Welcome to Helmsley

Helmsley is a classic North Yorkshire market town, a handsome huddle of old stone houses, historic coaching inns and – inevitably – a cobbled market square (market day is Friday), all basking under the watchful gaze of a sturdy Norman castle. Nearby are the romantic ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, several excellent restaurants and a fistful of country walks

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Helmsley activities

$54.75 Day Trips & Excursions

North York Moors and Whitby Day Trip from York

Starting in the morning in York, this guided day trip from York provides the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to explore the scenic and picturesque North York Moors National Park and the fishing port of Whitby. To ensure personal service and ultimate comfort, the tour capacity is limited to 16 passengers and the minicoach is equipped with air-con and WiFi. The tour departs from opposite the Dean Court Hotel in York city centre (near York Minster) at 9.00am and heads off into the Vale of York, passing by the famous Kilburn White Horse hill figure on the boundary of the North York Moors National Park and learning about its history, before heading for Helmsley.The tour stops in the picturesque market town of Helmsley for 45 minutes where you can view the medieval castle, explore the quaint shops or just have a leisurely Yorkshire Brew - the choice is yours.You leave Helmsley and head up over the North York Moors, with photo stops en route, to enjoy the spectacular landscape leading to the seaside town of Whitby, passing the 16th century Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge (the highest point on the moors) and Ralph's Cross. As you arrive in Whitby, you will hear stories about the seaside town's history and your guide will point out the main places of interest that you may want to visit.You will have three hours of free time in Whitby to view Whitby Abbey (inspiration for the Dracula books), visit the Captain Cook Museum, enjoy the beach, waterfront and fishing port, shop for some Whitby Jet or Gothic fashion or just sample the famous Fish 'n' Chips at the Magpie Cafe (own expense) - the choice is yours.The tour leaves Whitby mid-afternoon to head back onto the North York Moors and a stop at Grosmont to drop off passengers who want to take the opportunity of an optional steam train ride on the North York Moors Railway (paid locally at a discounted rate and no need to pre-book) before re-joining the minicoach at Goathland. Please note a steam train cannot always be guaranteed as this is in the hands of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.The minicoach and remaining passengers continue to Goathland by road, to explore the fictional village of Aidensfield in the Heartbeat television series and see Goathland Station, the filming location for Hogsmeade Station in the Harry Potter movies. You may even see the other passengers arrive by steam train to rejoin you.After leaving Goathland, you will learn the history behind the mysterious RAF Fylingdales Pyramid on Snod Hill as you pass close by, then see the Hole of Horcum before heading through Pickering back towards York.You will arrive back at the meeting point in York at approximately 6:15pm but should not book onward travel too close to the arrival time just in case of traffic problems.

$45.63 Day Trips & Excursions

Steam Trains, Whitby and the Moors Tour from York

You'll meet your guide at 8:45am in the heart of York, close to York Minster, and hop into your climate-controlled minivan for the day's excursion across the North Yorkshire countryside. First, drive 45 minutes or so to the historic market town of Helmsley on the edge of the Moors. Explore the charming town, its pretty church and medieval castle (own expense), before the tour continues into the moors. Admire the rugged, windswept landscapes as you climb to the stone village of Hutton-le-Hole, where sheep graze freely on the common land. At the North York Moors National Park, your guide will explain the geological and natural processes that shaped this striking landscape. Discover the region's mining and farming heritage and ancient history as you stroll across the heather. It's just a short hop to North Yorkshire's striking coastline and the seaside town of Whitby, where you'll have three hours at leisure to explore at your own pace, and perhaps enjoy a fish-and-chips lunch. You may just wish to wander the picturesque harbor, explore the cobbled streets, historic cottages, and beautiful beach, or shop for Whitby jet. Or you can discover Whitby's connection to Australia at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, delve deep into the world of Dracula at St. Mary's Church or the Dracula Experience Museum, or take a boat cruise from the harbor to discover the coastline (own expense). From Whitby, it's back in the van to journey up through Sleights and onto the village of Goathland, nestled at the bottom of a wide valley surrounded by the heather-clad hills of the North York Moors. Fans of Heartbeat, the long-running ITV drama series, will recognize this as Aidensfield: you'll have chance to visit the Aidensfield Arms, pop into Aidensfield Stores and Post Office, and see what's happening at Scripps Garage. Love Harry Potter? Don't miss the chance to capture pictures at Goathland station, which did duty as Hogsmeade Station for the filming of the Harry Potter movies. After you've explored the station, it's time to board a steam train for a nostalgic steam-hauled journey across the Moors (own expense). Snake through valleys and heathland for 18 miles (29 kilometers) in restored heritage carriages to the medieval market town of Pickering. Here you'll rejoin the minibus for the 40-minute journey back to York, arriving around 5:45pm.

