Walk: Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey

in Helmsley

Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey is a 10.1 kilometer out and back trail located near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

The Route

  • what3words for start point: ///udder.rarely.parked
  • Start Point: Helmsley
  • Finish Point: Rievaulx Abbey or return to Helmsley
  • Distance: 6 Miles

GPX Route Map

Download file for GPS

Walk Description

A walk from the market town of Helmsley in Ryedale. The route follows the Cleveland Way through open fields, beautiful woodland belts and along quiet lanes to visit the spectacular Rievaulx Abbey before returning along the same route. This walk is published through a collaboration with Ryedale District Council. The walk has several climbs and descents throughout, including a couple of steep sections within the woodlands.

You will need to negotiate several kissing gates plus two long flights of stone steps which take you through a woodland valley (both there and back), but there are no stiles on route. You are likely to be sharing a couple of the fields with sheep so take particular care with dogs. The middle stretch of the route (by the Abbey) follows the edge of quiet lanes so take care of traffic at these points.

You will have good views of Rievaulx Abbey from the public paths and lanes, but should you wish to enter the abbey grounds, these are managed by English Heritage and entrance fees apply (which includes an audio tour). Dogs on leads are welcome. Check the English Heritage website for fees and opening times. Allow 3 hours plus extra time to visit the abbey.

There are public toilets in the long stay car park (close to waypoint 1) and there are also toilets at Rievaulx Abbey at the half way point. If you are looking for refreshments, the abbey has a cafe and you will be spoilt for choice with pubs, cafes and restaurants in Helmsley at the start or end of the walk.

OS Map: Explorer OL26 North York Moors Western Area. 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.

Leave a Comment