Explore the Yorkshire countryside, discover the medieval ruins of Rievaulx Abbey and enjoy a scenic drive into the North York Moors on this afternoon small-group tour from York. Along the way, you'll visit the market town of Helmsley, see the ruins of Byland Abbey and have the option to take a walk through the gorgeous countryside of North Yorkshire.
Meet your group and your Yorkshire-born guide in the center of York at midday for the scenic 50-minute drive to the medieval market town of Helmsley on the edge of the North York Moors. Along the way, you'll pause for photos at the ruins of Byland Abbey and pass close to the White Horse of Kilburn, a giant chalk figure carved out of the hillside, as well as countless travelling through quaint villages and the open farmland scenery of North Yorkshire. You’ll have 90 minutes to explore Helmsley at leisure. Visit some of the town’s many independent shops, enjoy an early lunch in a quaint tearoom, pub, or cafe, or take in sights including the stunning church and medieval Helmsley Castle (own expense). Alternatively, take the optional walk to Rievaulx Abbey, travelling across farmland and through woodland as you cross the Feversham Estate from Helmsley to the village of Rievaulx. Those who do not wish to walk will travel by minibus from Helmsley to Rievaulx, where everyone will have the chance to explore the well-preserved ruins of Rievaulx Abbey (entrance tickets not included), a once wealthy and powerful Cistercian abbey that is a truly remarkable sight. Then it's back on the minibus to drive through the idyllic village of Hutton-le-Hole and out onto the wild and rugged Moors. The scenic drive into the National Park pauses at one of the best viewing points in the Moors, where you’ll have chance to take photos, walk across the heather, learn about the history and wildlife of the region and how it has changed dramatically over the centuries. Finally, hop back on the minibus for the drive back to York city centre, enjoying another scenic cross-country route that avoids the busy main roads: you should arrive back in York at around 6:00pm. If your hotel is on the way, feel free to ask your driver if they can drop you off.