Helmsley is a fantastic place to spend a bank holiday – whether you’re planning a whole weekend here or just the day. After all, how many times do you get to visit somewhere that was named the Best Market Town in the whole country? AND which is home to the best small shop in the country (that would be us! Officially – we didn’t just claim the title for ourselves, we went to the House of Commons to be awarded it and everything!)
No matter what your interests are, there’s so much to do in and around town. If you love the great outdoors there’s the whole of the North York Moors National Park to explore on foot or on bike. Work up an appetite and then head back to town to visit one of the fantastic coffee shops, tea rooms, pubs or restaurants. We’re spoilt for choice in Helmsley (believe me, we know – it’s hard to live or work in town and not put on weight with all the delicious things on offer!). We even have our very own brewery, where you can sit and enjoy a pint and chew the fat with owner Kyle. (as in, have a good chat – it’s not some bizarre Helmsley snack…)
If it’s a sunny day, you should head to Helmsley’s Open Air Pool. We’re very lucky to have what is one of only 100 remaining public lidos in the UK, here in town, and it’s very popular with locals and visitors alike. Even if the weather isn’t great, it’s heated so it’s still worth a visit in the summer months when it’s open. There’s something quite nice about an open air swim in the rain! The Feversham Arms Hotel also has a beautiful open air pool, which is open to residents and spa users.
Helmsley Castle is a history lover’s dream. You can follow how it evolved over nine centuries, from Medieval fortress and luxurious Tudor mansion to a Civil War stronghold and Victorian ruin. There’s plenty for youngsters to discover too – and lots of space to explore! Nearby we also have the spectacular and atmospheric Rievaulx Abbey and Rievaulx Terrace, one of Yorkshire’s finest 18th-century landscape gardens.
If you’ve got green fingers – and even if you haven’t – the Helmsley Walled Garden is very special. Five tranquil acres, set in the shadow of Helmsley Castle, all lovingly tended by the dedicated team of gardeners and volunteers. It dates back more than 250 years but was brought back to life following years of neglect. There’s also a fantastic café on site, where you can sit and admire the view while enjoying some freshly made Yorkshire goodies.
No visit to Helmsley would be complete without heading to the wonderful, multi-award winning National Centre for Birds of Prey in Duncombe Park. See rare and endangered species and watch daily flying displays with everything from owls to eagles taking to the sky.
And of course, one of the best things about Helmsley is the wonderful independent shopping! There’s so many shops in town that are one-offs, offering products and service you just won’t find elsewhere. From boutiques and bakeries to gift shops and homewares, there’s something for everyone. It’s a great place to come present shopping as it’s full of inspiration and new ideas. Of course, we may be biased, but we can recommend a great deli which is jam-packed (excuse the pun) with goodies – whether for you or some other lucky soul!
For more information and ideas about what to do in Helmsley go to www.visithelmsley.co.uk. Hope to see you this weekend!