Ryedale Market Towns Trail: Part 1 Helmsley to Hovingham

in Helmsley in Hovingham

Ryedale Market Towns Trail: Part 1 Helmsley to Hovingham is a 14.3 kilometer point-to-point trail located near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Helmsley daffodils

The Route

  • Start Point: Helmsley
  • Finish Point: Hovingham
  • Distance: 9 Miles

GPX Route Map

Download file for GPS

Walk Description


This is a linear walk that forms part of a long distance trail. If you intend to walk this stretch as a stand-alone route, there is no suitable public transport for the return leg, so you would need to use a taxi.

A linear walk from Helmsley to Hovingham in North Yorkshire, forming the first part of the Ryedale Market Towns Trail. The route heads south along the banks of the River Rye, through pastures and crop fields, crossing the river via the footbridge alongside the fish farm and heading south to Oswaldkirk. From here the trail continues along the Ebor Way, following quiet tracks through Cawton and on to the idyllic village of Hovingham.


The Ryedale Market Towns trail is a 67 mile (108km) long-distance circular trail, created to allow walkers to enjoy the highlights of Ryedale, visiting each of the five market towns along the way.


The walk is relatively flat for the most part, with just a couple of long but steady gradients. Some of the grass paths can get muddy at times. You will need to negotiate several single bridle gates, a couple of kissing gates, some footbridges and 2 stiles. The first stile has a very generous adjacent dog gate, but the following one has tighter wooden fence surrounds (suitable for small dogs to squeeze through but larger dogs may need a lift over). You will cross many sheep pastures, one pasture with both horses and sheep, plus two cattle pastures, so take particular care with dogs. Approximate time 4.5 hours.


If you are completing the whole 67 mile trail, you can arrange accommodation at both ends, with plenty of choices in Helmsley and the Worsley Arms Hotel in Hovingham village. If you are walking this stretch as a stand-alone walk, you would need to catch a taxi back to Helmsley, as the bus journey would involve three changes and so is not practical.


There are public toilets in Borogate (just south of Helmsley Market Place at the start of the walk). If you are looking for refreshments, there are lots of options in Helmsley at the start of the walk (including places to buy picnic supplies), a pub in Oswaldkirk along the way, and you will find a tea room, bakery, coffee house, pub and hotel all within Hovingham village at the end of the walk. OS Maps: Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western Area and 300 Howardian Hills and Malton. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Please respect people’s privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

Access a list of all the segments that make up this walk here.

Related Accommodation

The accommodation below is nearby - and has been updated recently.

Picture of Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa

Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa

1-8 Highstreet, Helmsley, YO62 5AG, United Kingdom
Holt Cottage in Helmsley

Holt Cottage

Valley View Farm Cottages, Old Byland, Helmsley, YO62 5LG, UK
Formicary Cottage in Helmsley

Formicary Cottage

Valley View Farm Cottages, Old Byland, Helmsley, YO62 5LG, UK

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