Rievaulx Circular Trail

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This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
16.7 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
573 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Rievaulx Circular Trail

The Rievaulx Circular Trail is an amazing walking route within North York Moors National Park that will take you through a variety of terrain types to experience stunning views and historical buildings. While out on the trail, you will initially pass by the historic 12th Century Rievaulx Abbey that was disestablished in 1538 and walk along the scenic River Rye before climbing uphill through open fields and peaceful forests. Be sure to wear proper walking boots, as there are some steep climbs and forested areas with paths that are often muddy.

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Route Description for Rievaulx Circular Trail

Walking the Rievaulx Circular Trail is an amazing outdoor experience in the North York Moors that truly showcases some beautiful views of the landscape and some interesting historical sites. From sweeping views across the national park to the ruins of one of the greatest abbeys in all of England, this route is sure to keep you entertained throughout.

Setting out from the free car park at Rievaulx Terrace, you will head downhill and pass by the beautiful and imposing ruins of Rievaulx Abbey which, before its disestablishment in 1538, was one of the most prominent abbeys in the country.

From here, you will head northwest along the winding banks of the River Rye before climbing uphill above Deep Gill Wood. After traversing the open farmland to the southwest and arriving in Cold Kirby, you will head back to the east and descend the hillside, passing through a vale on the return to Rievaulx Abbey.

Getting to the Rievaulx Circular Trail Trailhead

To reach the Rievaulx Circular trailhead from Helmsley, head northwest on Church Street/B1257 for 2.1 mi and turn left. Continue on for 0.2 mi to arrive at the car park.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


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Rievaulx Circular Trail Elevation Graph

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Rievaulx Circular Trail Reviews

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