Views and vistas walk

Walking trail

Follow the trail and enjoy views that inspired artist J.M.W. Turner.

View from Rievaulx Terrace with the remains of Rievaulx Abbey


Map route for Views and vistas 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 you’ll pass the church of St Mary the Virgin, which was originally the gateway ‘Slipper’ chapel of the abbey. The ruin was restored by local landowner the Earl of Feversham in 1906 to become the village church.


Follow the road through the village, taking time to enjoy the views of the ruined Rievaulx Abbey on your left. Many of the houses in the village are converted from abbey buildings, such as the brew house and the old water mill.

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As you continue along the road you’ll pass the English Heritage car park on your left, which has toilets.


As the road continues along the bank of the river Rye, take time to look behind you at the view of the abbey. This view from the other side of the river was painted by J.M.W. Turner in 1826, but has now been blocked by trees.

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As you reach the bridge, turn left and continue down the road, passing through the fields that used to form the major part of the abbey’s income through sheep farming.


As the road goes up the hill, bear right and follow the footpath.


When the footpath turns right into woodland, turn back onto the road and continue up the hill. As the road winds through the woods, look out for the woodland colours and falling leaves in the autumn, and butterflies in the summer.


Continue walking up the road until you reach the track to Griff Farm, formerly part of the abbey’s lands. A village at Griff is mentioned in the Domesday Book, but it's unclear whether the monks evicted the villagers to make room for the grange, or whether they simply took over a deserted area. Turn left through the farm gate into the field, following the black waymarker arrows.


Walk along the boundary of the field, turning left at the end to walk parallel to the road. Continue through the gate at the end and you’ll find yourself back at the entrance to Rievaulx Terrace.


Walk down the drive towards Rievaulx Terrace where you’ll finish your walk. Take some time to enjoy the Terrace and Temples, and get a completely different view of the abbey from high above it.

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Rievaulx Terrace Visitor Centre

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Views and vistas walk


This walk take you along permissive and public footpaths and roadways. As Rievaulx village and abbey are in a valley, there is one steep hill at section 8. 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.

Views and vistas walk

Contact us

Telephone: 01439 798340
Views and vistas walk

How to get here

Rievaulx Terrace, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5LJ
By road

By car: 2.5 miles north west of Helmsley on B1257

By foot

By foot: the Cleveland Way passes within 3/4 of a mile 

By bus

By bus: from Helmsley. April to October, Sundays and Bank Holidays. August, daily

By bicycle

Visit the Sustrans website to see our local cycle trails and plan your route in to our special place.

Views and vistas walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome on leads
  • Free parking, 100 yards
  • Suitable for school groups
  • Baby-changing facilities
  • Children's quiz/trail
  • Pushchairs and baby back-carriers admitted
  • Two single-seater PMVs available at set times, advance booking is essential