Helmsley and Rievaulx

What a difference a week makes! Snow last week and we were wrapping up with hats and gloves, to the hottest day of the year this weekend and us slapping on the sun cream. With a fantastic weekend forecast we were eager to enjoy the weather and get the walking boots on.
Warning! Due to the fabulous weather there may be some midriff pictures included in this blog post.
Our destination this time was Helmsley, walking to Rievaulx Abbey. We’ve never been to Helmsley but if you watched any of the Tour de Yorkshire footage you will have seen the wonderful countryside the bikes rode through. We weren’t disappointed as we entered the village and there was a collective ‘ooo’ as we drove to the carpark. The carpark is well signposted and there’s plenty of spaces, Helmsley visitor centre is located towards the back of the carpark and there are also toilets. The parking machine takes cards too which is great for us because we never have enough change!​ A slightly longer walk this time, following for a lot of the way the ‘Cleveland Way’ footpath. What I like about the footpaths in this area are that they are all well signposted and even without a map printed off the internet, I’m sure we would have found our way. You can see our route here as we plotted our walk on the Viewranger app. My Daughter as usual had dressed herself for the walk and getting a little hot decided that she was now going to be a superhero.
​Having walked so far up a wide track and along some fields, we were now on the edge of woodland. The path narrows and you head into the woodland and down some steps to an opening that looked, I thought, like something from a storybook. Maybe Winnie the pooh and friends or similar? There was a lot of talk about the Gruffalo on this walk but the kids have stopped believing that it exists.
​Having made it down and up again both sets of steps the footpath leads you to the most spectacular wide open view at Griff Lodge. By this time we were rather hot as the promised temperatures didn’t disappoint, and it was here I was thinking that I don’t have enough suitable clothes for our walking adventures. Which is why I must apologise because the tummy did get an outing in the photos!
​We continued down a footpath taking us deeper into the woodland and carpets of Bluebells soon started to greet us. Here we met a lovely Ranger from the North York Moors National Park who told us he’d just heard a Cuckoo in the nearby trees. Tales of the Gruffalo and some singing had drowned it out but we quietly tiptoed the next part of the walk and in the distance we could hear the bird. Sadly we didn’t see it but next time we know where to look.
The footpath ends at the bottom of the hill and from here until Rievaulx you have to walk along a minor road. The views are very pretty and although I was worried about the kids walking along the road it wasn’t too busy and there were enough gaps in the hedges for us to be safe.
We skirted around the Abbey walls, although you can pay an entrance fee if you want to get into the actual grounds but today we decided to admire the views from afar. A steep climb up and around the corner and we made our way along the permissive path to Rievaulx terrace.
We were soon back into the fields and the kids decided that one particular field looked like the land of Chocolate! We made our way through some farmland which led us back to Griff Lodge.
We had another picnic stop on the bench we had sat on earlier but this time four jets screamed across the sky. A spectacular view with added spectacular noise. Unfortunately I didn’t get the camera out quick enough so no photos of them! Now we were back on the footpath we had started on and followed our way back to the carpark, this time seeing in the distance Helmsley Castle. Easy to spot in the carpark if you look behind the trees! We had been looking in the wrong direction when we set off.
A little foot weary and very hot we made our way into the village for a well-deserved drink at The Black Swan. The food being brought outside looked amazing so next time I’ve decided we’re going for lunch!
We really enjoyed our walk, the kids did so well with the extra distance and the heat. We were impressed with the footpaths and signage and Helmsley looks such a lovely village that we are eager to visit again and do some more exploring.
All views are my own and I received no financial incentive for writing this blog post.
Where shall we go next?
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