The North York Moors and nearby

Reivaulx abbey temple and geese

Helmsley is known for its galleries, arts centre, boutique shops, luxury hotels, and coffee shops. Pop in to the church and admire the murals, and don't miss the delights of the Cinnamon Twist bakery. 

The ruins of Helmsley Castle are impressive and the Walled Garden is a hidden treasure, with the track to walk to Rievaulx Abbey starting nearby.

 If outdoor swimming appeals, Helmsley swimming pool is a gem, very basic but with views of distant sheep on the hills. It is usually open from the end of June until the beginning of September

On the doorstep
Turn right out of St Aidan's and a few steps up the road there is a footpath leading to Helmsley through a wooded valley. A mile or so further, a walk from Cowhouse Bank starts with a fantastic view and goes on to one even bigger, with forestry between. Keep on the road and you head up to Bransdale - drystone walls, green fields, woods, stone cottages, becks, hills and endless, endless skies.

Further afield is run by people who live and breathe the North York Moors and love this area. It has a great ‘What’s On' listing too.

There are leaflets about attractions and places of interest in the church, together with an OS map of the area. 

The North York Moors has several venues for music, film, drama and other creative arts, some of them in delightfully quirky little buildings.

Helmsley Arts Centre

The Milton Rooms at Malton

The Band Room at Farndale

Temple Lushington Moore, the architect who designed St Aidan's, also built many other churches in some beautiful locations in the North York Moors. The Temple Moore Trail has an app with details of these and suggested walking, bike or car routes. It also lists things to do nearby, plus places to eat and drink.

Food is important in this area - Yorkshire Food Finder  organise culinary trails to some of the highlights, each one involving local producers and top chefs and kitchens. 

Whitby goths

It’s not far to the coast, with all flavours of english seaside experience from paddling and rock pools at Sandsend or Staithes to fish n chips and fairgrounds - and Whitby has some interesting visitors on goth weekend (hopefully not nsfw!)

Lonely Planet says that Yorkshire is England's most interesting region and placed it third in the world's best holiday destinations - and not only that, they describe North Yorkshire as the most beautiful of Yorkshire's four counties. We're not going to argue...