Further afield

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey, hidden in the tranquil valley of the River Rye, the beautiful abbey ruins reflect nearly one thousand years of spiritual, commercial and Romantic history.

Rievaulx was one of the first Cistercian abbeys to be founded in England in around 1130, and after the dissolution, became the centre of commercial activity for many years. The abbey forge was used to set up an ironworks on the site. The abbey then entered its Romantic period when its picturesque ruins became a beacon for poets, painters, and scholars.

Rievaulx was one of the first major ruins to be conserved by the Office of Works (ancestor of English Heritage) in 1917.

Useful links:

English Heritage – Rievaulx Abbey

National Trust – Rievaulx Terrace & Temples


North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the world’s greatest heritage railway experiences.

Climb on-board a steam or heritage diesel train on one of the earliest and most historic lines. Experience 24 miles of Yorkshire’s picturesque scenery as you cross the National Park.

Pickering Station is a 1930’s themed station that will transport you back in time to the steam era. Goathland, became Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film and was where the TV series Heartbeat was filmed and Grosmont Station is the operating and engineering home of the NYMR. Visit Whitby with its narrow streets and bustling harbour overlooked by the striking ruins of Whitby Abbey.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway Trust is a not-for profit charitable organisation run as part of the local community. Day to day operation is carried out by volunteers with railway operations and business experience. Every visitor that travels on the railway helps preserve one of the earliest and most historic lines.

Useful links:

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

NYMR – Plan your visit

Welcome to Yorkshire – NYMR

The Visit York Pass


Historic City of York

Historic York lies 24 miles to the south and is only half an hour away. There’s a wealth of things to see and do, with the ancient walled city offering more attractions per square mile than any other destination in the UK.

With its Roman, Viking and Medieval past, the historic city is full of exciting places to visit and things to do and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in England.

The following links provide further information about the main attractions which include York Minster (the largest medieval church in England), JORVIK (perhaps the best known visitor attraction in York), Betty’s Tearoom and The National Railway Museum.

Historic York lies 24 miles to the south and is only half an hour away. There’s a wealth of things to see and do, with the ancient walled city offering more attractions per square mile than any other destination in the UK.

Useful links:

Visit York

York on Trip Advisor

York a beginners’ guide

16 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in York, England


Castle Howard

Castle Howard is one of England’s finest historic houses, set in a thousand acres of sweeping parkland dotted with statues, temples, lakes and fountains.

Discover world-renowned collections gathered by succeeding generations of the Howard family. Built over 300 years ago, today it still remains a family home.

The stately homes of Bolton Abbey, Newby Hall, Harewood and Nunnington Hall are also well worth visting.

Useful links:

Castle Howard

National Trust – Rievaulx Terrace & Temples


North Yorkshire Heritage Coast

Why not drive ‘over the tops’, across the spectacular moors to the coast. The North Yorkshire Heritage Coast runs the entire length of the scenic North York Moors National Park, from Filey up to the Victorian seaside resort town of Saltburn. The coastline is a dramatic, with its high rugged cliffs dotted with charming fishing villages.

Starting in Helmsley, The Cleveland Way National Trail runs the entire length of the heritage coast, the 109 mile (175 Km ) long walking route passes through beautiful and ever changing landscapes and ends on the long narrow peninsula of Filey Brigg.

Whitby is the cultural centre of the heritage coast, set in a deep ravine at the mouth of the River Esk. It was from here that the eighteenth century explorer and voyager Captain James Cook (1728-1779) set sail in the Bark ‘Endeavour’. Whitby is one of North-east Yorkshire’s most popular seaside towns and has much to offer the visitor. With its narrow cobbled lanes and streets leading to a the busy, characterful harbour, fishing trawlers sailing past, lifeboat cruises, and pubs jostling for position alongside lively bars, cafe´s and shops. Be sure to sample the world famous fish and chips at The Magpie Café.

Other popular destinations on the coast are Scarborough, Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay, Saltburn, Sands End and Runswick Bay.

Useful links:

Discover Yorkshire Coast

Yorkshire, The Heritage Coast


Yorkshire Lavender

‘Yorkshire Lavender’ is the largest lavender farm in the North of England and a triple award-winning visitor attraction set within the Howardian Hills National Landscape. The panoramic views are said to be some of the best in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Lavender propagate and sell a huge range of unusual perennials, biennials, annuals, grasses, alpines and wildflowers together with a large selection of lavender and herb plants in our Specialist Plant Nursery.