$45.63 Cultural & Theme Tours

Castle Howard and the Moors Day Trip from York

Meet your group and your Yorkshire-born driver/guide in the center of York at 9:15am 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 pass the ruins of Byland Abbey and the White Horse of Kilburn, a giant chalk figure carved out of the hillside, as well as countless pubs and villages. After a quick photo stop at Duncombe Park, a stately home on the outskirts of Helmsley, 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 trip to Rievaulx Abbey (own expense), only a few minutes’ drive from Helmsley. The well-preserved ruins of this once wealthy and powerful Cistercian abbey are a truly remarkable sight, and you'll still have a few minutes to enjoy Helmsley after you've finished exploring. 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. You’ll spend at least an hour on the Moors, walking across the heather as you learn about the history and wildlife of the region and how it has changed dramatically over the centuries. It's about a half hour drive through the countryside and quaint villages of North Yorkshire to Castle Howard, Yorkshire's grandest and most famous stately home. You may well recognize it from the TV and film versions of Brideshead Revisited. Set on 9,000 acres (3600 hectares), Castle Howard offers manicured gardens, expansive grounds and woodland, the wonderfully appointed Temple of the Four Winds, and of course the stately home itself. You’ll spend three hours here, exploring at your leisure: your tour includes a discount on your House & Gardens entrance ticket, saving up to £7.50 per person. Learn about the building of Castle Howard and the Howard estate, the many films and TV programs it has featured in, and the Howard family themselves from the expert guides dotted around the house. Finally, hop back on the minibus for the 30-minute trip to York city center: you should arrive around 4:45pm. If your hotel is on the way, feel free to ask your driver if they can drop you off.

$39.11 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-Day North Yorkshire Moors and Whitby in Winter from York

Meet your guide at the prearranged location in central York. Then, settle into your seat aboard a comfortable minivan and travel to North York Moors National Park, one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom.Enter the national park through the ancient market town of Pickering, and then make your first stop in Goathland, which once featured as the setting of the English TV drama, Heartbeat. With time here spent at your leisure, perhaps pop into one of the local tea rooms for a drink and snack (own expense), or visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Station, which featured as Hogsmeade Station in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (originally published in England as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone).Continue through the countryside, passing charming villages such as Egton before stopping at Beggar’s Bridge. Spend a few moments snapping photos of the stone arch and hear from your guide how the elegant bridge is the focus of a romantic tale dating back to the time of the Spanish Armada.Next, travel to the seaside town of Whitby for lunch. If you’ve brought food with you, sit at St Mary's Church, overlooking the harbour, enjoying a picnic. Alternatively, visit one of the famous Fish and Chip shops in around the harbour (own expense). Enjoy free time walking around Whitby, there is even time to enjoy the view from the Whale Bones. With your appetite sated, travel deep into the heart of the national park. Admire the beautiful heather moorlands and watch out for grouse and other native wildlife. Then, stop at the old railway furnaces in Rosedale Abbey for panoramic views of the valley below.Travel through Ryedale and then pause in the postcard-perfect village of Hutton-le-Hole, where sheep graze freely. Your last stop of the day is in Helmsley. Enjoy free time to explore the bustling market square or wander the dramatic castle ruins, then return to the minivan and travel back to York. Your day trip concludes with a drop-off at the original start point.

