Helmsley is an attractive market town beneath the southern rim of the North York Moors.
Helmsley castle is a 12th century ruin which stands craggy and broken, amid the well kept lawns of Duncombe Park. It was probably built by Walter l'Espec, the founder of Rievaulx Abbey.
Around Helmsley is a fine area for walking; the Cleveland Way begins here along the marked footpath to Rievaulx, north of the castle.
Rievaulx Abbey, 2 miles north-west of Helmsley, was founded in 1131, the first Cistercian house in the north of England, and one of the most fantastic monastic ruins in the country today. The name, pronounced “Reevo”, comes from Rye Vallis, or valley of the River Rye, above which the abbey ruins stand. There are wonderful views from the well laid-out Rievaulx Terrace, above the ruins to the east.
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