Tourist Information in North York Moors
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Helmsley Town Information

Use the links on the left to find information and images for the towns and villages throughout North York Moors...

The Cleveland Way Walk starts in this busy but attractive market town, which is the administrative base for the North York Moors National Park.

It lies below picturesque moorland on the River Rye and boasts the ruin of a 12th century castle once regarded as impregnable.

Helmsley Castle during battle re-enactment - Photo © Paul Allison
Helmsley Castle during battle re-enactment - Photo: Paul Allison CCL

Feeding the ducks at Helmsley - Photo © Dave Dunford
Feeding the ducks at Helmsley - Photo: Dave Dunford CCL

The castle was bought in 1689 by Sir Charles Duncombe of nearby Duncombe Park, but fell into disrepair when he decided to live in a 200-room mansion in the grounds.

The castle was probably built by Walter L’Espec who also founded nearby Rievaulx Abbey - the first Cistercian house to be built in the north of England.

Founded in 1131 it is one of the most magnificent ruins in the country, with fine views and an unusual terrace.