$645.32 Day Trips & Excursions

Private North York Moors & Whitby Tour from York

Starting in the morning from York, this private guided day trip provides the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to explore the scenic and picturesque North York Moors National Park and the fishing port of Whitby. To ensure personal service and comfort, the Minicoach is equipped with air-conditioning and WiFi. The tour departs at 9am from any location in York of your choice and heads off into the Vale of York, passing by the famous Kilburn White Horse hill figure on the boundary of the North York Moors National Park and learning about its history, before heading for Helmsley.The tour stops in the picturesque market town of Helmsley for 45 minutes where you can view the medieval castle, explore the quaint shops or just have a leisurely Yorkshire Brew - the choice is yours.You leave Helmsley and head up over the North York Moors, with photo stops en route, to enjoy the spectacular landscape leading to the seaside town of Whitby, passing the 16th century Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge (the highest point on the moors) and Ralph's Cross. As you arrive in Whitby, you will hear stories about the seaside town's history and your guide will point out the main places of interest that you may want to visit.You will have three hours of free time in Whitby to view Whitby Abbey (inspiration for the Dracula books), visit the Captain Cook Museum, enjoy the beach, waterfront and fishing port, shop for some Whitby Jet or Gothic fashion or just sample the famous Fish 'n' Chips at the Magpie Cafe.The tour leaves Whitby mid-afternoon to head back onto the North York Moors and a stop at Grosmont to drop-off passengers who want to take the opportunity of an optional steam train ride on the North York Moors Railway (paid locally at a discounted rate and no need to pre-book) before re-joining the minicoach at Goathland. Please note a steam train cannot always be guaranteed as this is in the hands of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.The minicoach and remaining passengers continue to Goathland by road, to explore the fictional village of Aidensfield in the Heartbeat television series and see Goathland Station, the filming location for Hogsmeade Station in the Harry Potter movies. You may even see the other passengers arrive by steam train to rejoin you.After leaving Goathland, you will learn the history behind the mysterious RAF Fylingdales Pyramid on Snod Hill as you pass close by, then see the Hole of Horcum before heading through Pickering back towards York.You will arrive back in York at approximately 6.15pm but should not book onward travel too close to the arrival time just in case of traffic problems.

$449.77 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Tour of Whitby and the Moors from York

Your tour begins with a 9am pickup from your hotel, guesthouse, or private residence in York by private vehicle. Soak up the scenery as you drive through the North York Moors National Park, where you'll have the option to visit different towns and villages, depending on your preferences. Perhaps stop in the quaint market town of Helmsley to admire its medieval castle, historic church and pretty streets, then stroll through the idyllic village of Hutton-le-Hole, one of the prettiest locations in Yorkshire. You can also hop out to take a short walk along the wild Yorkshire moors and pose for photos against a backdrop of dramatic purple heather. Next, head to the coast to the seaside town of Whitby, famous for its association with Captain James Cook and featured in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Enjoy ample time to explore the town independently or with your guide, and visit sights such as the clifftop abbey, the Captain James Cook Memorial Museum, or the the Dracula Experience Museum (entrance fees not included). While you're there, perhaps tuck into a delicious fish and chips lunch (own expense) at the famous Magpie Cafe, shop for famous Whitby Jet in the Old Town, or take a boat cruise from the harbour (own expense) to see more of the picturesque coastline. After leaving Whitby, travel into 'Heartbeat' country to the village of Goathland, nestled at the bottom of a wide valley and surrounded by the heather and hills of the North York Moors. The village is possibly best known for its role as the fictional village of 'Aidensfield' in Heartbeat, the long-running ITV drama series. Evidence of the TV show are on show throughout the town and you'll have chance to visit the Aidensfield Arms, pop into Aidensfield Stores and Post Office, and to see what's happening at Scripps Garage.Continue to Goathland station, which was famously seen on screen as 'Hogsmeade Station' in the Harry Potter movies, and board a steam train for a nostalgic journey across the Moors. Snaking through the valleys and heathland of the Moors, you'll get to enjoy the amazing scenery from a different perspective. Jump off at the end of the line in the medieval market town of Pickering, where your guide will be waiting to take you back to York. Your tour ends with drop-off at your hotel around 5pm.