Feed your soul at the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey

Helmsley, North Yorkshire

Medieval monks chose a serene valley in the North York Moors National Park to establish an abbey that became the richest and most powerful in England.

Despite being in ruins since the 16th century, Rievaulx (pronounced: REE-voh) Abbey still impresses, with its soaring walls and weathered stones set in beautiful countryside. Here, where history, heritage and landscape combine to glorious effect, you can enjoy England at its most timeless.

The abbey is the first stop on the 109 mile (175 km) Cleveland Way National Trail, which takes in history, moorland and dramatic coastline. If that seems rather a long way, follow the easy two-mile (3km) walk from the medieval castle in nearby Helmsley. Depending on the season, admire springtime bluebells in the woods and lambs in the field, blue skies and summer wildflowers, or moody skies and kicking through fallen leaves before arriving at grand Rievaulx. Then picnic on the lawn or take afternoon tea in the tearoom overlooking the ruins.

Helmsley is 24 miles (39 km) from York, which is two hours from London by train.

Content provided by North York Moors & Yorkshire Coast

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The beautiful and tranquil ruins of Rievaulx AbbeyThe beautiful and tranquil ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. © English Heritage
Rievaulx Abbey looking northwest from the museum gardenRievaulx Abbey looking northwest from the museum garden. © English Heritage
Rievaulx Abbey, one of England’s greatest and most atmospheric abbey ruinsRievaulx Abbey, one of England’s greatest and most atmospheric abbey ruins © Chris J Parker/NYMNPA
Looking down onto Rievaulx Abbey set in the beautiful North York Moors National ParkLooking down onto Rievaulx Abbey. ©NYMNPA
Helmsley Castle, the start of the delightful walk through bluebell woods to Rievaulx AbbeyHelmsley Castle. © English Heritage

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