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 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 2 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 2 hours from London by train.
Content provided by North York Moors & Yorkshire Coast