In the Gift Shop you will find the ultimate collection of quality lavender products including the Yorkshire Lavender range as well as gifts, books, mementoes and specialist lavender foods including biscuits, conserves, honey, chocolates and beer.

Useful links:

Yorkshire Lavender


Ben’s top 10 places to eat and drink

We regularly visit and review local pubs and restaurants so that we can recommend places to our visitors. (I know… someone has to do it)!


Bantam (Helmsley – 0 miles) – Located at 8 Bridge Street just of the market place Bantam is an airy, appealing bistro, with a relaxed, friendly feel and a Yorkshireman at its helm. The fresh, unfussy, Mediterranean-influenced dishes are well-priced, full of flavour and ideal for sharing. Ingredients are sourced from local producers and the wine list focuses on low intervention choices. Michelin Guide recommended!

The Feathers  (Helmsley – 0 miles) – Located in the market square, The Feathers is very much at the heart of life in Helmsley. The old coaching inn has twin bars and a capacious dining room. Perfect for a big family get together or simply pop in for a drink, a light lunch or afternoon tea.

The Star Inn at Harome  (Harome – 2.5 miles) – The Star is a delightful, thatched, fourteenth century inn situated a few miles from Helmsley. This year, it is celebrating the arrival, 25 years ago, of Andrew Pern, chef/patron since 1996. The Star has an international reputation and is holder of 1 Michelin star.

The Pheasant Hotel at Harome  (Harome – 2.5miles) – The Pheasant Hotel is also renowned for its 2 AA Rosette awarded dining, where you can enjoy delicious dishes created by the passionate and talented kitchen team. Choose to dine in either the splendid dining room, the airy conservatory, the cosy bar or the sheltered terrace, and be treated to a feast of seasonal and local produce, accompanied by handpicked ales and fine wines. You can also indulge in a traditional afternoon tea, or sample some of the sandwiches and snacks available throughout the day.

The Fairfax Arms  (Gilling East – 6 miles) – Tracy Cooper is head chef and deserving of her fine culinary reputation. Eat informally in the bar or in the restaurant or the new orangery. On a sunny day, sit at a table in front of the pub, by the little stream which trickles through the village and watch the cyclists hurtle past.

The Grapes Inn  (Slingsby – 10 miles) – One of our favourite places for pub food, in terms of quality and value for money is The Grapes, another family run pub, a stone’s throw from Castle Howard. The pub is charmingly decorated and cosy. It feels posh somehow without being remotely snobby and you are always assured of a warm welcome. Catherine and Leigh have recently added a pizza oven and operate a pizzeria along side their outside bar at weekends. The pub is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The Durham Ox  (Crayke – 12.5 miles) – This three hundred year old pub has a reputation which extends far beyond the region. It has won numerous awards and has been family owned since 1999. It is also dog friendly.

The Bay Tree Inn  (Stillington – 13.5 miles) – Back in 2018 The Bay Tree  was officially named Yorkshire’s Pub of the Year at the White Rose awards. But like so many village pubs, the fallout from the Covid pandameic threatened its future.. Simon Wade, who has owned the Bay Tree for fifteen years took on the management of the pub in 2022 in an effort to breathe new life into it. The pub was given a quirky and eclectic makeover and a brand new kitchen and now, this charming country pub is now doing very well again. The restaurant serves modern British cuisine in elegant and tasteful surroundings.

The Blacksmiths Arms  (Westow – 14 miles) – The Blacksmiths Arms is a 300 year old country pub situated in the pretty rural village of Westow between York and Malton which is owned by a local farming family. It boasts many charming features such as exposed beams, roaring log burners and original bread oven. The pub has recently gone through a refurbishment with a modern twist whilst maintaining it’s country charm. It has quickly developed an excellent reputation for fine wines, real ales and fabulous home made, locally sourced food.

Ambiente  (Goodramgate, York – 24 miles) – If you like Spanish food and you like tapas, look no further than Ambiente in York. In fact there are two branches in York as well as one in Leeds and one in Hull. Our favourite is the branch in Goodramgate, which lies close to the city walls at Monk Bar. The staff are trained in Spain and the tapas is authentic and utterly delicious. Thank you to our friends and hispanophiles, Tom & Anne, for introducing us to the delights of Ambiente.