A quintessential Yorkshire market town
The magical market town of Helmsley is where the North York Moors National Park meets the Howardian Hills. Where the Cleveland Way meets the Ebor Way and the Inn Way. And where the valleys of Bilsdale and Ryedale leave the moorland and meet the flat Vale of Pickering. So it goes without saying that it’s the perfect place to base yourself if you want to explore Ryedale on bike or foot.
A beautiful and historic Yorkshire market town, Helmsley has everything you could ask for, including a thriving market square, fantastic independent and specialist shops, artisan food, excellent places to eat and drink, high quality hotels, an imposing castle, friendly locals, a babbling brook and Ryedale’s breath-taking countryside on the doorstep.
There’s joy to be had just wandering around Helmsley’s pretty streets and browsing in its unique stores, galleries and boutiques. But if you do want to immerse yourself deeper in Helmsley’s charms, here are some of the highlights:
- A beautifully restored walled garden, with freshly grown produce and a great cafe
- The National Centre for Birds of Prey located in the grounds of a historic house
- Its very own microbrewery
- A recently refurbished open air swimming pool
- A luxury spa
- Internationally renowned galleries and an arts centre
- A castle and a stunning Cisterian Abbey just a stroll away
- A Michelin-starred restaurant just down the road in the village of Harome
A bit of history
With the old English name of Elmeslac, historic Helmsley predates the Domesday Book. Its first settlers arrived around 3,000 BC and small farming communities lived in the town throughout the Neolithic period, Bronze and Iron Ages and into Roman times. The lands around Helmsley were held by William the Conqueror’s brother.
You can still visit the ruins of the Norman castle, and see ancient oak trees in Duncombe Park dating from this time.
Where are the best places to eat, stay and visit?
The Visit Helmsley website gives you a true flavour of Helmsley, along with all the best places to eat, drink, visit and stay.