As a born and bred Yorkshire girl, there's nothing I love more than spending some of my time in the great outdoors. I love being surrounded by lush countryside, breathing in the country air and walking through forestland and luckily, so does my husband. Yesterday, my husband and I decided to visit a place called Helmsley situated in the North Yorkshire Moors. Helmsley is a small historic market town not too far from Scarborough, Malton and York and is a popular destination with walkers and bikers due to its picturesque scenery and abundance of country roads and pathways.
Helmsley is a really small village, but it is packed with character and charm. From the 'Walled Gardens' to the Helmsley Castle, The Rievaulx Abbey to the quaint craft shops on the street corners, there's something for everyone to enjoy in Helmsley and in my opinion, Helmsley is a place that deserves much more recognition as a Yorkshire tourist destination.
The first place my husband and I visited yesterday was Helmsley Castle. Helmsley castle is over 900 years old and classed as an English Heritage site. The castle anciently known as 'Hamlake' is situated in the centre of Helmsley and overlooks the Duncombe Park and the Walled Gardens, both vast acres of land belonging to the Feversham family. Helmsley Castle is in pretty good shape for a ruin and also features an exhibition in the main hall of items discovered in the castle grounds and Helmsley during archeological digs. I loved visiting the castle yesterday as the sun was shining and the grounds looked so pretty. There was quite a lot to see and equally, it was just as nice to sit on one of the benches and admire the view. I've been to a lot of castles in my time and this has to be up there as one of the prettiest.
Our next stop was Duncombe Park and The International Centre for Birds of Prey. Duncombe Park is 300 acres of beautiful parkland on the Faversham family estate. Resting on the parkland is The International Centre for Birds of Prey, North England's biggest bird of prey centres. The centre features 66 species of birds of prey, daily flying demonstrations and a small but friendly cafe for refreshments. The Eagle above did not look too happy with me and the barn owl below is only a few weeks old, how cute is she?!
After a long day of walking and exploring my husband and I stayed at The Black Swan Helmsley hotel which is coming up in the post after this and had an even more amazing night. Honestly, when I looked at Helmsley on Google I couldn't find much about this village and thought it would be one of those days nice walking but we would get bored rather quickly. I couldn't be anymore wrong. Helmsley had so much to offer and with it being so close to Pickering, Scarborough and York, there's no reason to not to visit on a weekend trip. We're already planning on going back and taking my parents.
Have you been to Helmsley before?