The name Sleights is thought to be Old Norse and means 'flat land near the river'. This may have been the case when Sleights was founded but most of the houses in the village have been built on the slopes on either side of the River Esk. The village, however, is still very picturesque and is a great place to stay if you want to look around the Esk Valley.
Sleights itself offers some lovely walks down by the river but there are some places of interest nearby. One of these places is Falling Foss, which is an impressive waterfall in the Sneaton Forest. The water falls about 9 metres from 'May Beck'. Nearby you can visit a shelter carved out of a gigantic boulder, known as the Hermitage. You can also spend time at a tea garden in the grounds, a former game keeper's cottage, now known as Midge Hall. This is located at the top of the waterfall.
Another waterfall, Mallyan Spout, can also be visited. This 21 metre high fall can be found near the Mallyan Spout Hotel in the village of Goathland. Goathland itself is worth a wander around too. It is the setting for the popular television series, Heartbeat. There is an exhibition centre here depicting all aspects of life in the village.