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If you were asked to imagine the perfect English market town, then it'd probably look a lot like Helmsley! There's the bustling market square, the dramatic castle ruins, the charming tea rooms, the inviting inns; all surrounded by mile after mile of the beautiful North York Moors. Indeed, the Cleveland Way and Ebor Way both begin from here. It's no wonder that Helmsley welcomes back so many visitors year after year.
Helmsley Castle Explore nearly a thousand years of history as you stroll through the dramatic ruins and new visitors’ centre.
Byland Abbey Discover how 12th Century monks lived and worshipped amid the remains of one of England’s biggest monasteries.
Only a mile across, historical Helmsley has lots to keep the visitor entranced for a day's visit or more. There are cosy pubs, fine dining restaurants with Michelin starred chefs and plenty of boutique, book and speciality shops overlooking the square and its ancient cross...be sure to haggle a bargain there at the Friday market! In fact, you might just have to spend the night, which isn't a problem as Helmsley offers a great choice of B&B's and plush hotels. If it's summer, you might even find time for a dip in the town's delightful open air swimming pool!
Soaring above this tranquil town are the dramatic ruins of Helmsely Castle. With a 100 foot high tower and substantial mediaeval, Tudor and Victorian remains, it's a history lover's delight. There's a brand new visitors' centre and plenty of regular activities throughout school holidays - perfect if you've ever fancied training a falcon or shooting a longbow!
The Helmsley Walled Gardens are nestled next to Helmsley Castle and offer a magnificent garden that encapsulates harmony throught its flowers. Restored back in 1994 to bring back to its original Victorian beauty and productivity.
Just an arrow shot away from Helmsley stand the ruins of not one but two magnificent monasteries. Built over 800 years ago Byland Abbey and Rievaulx Abbey still evoke sense of wonder and are well worth a visit. Or why not head off on a pilgrimage of your own? Two long distance paths start from Helmsley - if you can ever bear to leave this beautiful market town of course!
The largest collection of birds of prey in the north of England and a major new addition to Helmsley, the ICBP opened in 2013. Set in the heart of Duncombe Park just a short walk from Helmsley you will find eagles, vultures, hawks, falcons, owls and more. There are 3 daily flying demonstrations with different birds appearing in each one. Open 10 am until 5.30pm, 7 days a week. 1st February until 24th December. Allow at least 2-3 hours for your visit.