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.
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 C 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.
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.
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.
- Malton Museum, 36 Yorkersgate, Malton YO17 7AB. Th-Sa 10:00-16:00. Small local history museum, just two rooms. The Roman camp Derventio stood here for 400 years, and the area made jet jewellery.
- 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 C. 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 C and replaced in stone in the 12th C. It was twice held by the Scots; Robert the Bruce left it in ruins in 1322. In the 16th C 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, ☏ . Daily 10:00-17:00. 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). Daily 10:30-17:00 (gardens from 10:00). Magnificent Baroque 18th C stately home designed by Vanbrugh, in extensive gardens. It's much in demand as a film and TV location, best known being Brideshead Revisited. Adult £19, child £10.
- 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), ☏ . Daily 10:00-16:00. 12th C 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), ☏ . Apr-Oct Th-Su 10:00-17:00. The Hall is a grand affair from late 17th C 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 C 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.
- Palace Cinema on Chancery Lane is a family-run affair in an Art-Deco building.
- Derwent Swim & Fitness Centre is on Church St, Norton.
- 1 Community Sports Centre, Broughton Rd YO17 7BP, ☏ . M-F 09:00-22:00, Sa Su 09:00-16:00. Variety of organised sports and leisure / fitness classes. Gym, sports hall and climbing wall; there isn't a pool.
- 2 Flamingo Land, Kirby Misperton YO17 6UX. Apr-Oct daily 10:00-17:00. 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.
- Asda supermarket is next to the railway and bus station. It's open M-Sa 07:00-22:00, Su 10:00-16:00.
- 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.
- New Globe Inn is a pub with rooms on Yorkersgate at the town crossroads.
- Brass Castle Taphouse, 10 Yorkersgate, Malton YO17 7AB, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- Other pubs in town centre are The New Malton, Chapter Two Bar, Maison du Vin, Stew & Oyster and Blue Ball Inn.
- Crown Hotel (Suddabys), 12 Wheelgate, Malton YO17 7HP, ☏ . Midrange hotel in 19th C inn. Taken over by Suddabys in autumn 2019, quality remains similar.
- The Talbot, Yorkersgate, Malton YO17 7AJ, ☏ . Upscale place in 18th C coaching inn, great dining. B&B double from £120.
- 1 The Old Lodge, Old Maltongate, Malton YO17 7EG, ☏ . Midrange hotel in mansion built 1604. B&B double £80.
- 2 Platform 1 (Castle Howard Station), Station House, Welburn YO60 7EW, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
Malton has a good mobile and 4G signal from all UK carriers. As of June 2020, 5G has not reached this area.