4. Helmsley

Pick and choose which walk around Helmsley suits your interests. My favourite walk in this section of the North York Moors, and the most popular one, takes you to the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. Built in the 10th century, the site was ruined 600 years later by order of Henry the VIII, when he had an infamous falling out with catholics in the area. He realized that the abbeys were practically goldmines, since the monks who lived off the land made money by farming. Today, the ruins of the abbey lay in the dip of a small valley, surrounded by a forest. There seems to be a peculiar atmosphere about Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey, no matter which time of the year you choose to explore.

north york moors walks
A former Cistercian abbey in Rievaulx, near Helmsley in the North York Moors National Park. Photo by Amanda Slater licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The walk is part of the Cleveland Way and is eight miles in total. It won’t be too strenuous even for beginners, and the sights you’ll get are more than worth it. The tour itself takes about an hour to complete. No one can pass up the opportunity to discover Rievaulx Abbey, not even the robots from the Transformers movies.

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