04 August 2010
One of Yorkshire’s most popular market towns, Helmsley is situated on the banks of the River Rye, from which Ryedale takes its name. Every Friday and is the starting point of the Cleveland Way National Trail and the Ebor Way. The square is dominated by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s gothic memorial to the second Baron of Feversham and a stone market cross. Flanked by attractive shops, pubs and tearooms it's a lovely place to shop, especially on Friday when the large market square is filled with a busy street market.
The town is overlooked by the 12th century ruins of Helmsley Castle, a medieval ruin with its Tudor manor, now in the care of English Heritage. The great estate of Duncombe Park lies on the outskirts of the town, and consists of one of the finest restored houses in Yorkshire. Surrounded by a vast landscaped green garden and parkland, much of which is designated a National Nature Reserve, the estate is well worth a visit. The estate's 18th century walled garden is also open to the public and home to an array of plants, from fruit and vegetables to rare old English roses, and lots of home made treats in its coffee shop. Helmsley is also home to an arts centre and an outdoor pool.
For walkers, Helmsley is also known as the starting point of the Cleveland Way National Trail, the Inn Way and Ebor Way with some great B&B's; all in all the best place to start discovering the North York Moors on foot.