Helmsley Circular Walk
A lovely circular walk from Helmsley passing through Rye Dale and visiting the wonderful Rievaulx Abbey. The varied walk includes riverside sections, woodland trails, wonderful history and fabulous views over the North York Moors.
The walk starts in Helmsley and follows the Cleveland Way west past the medieval Helmsley Castle which has a walled garden to explore. You continue west through Winny Bank Wood, Ashberry Hill and Nettle Dale. Here you'll pass a series of pretty ponds surrounded by attractive woodland. The route then bends round to the north, passing Spring Wood and Lambert Hag Wood before coming to Rievaulx. Here you will find the atmospheric ruins of the 12th century Cistercian abbey. It was one of the great abbeys in England until it was seized under Henry VIII of England in 1538 during the dissolution of the monasteries. The photogenic ruins of its main buildings are a major tourist attraction, owned and maintained by English Heritage.
The site includes the wonderful Rievaulx Terrace. The 18th-century landscape gardens contain woodland, grass banks, wildflower meadows and two temples.
After exploring the abbey and the terrace the route follows a country lane south back to Rievaulx Bridge on the River Rye. From here you can follow the Cleveland Way back into Helmsley.
To continue your walking in this area of the North York Moors you could visit the beautiful parkland and gardens at Duncombe Park or head to the nearby Hambleton Hills.