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.
Helmsley Circular Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Helmsley Circular Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Helmsley Circular Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Helmsley Circular Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Head east from the town and you will come to the neighbouring market town of Kirkbymoorside. The town is well known for its Wednesday market which dates all the way back to the 13th century. In the town you'll also find cobbled streets, interesting old cottages and a Saxon church. The Kirkbymoorside Walk visits the nearby village of Gillamoor where you can enjoy fine views over Farndale from 'Suprise View'.
A few miles to the north west you can visit the village of Hawnby and enjoy a climb to the splendid viewpoint at Hawnby Hill. There's wonderful views over Ryedale from this elevated spot.
For more walking ideas in the area see the North York Moors Walks page.