Panoramic views of the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey walk in North York Moors, England
Panoramic views of the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey walk in North York Moors, England

Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Walk

North York Moors
View Photos
View from the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandCleveland Way through Abbot Hag Wood on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandView from Griff Lodge on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandCleveland Way on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandCleveland Way down to Rievaulx on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandLane on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandBridge crossing River Rye on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandRievaulx Abbey on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandViews of the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandTrail of the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandTrail views from the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandHelmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors is surrounded by beautiful authentic housesPath up to Rievaulx cottage on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, EnglandCleveland way back to Helmsley on the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Hike in North York Moors, England

Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Walk

Distance: 11.1km
Elevation: 185m
Time: 1.5-2h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

The popular Rievaulx Abbey Walk starts in the bustling market town of Helmsley and follows part of the Cleveland Way to reach the idyllic village and ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. With plenty of classic Yorkshire views and history a plenty— this is a great loop and day out.

Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Walk hike Map

Getting there

To get to the start of Rievaulx Abbey walk, from Thirsk, follow the A170 eastwards to Helmsley. Once in Helmsley follow signs for the long stay car park, situated on Cleveland Way just behind Cleveland Castle. Parking is priced at £3-6, depending how long you plan to stay.

I’ve done this 65 people have done this
I want to do this 89 want to do this route

About

When to do

All year

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

At Helmsley long stay car park

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Circuit


Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Walk
Elevation Graph


Rievaulx Abbey Walking route Description

To start the Rievaulx Abbey walk from Helmsley, from the car park, turn left and follow signs for the Cleveland Way. Follow the broad track up to a kissing gate and onto farmland. Continue straight ahead on the Cleveland Way through two gates before turning left to cut down towards the woodland. The path then turns sharply right to follow alongside the boundary of the woodland.

After just over 0.5km the path drops slightly to the left into the woodland and soon descends steeply down via some steps before promptly climbing back up. Follow the track to emerge from the woodland at Griff Lodge and continue ahead still on the Cleveland Way, keeping the lodge to your right.

1.3km further ahead the Cleveland Way meets a minor road. Turn left, initially following a raised footpath before soon dropping down onto the lane and continuing ahead. You will soon spot the Abbey ruins to your right.

Turn left at the next junction before the bridge, following signs to Rievaulx. Continue along the road towards the abbey. After exploring the abbey—headback onto the road running through the village and continue ahead on Rievaulx Road as it leads you up and out of the village.

After passing the church on your right, turn right to follow the narrow footpath off into the woods marked ‘Permissive Path to Rievaulx Terrace’. At the top of the path bear left through and gate, passing the entrance to Rievaulx Terrace to your right and continue down the tarmacked drive to the main road.

Turn right at the main road, and remain on the grass verge to find a signposted gate and footpath leading into the field ahead. Follow the path as it runs parallel to the road before turning sharply right to follow the perimeter of the field down to a gate.

Here, cross a small lane and follow the wide track towards Griff Farm. Before the farm buildings, you’ll find arrows directing you to the right and taking you in a loop to avoid the main buildings. This route eventually brings you back onto a broad track on the far side. Turn right onto this track and follow it back towards Griff Lodge. Turn left to rejoin the Cleveland Way and retrace your steps back to Helmsley.

Walking Route Highlights

Rievaulx Abbey

The Rievaulx Abbey was originally built in 1132, as a Cistercian abbey, and was considered one of the greats of its time. It was regarded as the most powerful monasticism center in Great Britain, with a congregation of 650 and healmed by famous abbot, Aelred.

The abbey was conquered by Henry VIII of England in 1538, during the abolishment period of the monasteries. But upon rediscovery in the 18th-century, the ruins became a popular landmark for the Romantic artists of the time. Today, you can roam the grounds to take in the extensive and fascinating ruins, or visit the museum nestled away in the secluded North York Moors valley.

Find more amazing walks in North York Moors National Park:

Insider Hints

  • Allow yourself plenty of time to explore the abbey ruins and enjoy the hike.

  • Head to Rievaulx Terrace to enjoy more stunning views and a peak at two incredible temples.

  • Finish with ice cream from Ryeburn of Helmsley – famously good!

Comments

Max O. 6 months ago

Abandoned Abbey was unbelivable! I've never admired ruins as much before.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Elenastankova 7 months ago

The abbey ruins are awesome, I also love the stunning views in Rievaulx Terrace <3

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
unicorn_lady 7 months ago

There's always something so fascinating about remnants of ruins. In this short and easy trail, you get to see the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. I wondered what stories lie within its rubble. I did enjoy taking this trail, it does have a certain charm to it.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
climbing_ally21 7 months ago

Lovely trail that goes through the charming local towns and Rievaulx village.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
Fran Cine 7 months ago

Impressive ruins. It leaves you feeling a great sense of calm and peace.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
1h 45m Time Taken
Abu Sharif 7 months ago

What a beautiful attraction!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Genna Sherman 8 months ago

A nice easy walk. The ruins were exceptional. Exploring the abbey is a must!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
WebbA. 8 months ago

The ruins are beautiful! I hope it could always stay the same.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
penny lane 8 months ago

Ruins are hauntingly beautiful. It makes me wonder about the life of other people who came on this planet before us.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Frank Caultu 9 months ago

Definitely recommend if you are at North York Moors for the day and are keen on a little adventure!

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
23 Comments Show all

Similar hikes to the Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey Walk hike

Trail of the Cloughton and Hayburn Wyke walk in North York Moors, England

Hayburn Wyke Walk

Difficulty:
6.9km
161m
2-2.5h

The Hayburn Wyke Walk is an undulating but not overly challenging route. It links the Wyke’s of Cloughton and Hayburn…

Views of the Hole of Horcum walk in North York Moors, England

Hole of Horcum Walk

Difficulty:
10.9km
168m
2.5-3h

So superbly beautiful from start to finish, the Hole of Horcum Walk is a popular, yet peaceful hike through the…

Farndale "Daffodil walk" in North York Moors

Farndale "Daffodil walk"

Difficulty:
6km
68m
1.5-2h

A beautiful stroll along Farndale valley between the picturesque villages of Low Mill and Church Houses. Either follow the loop…