Things to do at Rievaulx Terrace
Step away from the cares of daily life at this 18th-century pleasure garden created for walking, lunching and relaxing. Stroll through woodland to the Terrace and journey back in time when you explore the temple follies. Then gaze out towards the atmospheric ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.
Take in the Terrace
Wander through the woodland in the dappled light, keeping your eyes and ears open for birds and wildlife all around. When you reach the Terrace, relax, breathe in the fresh air and stride out in the wide-open space. Then pause to absorb the sprawling views down towards Rievaulx Abbey, the ruined Cistercian monastery in the valley below.
Video: A walk around Rievaulx Terrace.
See the temples
The visitor route follows a path through the woodland to the Tuscan Temple, then along the grassy Terrace to the magnificent Ionic Temple. These classical temples are adorned with paintings and intricate plaster work, imbuing the picturesque ideals of the 18th century.
Peep inside the Tuscan Temple
Though the Tuscan Temple isn’t open to visitors, you can look through the windows to see the lavish interior of this neoclassical rotunda.
Rich plasterwork decorates the walls and fresco-painted ceiling – the depiction of a winged goddess by Italian artist Andrea Casali takes centre stage. And don’t miss the 13th-century floor tiles from nearby Byland Abbey.
Explore the Ionic Temple
Step inside the Ionic Temple and drink in the sumptuous interior. Imagine what it might have been like to be a dinner guest, eating from the Chamberlain Worcester porcelain and sitting at one of the 12 mid-18th-century mahogany dining chairs.
Look up to see every detail of the mythological scenes in the ceiling’s frescoes, painted by Italian artist Giuseppe Mattia Borgnis.
Visit the exhibition space underneath the Ionic Temple to learn more about the estate and its imposing buildings.
Have a fun family adventure
There’s plenty of space to let off some steam here. Skip, run and dance your way all along the Terrace. Head deep into the woods to build a den in the wild play area and be sure to explore the natural surroundings.
Bringing your dog to Rievaulx Terrace
Give your dogs a special treat with a walk at Rievaulx Terrace. Clip on their lead and take them rambling through the woodland – there’s plenty of sights and smells to keep them interested.
Discover how 18th-century owner Thomas Duncombe II planned a verdant garden with lavish temples, and learn about the architect and artists he employed to bring his vision to life.
Find out how to make the most of your visit with your dog at Rievaulx Terrace, including where you can take them and what facilities are available. Rievaulx Terrace is a one pawprint rated place.