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|Visit Ryedale: Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey|
|Author: visitryedale, Published: 20 Apr 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|North Yorkshire, Ryedale|
|A 6.5 mile (10.5km) there and back 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 part of the Visit Ryedale Collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Ryedale District Council. For more visitor information on the area including events and accommodation, go to www.VisitRyedale.co.uk |
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.
Helmsley is located on the River Rye, on the A170 between Thirsk and Pickering. The walk starts and finishes in the Market Place in the centre of Helmsley. If you are coming by car, long stay parking is available in the Cleveland Way Car Park. The fee for up to 6 hours is £4.30 (correct Apr 2016) or half price if you use a Ryedale Parking Smartcard. Approximate post code YO62 5AT. From the car park, simply follow the signs to the Market Place. If you are coming by public transport alight at the bus stops in Market Place. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit www.traveline.info.
|Start to Cleveland Way|
Start point: 54.2462 lat, -1.0616 long
The walk begins in the Market Place, directly outside the library and town hall. Helmsley was first settled around 3000BC and the lands around Helmsley were once held by William the Conqueror’s brother. For several centuries the town’s economy relied on sheep farming, wool and weaving. Helmsley was already an important market town by the 1100s so it has had plenty of time to perfect the Market Place. A bustling weekly market takes places here every Friday.
|Cleveland Way to Valley Bottom|
Start point: 54.2472 lat, -1.0639 long
At the end of the road, pass the car park and public toilets on your left and keep ahead on the paved track, passing a large stone marker on your left. This stone marker, which includes a carved acorn symbol, marks the starting point of The Cleveland Way long distance path. The path runs 110 miles from Helmsley to Filey, skirting the North York Moors. It is one of the 16 National Trails in England and Wales, each one marked by an acorn symbol along the route.
|Valley Bottom to Ingdale Howl|
Start point: 54.2444 lat, -1.0881 long
Pass through the valley and continue on the path which leads you up the far side via another flight of stone steps. At the top, pass through two old gateways and then join the stone path which continues with a field and hedgerow running on your right. When the stone path ends, join the grass track which bears left, crossing over a vehicle track and then continuing ahead on the Cleveland Way, passing Griff Lodge to your right (more about that later…)
|Ingdale Howl to Rievaulx Abbey|
Start point: 54.2491 lat, -1.1115 long
Turn left and join the footpath which runs on an earth embankment alongside the road. Where the footpath ends, simply continue ahead along the road edge, taking care of any traffic. Continue past a single stone cottage on your left and, soon afterwards, you will have your first glimpse of Rievaulx Abbey ruins over the hedge to your right (assuming you are tall enough!).
|Rievaulx Abbey to Rievaulx Bridge|
Start point: 54.2568 lat, -1.1191 long
When you have finished at the abbey, retrace your steps back along the lane. Just before the T-junction, take a small detour through the gap in the fence on your right to visit the idyllic riverside setting alongside Rievaulx Bridge.
|Rievaulx Bridge to Griff Lodge|
Start point: 54.2511 lat, -1.12 long
When you have finished enjoying the riverside setting, continue to the T-junction and turn left along the road edge (signed to Helmsley), taking care of any traffic. Further along, join the embankment path alongside the road and as soon as this ends, turn right onto the stone track leading you into woodland (signed as the Cleveland Way to Helmsley).
|Griff Lodge to End|
Start point: 54.2431 lat, -1.0959 long
Follow the grass track which crosses the access drive and then continue ahead as this becomes a stone path. The path eventually leads you back into woodland, leading you through the woodland valley via the two sets of stone steps. At the far side, bear left to join the enclosed path which follows the line of a wall and woodland on your right.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author visitryedale and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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