Sheep spotting trail to lure visitors deeper into the North York Moors

A sheep in a bikini may take visitors to the North York Moors by surprise this summer, but any such sight will be part of a move to encourage tourists to explore more of one of Yorkshire's most beautiful landscapes.

The Sea The Sheep campaign is designed to encourage families to stay longer and explore further in the North York Moors National Park this summer. Picture by Gerard Binks.

No real sheep will be spotted sporting swimming wear, however organisers of the ‘Sea The Sheep’ initiative hope that local businesses and community groups will create more than 50 seaside-themed sheep of their own to furnish the countryside.

The project, devised by the North York Moors Tourism Network, is due to run between July 1 and August 31. Visitors will be encouraged to spot the sheep in the National Park and share their location on social media using the #SeatheSheep hashtag.

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Expect to spot many of the sheep close to walking trails and cycle paths.

Susan Briggs, director of the North York Moors Tourism Network, said: “Centuries ago many of the trails that are still popular with visitors today would once have been used to herd flocks as well as transporting goods, whether legal or smuggled, from ships on the coast and across the moorland to towns further inland. The Sea The Sheep campaign aims to pick up on this heritage and introduce a level of intrigue for visitors of all ages that helps lead them from the moorland to the coast.”

She added: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small knitted figurine of a sheep in a bikini or a life-size statue with a suitcase, hat and sunglasses as long as they bring a smile to visitors’ faces and encourage them to discover more.”

For details on how to take part, see