Great Ayton is an ancient picturesque village located on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park in the Hambleton District of North Yorkshire and situated at the foot of the Cleveland Hills with Easby Moor, Captain Cook's Monument and Roseberry Topping all within walking distance. The village lies nestled approximately 22 miles north of Thirsk and 35 miles south east of Durham. Whitby, Scarborough, Staithes, Robin Hood's Bay and Helmsley are all within easy driving distance of Great Ayton which makes the village a perfect base and resting spot to explore within and around the area.
Most famously Great Ayton is known for its maritime connections to Captain Cook, the world famous circumnavigator, as the village became his boyhood home in 1755. Captain James Cook was born on 27th October 1728 in Marton, just a short drive from Great Ayton, and was killed at Owythee on February 14th 1779. When his Great Ayton house was dismantled in 1934 and moved to the Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, an obelisk was erected in its place from stone taken from Point Hicks, Australia, and not to forget the famous Captain Cook's Monument erected in his memory situated on Easby Moor.
Great Ayton also boasts the beautiful and mystifying Roseberry Topping formed from sandstone and dates back to the Middle and Lower Jurassic periods between 208 and 165 million years ago. The village has also been noted in the Domesday Book, a great land survey from 1086, commissioned by William the Conquerer.