Exploring North Yorkshire : The small market town of Helmsley

We are in North Yorkshire! As part of a Valentines surprise my partner has whisked me away for the weekend to a little hideaway in Gilling East!

Like me, you’ve probably never heard of this place or have any idea where it is. Well it’s a little village in what feels like the middle of nowhere but is actually located just south of the North York Moors National Park.

So yesterday we headed for the nearest location of interest on the map. This was Helmsley. Another place I’d never heard of but some quick research found a few things worth visiting here for.

We started the day bright and early and very thankful to see blue sky and the sun already out!

First stop – NCBP – National Centre for Birds of Prey. As I enjoyed my time here so much and feel it deserves a good mention I’ll blog about this separately another time so you can see some more photos I took of the amazing wildlife here. If you’re visiting Helmsley and like birds, this is well worth the trip.

Next stop was a short 5 minute drive to the nearby Rievaulx which looks to be another village with nothing here. (Even a population of less than 100) Nothing but one very impressive English Heritage site – Rievaulx Abbey.

Unfortunately we’ve not yet got our English Heritage membership but if you can tell anything by this picture you might be able to notice the beauty of the remains. I think we will return here properly in Summer.

Next stop was back to Helmsley for, wait for it, some MORE fish and chips! It’s becoming the go to food for our adventures around Yorkshire now.

Back in Helmsley we walked around the town. What a beautiful little picturesque piece of history. I really do love the towns of North Yorkshire they all seem to be so pretty to look at. This one reminded me of the small villages you find in Suffolk.

Lined with antique stores and little cafes and craft stores.

I liked that the town had a big centerpiece that reminded me of a lot of the cities you find all over Europe.

After walking through the town we headed towards the most iconic feature that stands out here, Helmsley Castle.

You can’t miss the remains of this castle as they tower above the town keeping a watchful eye.

When visiting the birds of prey earlier we got a beautiful view of the castle above the town so we decided to head back this way to end the day.

At the top of Helmsley you’ll find Duncombe Park. Personally, my favourite part of our time in Helmsley. I took so many photographs that I’m also going to post these as a separate feature.

If you like walking and gardens then this is the place for you. We saw plenty of dog walkers and joggers along the way as the setting is so vast and open.

I love to feel lost and when there is nothing but fields and woodland then this is the place for me!

A beautiful mansion at the top of the hill guides your way as you’re then presented with a variety of different routes to walk.

We got to catch the sunset on our loop back too.

Another hidden gem discovered on our mission to explore the United Kingdom!


  1. Not heard of Helmsley before but it seems lovely. Fish’n chips looked amazing as usual and the castle a definite place to visit. You’re doing well getting out and about exploring England aren’t you?


    • Yes I’m absolutely loving it! If only I had more time than just the weekend but it sure gives me something to look forward to each week ๐Ÿ™‚ so far I’ve just been exploring Yorkshire when I think about it but it’s a great place to start that’s for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. […] I try to keep my blog updated with various trips I do throughout the UK and overseas. I’m noticing traffic to my blog tends to come very frequently to some of the pieces I’ve written about Yorkshire. Especially Walking the canal from Skipton to Gargrave and Exploring North Yorkshire : The small market town of Helmsley. […]


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