run affair in an Art-Deco building.
  • Derwent Swim & Fitness Centre[dead link] is on Church St, Norton.
  • 1 Community Sports Centre, Broughton Rd YO17 7BP, +44 1653 605365. M-F 9AM-10PM, Sa Su 9AM-4PM. Variety of organised sports and leisure or fitness classes. Gym, sports hall and climbing wall; there isn't a pool.
  • 2 Flamingo Land, Kirby Misperton YO17 6UX. Apr-Oct: daily 10AM-5PM. Theme park and zoo. They're also a resort, with lodge accommodation, a caravan park and eating places. Adult £20, child £15.    
  • 3 Malton & Norton Golf Club on Welham Park is 27 holes, with three loops of 9.
  • Wolds Way is a long-distance trail from the Humber estuary into the rolling hills of the Wolds. It passes through Wharram Percy then trends east to Flamborough Head above Filey.
  • Food Lovers Festival is held at the end of March and at the end of August.
  • Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta is held at Castle Howard in late Aug.

Buy edit

  • Asda supermarket is next to the railway and bus station. It's open M-Sa 7AM-10PM, Su 10AM-4PM.
  • The retail and commercial park 400 yards east has Lidl and Costcutter.
  • The Food Market is held in Malton Market Place on the second Saturday of the month.

Eat edit

  • Plenty of cheap and cheerful places in town centre: Tui's (Thai), El Gringos, Chapter One Bistro, La Trattoria and a couple of other pizzerias.
  • The standout for dining is the Malton Grill within Talbot Hotel, see Sleep.
  • 1 Crown & Cushion, Chanting Hill Close, Welburn YO60 7DZ, +44 1653 618777. Daily noon-8PM. This cosy village pub gets rave reviews for its food.

Drink edit

  • New Globe Inn is a pub with rooms on Yorkersgate at the town crossroads.
  • Brass Castle Taphouse, 10 Yorkersgate, Malton YO17 7AB, +44 1653 698683, . Brass Castle is the town microbrewery, with a product line of six beers; they don't do brewery tours. The Taphouse adjacent is their pub. An ever-changing range of craft and real ales, friendly atmosphere. Small bar area, serves food, with a couple of upstairs rooms if things look busy.
  • The Library, 16 Market St, Malton YO17 7LY (above bookshop), +44 7903 548233. W Th 6-11PM, F Sa 4-11PM, Su 2-8PM. Quirky cosy little bar, feels like a Prohibition hideaway.
  • Other pubs in town centre are The New Malton[dead link], Chapter Two Bar and Blue Ball Inn.
  • Rare Bird Distillery off Yorkersgate makes gin. They often run gin schools, where you get to make your own.
  • Ryedale Vineyards are at Farfield Farm, Westow YO60 7LS, six miles south of Malton; tours available.

Sleep edit

Winston Churchill inspects D-Day landing practice at Kirkham Priory
  • Crown Hotel (Suddabys), 12 Wheelgate, Malton YO17 7HP, +44 1653 692038. Midrange hotel in a 19th-century inn. Taken over by Suddabys in autumn 2019, quality remains similar.
  • The Talbot, Yorkersgate, Malton YO17 7AJ, +44 1653 639096. Upscale place in an 18th-century coaching inn, great dining. B&B double from £120.
  • 1 The Old Lodge, Old Maltongate, Malton YO17 7EG, +44 1653 690570. Midrange hotel in mansion built 1604. B&B double £80.
  • 2 Platform 1 (Castle Howard Station), Station House, Welburn YO60 7EW, +44 1653 749750, . This was the railway station for the castle from 1865 to 1950; the line remains active. It's been made-over into a self-catering let, sleeps 2, dog-friendly. £170 / night.    

Connect edit

Malton has a good mobile and 4G signal from all UK carriers. As of March 2022, 5G has not reached this area.

Go next edit

Routes through Malton
York  SW   NE  Scarborough/Filey

This city travel guide to Malton is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.