Escape to the tranquil valley of the North York Moors and discover the impressive ruins of one of England’s most powerful Cistercian monasteries.
The new visitor experience shines a light on Rievaulx Abbey’s fascinating past and the lives of the monks who called Rievaulx Abbey their home. Explore the elegant museum displaying previously unseen artefacts which tell the story of the rise and dramatic fall of the first Cistercian abbey in the North of England.
Wander the extensive ruins of the abbey to discover more about the building and how it looked at various stages of its development. Pick up an audio tour to learn more or hunt for clues of medieval life with our family trail.
Take in the stunning views from our new visitor centre while enjoying a tasty treat in our new tearoom and appreciate why St Aelred’s ‘everywhere peace, everywhere serenity’ description of Rievaulx Abbey could quite easily have been written today.
Towering over the attractive market town of Helmsley, and surrounded by spectacular banks and ditches, Helmsley Castle is an imposing sight with a wealth of history. The first castle at Helmsley was built in the early twelfth century by Walter Espec – ‘Walter the Woodpecker’, who also founded nearby Rievaulx Abbey and Kirkham Priory.
Modernised by Robert de Roos and his descendants, and converted into living quarters and a luxurious mansion by the Manners family, the castle faced its greatest challenge in the Civil War period. Held for King Charles, Helmsley endured a three month siege before Cromwell’s men blew up the Great Keep, slicing it in half with the explosion.
Helmsley Castle has recently undergone a thorough makeover by English Heritage, making it more accessible to a wide range of visitors. Its fascinating story is told through a brand-new visitor centre, and an imaginative hands-on exhibition in the mansion range, which explores the social and domestic, as well as the military, aspects of the fortress.
The towering, shattered keep and fearsome earthworks continue to fire the imaginations of visitors to the site, making Helmsley Castle the perfect location to learn more about the dramatic history of this region.
Castle Howard is one of Britain’s finest historic houses, situated just outside York in the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Built over 300 years ago by Sir John Vanbrugh, today it remains home to the Howard family.
Discover the house at your own pace, admiring its awe-inspiring architecture, interiors and world-renowned collections, with something to capture everyone’s imagination. Friendly and knowledgeable guides are on hand to share stories of the house, family and artwork with visitors of all ages.
Children will love the lakeside adventure playground and can run wild in the gardens with a free children’s trail leaflet.
Leave time to browse the shops and cafes, including farm shop, gift shop and garden centre.
Discover one of Ryedale’s true gems – the 18th-century landscape of Rievaulx Terrace. Stroll through woods, then out on to the terrace, with its stunning views down over the Cistercian ruin of Rievaulx Abbey.
In spring the bank between the temples is awash with wild flowers, in summer the lawns are the perfect spot for picnics, while in autumn the beech woods are a mass of rich hues.
Rievaulx Terrace’s close proximity to Nunnington Hall makes it an ideal double visit in one day.
The sheltered walled garden, with spring-flowering organic meadow, orchards and flamboyant peacocks, complements this beautiful Yorkshire house, nestling on the quiet banks of the River Rye. Enjoy the atmosphere of this former family home. Explore period rooms while hearing the Hall’s many tales, and then discover one of the world’s finest collections of miniature rooms in the attic. The Hall also holds a series of important art and photography exhibitions during the year.
Why not make a day of it? Its proximity to Rievaulx Terrace (only 7 ½ miles) make it an ideal double visit in one day.
Nunnington Hall has a licensed tea-room with waitress service, serving local and seasonal produce. Special diets are catered for including gluten-free options. There are lovely spots for picnics and a tea garden. You can also visit the gift shop.
Set in the attractive Moors-edge market town of Pickering; discover how this splendid 13th-century castle was used throughout the centuries. This tourist attraction in the heart of the North York Moors National Park has been a royal hunting lodge, holiday home and a stud farm by a succession of medieval kings.