Hamish visited in April 2007. He walked from Helmsley Castle – about 3 miles each way. The Abbey has a good car park so the walk is not compulsory – but well worth the effort if you and your dog are fit enough. There’s a well stocked shop and a café with outside seating (and a picnic area). Tea, coffee and cakes were an excellent way to start our visit after the walk from Helmsley. English Heritage seem to consistently produce interesting audio tours – we enjoyed this site’s offering. The tour starts after an informative visitor centre – one could spend hours here as there’s so much to absorb (leather tanning exhibit was particularly interesting complete with a smell sample … not offered to Hamish!). The Abbey buildings fell foul of King Henry VIII’s Dissolution but substantial ruins remain and we found it easy to imagine the relative splendour of the site compared to ‘normal’ life - the rigours of monastic life must have been tempting to gain access to security, guaranteed food and education. Overall, we found this a very enjoyable visit. Hamish met a number of other canine visitors … including a very fine pair of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Walking back to Helmsley it was sad to reflect that so much built heritage had been lost as a result of two major political events – castles to the English Civil War (so many in Royalist hands were slighted when Parliamentarians gained control) and monastic buildings ‘recycled’ after ownership passed to The Crown in exchange for pensions. On the other hand these were episodes that shaped English culture and character and what remains is given life by the careful stewardship of English Heritage.
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DogPeople Says : Rievaulx Abbey
In Rievaulx, 2.25 miles West of Helmsley on minor road off B1257 (OS Map 100; ref SE 577849). Audio tour with hearing loop available. Car park beside entrance.
Find peace amongst the atmospheric ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, set in one of the most tranquil valley spots you’ll ever see. Immerse yourself in the stillness and beauty of this monastic site which attracted thousands of medieval pilgrims from far and wide. This site is ideal for dogs who need space to enjoy there walks.
Check the English Heritage website for details.
Dogs on leads are welcome at Rievaulx Castle. Dogs on leads are welcome in the ruins and café but not at the café counter. Assistance dogs welcome across the site.
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