Nature nuts and history buffs walk

Walking trail

Stop for a halfway break in the market town of Helmsley, renowned for its pubs and tea shops. This circular walk is best when combined with a visit to our special place so why not explore our house on your walk too?

The Ionic Temple at Rievaulx Terrace, North Yorkshire.


Map route for Nature nuts and history buffs walk


Rievaulx Terrace Visitor Centre


From Rievaulx Terrace Visitor Centre turn left through the gate and follow the permissive footpath down the bank through the woodland. Take care in wet weather as the bank can be muddy.


At the bottom of the bank, turn left along the road into Rievaulx village. On your left pass the church of St Mary the Virgin, originally the abbey's gateway ‘Slipper’ chapel.


At the bridge, turn left down the road, through the fields that were integral to the abbey’s sheep farming income. Pause to look behind you at the view of the ruined abbey. When the road goes up the hill, bear right and follow the footpath.

Read more


Follow the Cleveland Way right into the woodland. Continue through Quarry Bank and Whinny Bank woods, with mixed oak, hazel and ash trees. Note the colourful foliage in the autumn and listen for jays collecting acorns. In the summer spot butterflies, nuthatches and blackcaps. Hear the distinctive 'yaffle' of the shy green woodpecker before you see them.


At the top of Whinny Bank, stop at the bench by Griff Lodge to enjoy the view. Follow the Cleveland Way towards Helmsley to the left through the meadow, do not follow the gravel roadway.


Follow the path through woodland and fields. Glimpse Helmsley Castle in the distance and stop in Helmsley for well-earned refreshments.

Read more


Take some time to explore Helmsley, which has Viking and medieval origins. When you're ready to continue the walk, turn right down High Street and continue onto Castlegate. When you reach the entrance to Duncombe Park, turn right and walk up the drive.


As you pass Helmsley Castle on the right, you’ll see the Tudor extension. The walled garden was built by Thomas Duncombe in 1759 to provide fruit and vegetables for his new house, Duncombe Park. Continue up the drive and over the cattle grid, passing the Tuscan temple on the left.


When you reach the Bird of Prey centre, continue past it up the drive to the left. Walk past the front of Duncombe Park and pause to enjoy its baroque façade.

Read more


Turn right over the cattle grid to continue up the drive and into the woods. When you reach a t-junction, take the right fork. Do not follow the footpath marked with a flower symbol. Continue up the roadway until it splits. Take the left turn towards a clearing, returning to Griff Lodge.


Turn right past the lodge through the gateway, signposted with black waymarkers. Follow the waymarkers through a field and past Griff Farm. The bumps in the ground are all that remain of the abbey's home grange. When you reach the road, cross it and walk through the field.


Turn left at the far fence to walk parallel to the road. Continue through the end gate to return to Rievaulx Terrace. Visit the Terrace and Temples for a view of the abbey from high above.


Rievaulx Terrace Visitor Centre

You made it

Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.

Nature nuts and history buffs walk


This walk takes you along permissive and public footpaths, including the Cleveland Way, and roadways. As Rievaulx village and abbey are in a valley, there are a couple of steep hills. Sensible shoes are recommended as the ground can be muddy in poor weather. Dogs on leads are welcome. Although the roads around Rievaulx village are usually very quiet, be aware of traffic and keep children and dogs supervised. 
Nature nuts and history buffs walk

Contact us

Telephone: 01439 798340
Nature nuts and history buffs walk

How to get here

Rievaulx Terrace, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5LJ
By road
2.5 miles north west of Helmsley on B1257
Parking: free, 100 yards
By foot

Cleveland Way within ¾ mile

By bus

From Helmsley. April to October, Sundays and Bank Holidays. August, daily.

By bicycle

Visit the Sustrans website to see the cycle routes locsl to us and plan your journey in to our special place.

Nature nuts and history buffs walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome on leads
  • Baby-changing facilities
  • Pushchairs and baby back-carriers admitted
  • Suitable for school groups
  • Map of accessible grounds route available
  • Two single-seater PMVs available at set times, advance booking is essential