Places of interest

Places to Visit

Helmsley (3m)
Popular market town on the edge of the North York Moors, with a 12th century castle, several historic coaching inns and a bustling market square. Duncombe Park is nearby, as is Helmsley's famous five acre restored walled garden originally built in the 18th century.
Kirkbymoorside (3m)
Smaller market town with a cobbled marketplace and an ancient half-timbered inn dating back to 1632. Nearby Farndale in famous for its stupendous display of daffodils along the banks of the River Dove in the Spring.
Pickering (11m)
One of the area's largest and busier market towns, boasting its own ruined castle, dating from between the 12th and 14th centuries. Also the southern terminus for the North Yorks Moors Railway, this provides direct links to Goathland (Heartbeat's Aidensfield) and on to Whitby.
Thirsk (18m)
An extensive market town with its own racecourse dating back to 1854, and a tribute museum to James Herriott - the famous TV vet - and its author Alfred Wight. Nearby is the White Horse at Kilburn and the workshops of Thompson the Mouseman furniture maker and wood carver.
York (26m)
The historic northern centre of Yorkshire with its towering Minster, ancient Guildhall, extensive city walls, Clifford's Tower and historic Shambles shopping street. Home of the Jorvik Viking Centre and the National Railway Museum, York is also a major shopping centre.
Scarborough (28m)
Known as the Queen of the Yorkshire Coast, Scarborough is a traditional seaside resort with enviable beaches and its own 12th century castle. Originally a spa town, it plays host to many annual festivals and its historic St Mary's church is the resting place of the famous Anne Bronte of Howarth.
(Mileages are approximate.)

Historic Properties

Nunnington Hall
Built in 1655, this Tudor manor house is about four miles from Helmsley and is in the care of the National Trust. The West wing was built earlier, but took a pounding during the Civil War. Highlights include an oak-panelled hall, French tapestries and a walled garden.
Rievaulx Abbey
Founded in 1132 by Bernard of Clairvaux, the abbey was one of the country's richest monasteries. English Heritage has established an interactive museum at the property and recent archaeological finds have been added, emphasising the ongoing importance of the site.
Helmsley Castle
This mediaeval fortress was erected between the 11th and 13th centuries, and substantial ruins remain - set amongst a variety of sizeable banks and ditches. English Heritage have recently added a visitor centre and an exhibition covering all aspects of the castle's life.
Duncombe Park
This grand historic house was completed in 1713, but was rebuilt after a major fire in 1879. Lord and Lady Feversham have extensively restored the property, and today it houses an extensive collection of English and Continental furniture - particularly from the turn of the century.

(All within 4 miles:)

Castle Howard
Taking over over 100 years to complete, Castle Howard - designed by Sir John Vanbrugh - was nearly destroyed by fire in 1940, but restoration has moved on apace since and this imposing property set in an extensive estate includes magnificent collections gathered together over the centuries.
Pickering Castle
Originally an early earthwork castle, Pickering was rebuilt during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating a shell keep and imposing motte. English Heritage has set up an exhibition in the chapel, and access is available to both the castle and its grounds.
Newby Hall
Located near Ripon, Newby Hall is a fine example of a house by Robert Adam built between 1691 and 1695, to house classical sculptures and tapestries drawn from a Grand Tour. Today it also includes items of Chippendale furniture and gardens which have won numerous awards.
Newburgh Priory
This striking property stands on the site of an old Augustinian priory near Coxwold. It was founded in 1145, is reputed to be the burial place of Oliver Cromwell, and has extensive views towards the White Horse on the hill at Kilburn. It is open for guided tours from April to June.
Richmond Castle
Set on a rocky hillside above Richmond, this is said to be one of the oldest Norman castles in the country. With a 100 foot high keep, the roof provides panoramic views over the town. The castle also highlights conscientious objectors who were held in the keep during WWI.


Ryedale Folk Museum
Set in the pretty Moors village of Hutton le Hole, the museum is made up of a collection of historic buildings which portray everyday life throughout the centuries. It houses the oldest daylight photographic studio in the country, and an 1850s Merryweather fire engine.
Beck Isle Museum
Pickering's museum of rural life chrinicles social and domestic life during the past 200 years and includes, amongst other things, a blacksmith's a dairy and a Victorian public house. There are 27 display areas with thousands of objects on display.
Eden Camp
Take a trip back in time at an original Prisoner of War camp near Malton, built in 1942. The fascinating displays and lifelike exhibits tell the story of the Peoples' War from 1939 to 1945. There is also a collection of military vehicles outside, including tanks and a flying bomb.
National Railway Museum
Claimed to be the world's largest railway museum, the NRM at York chronicles over 300 years of world railway history. Historic examples of rail transport are joined by a real railway workshop, the history of British Rail and the story of the Flying Scotsman.
Jorvik Viking Centre
Visitors can experience the sights and smells of life as a Viking in this spectacular presentation based upon 40,000 historical objects uncovered during excavations by the York Archaeological Trust between 1979 and 1981. Visitors can also strike their own Viking coin.
World of James Herriot
Set in the original home and surgery of the real vetrinary surgeon behind the James Herriot stories made famous in TV's All Creatures Great and Small, this museum is a recreation of life during the 1940s. Includes narrative by Christopher Timothy (James Herriot in the TV series).

Theme Parks

Flamingo Land
Set in over 375 acres, this theme park and zoo now includes the Cliff Hanger, which blasts visitors 200 feet into the air and Splash Battle, a new interactive water park. Animals in attendance include the famous flamingos, penguins, pelicans, giraffes, lions, tortoises and python.
Lightwater Valley
This startling park includes over 40 rides including the Falls of Terror and 30,000 square feet of retail therapy. Younger children are also catered for with rides including Noah's Ark, the Swan Lake pedal boats, the Amazing Maze and frequent magic shows.

Many more in Scarborough and along the Coast.

Other Attractions

North York Moors Railway
Covering 18 miles of preserved railway track through stunning countryside between Pickering, Grosmont and Whitby, the North York Moors Railway variously runs steam and diesel services throughout the year at weekends, and throughout the week during the summer.
Heartbeat Country
Many locations around the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales have been used as sets for YTV's famous TV drama Heartbeat. Most famous of all is Goathland, where the story is based. See the railway station (on the North York Moors Railway), Aidensfield Arms and the Garage.

Sport and Leisure

(all within 8 miles:)

  • Walking
  • Bicycle riding
  • Golf
  • Swimming (indoor and outdoor)
  • Horse riding
  • Bowls
  • Tennis
  • Gliding
  • 2 Leisure Centres

Local Photos

The Shambles, York.

The Shambles, York.

Castle Howard.

Castle Howard.

Steam Railway, Pickering.

Steam railway, Pickering.

Marketplace - Helmsley.

Marketplace, Helmsley.

Scarborough from the Bridge and Hotel.


Heartbeat's Aidensfield.

Heartbeat's Aidensfield.