“Rievaulx”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/153388-review-rievaulx-abbey is one of the great ruined Yorkshire abbeys and popular with visitors. Set in the wooded Rye Valley a few miles for Helmsley, many visitors choose to walk rather than drive, as the car park for the abbey isn’t very big.
“The walk”:https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/enjoy-outdoors/walking/our-walks/walking-routes/helmsley-and-rievaulx-abbey/Helmsley-to-Rievaulx-Abbey.pdf is about 3 miles and follows the start of the Cleveland Way in Helmsley.
It is described as easy walking on paths, a few hills with some steps that aren’t particularly challenging. That is true for the young and fit, but perceptions off ‘easy’ change with increasing years… It is possible to turn the walk into a circular one by walking up the hill at Rievaulx past Rievalux Terraces and dropping back down past Griff farm and the site of a deserted village, back onto the Cleveland Way.
It is a steady climb out of Helmsley, with splendid views back to the castle and Helmsley walled garden. The track then drops down into the wonderfully named Blackdale Howl Wood. The track through the wood is wide but uneven underfoot. At one point there is a steep dip with stone steps. These are uneven and of variable height. Anyone with mobility issues will have problems. I found them difficult even with the aid of poles. Going down was worse than going up, as a rucksack threw my weight forward.
I must admit, this was the point I must admit after the steps, I chickened out and decided not to walk back to Helmsley, but wait at Rievaulx to be picked up by the family when they collected the car. I wasn’t the only one, as son in law and grandson 2 also decided to join me, leaving daughter and grandson 1 to walk back for the car.
The walk from here was easier, climbing up out of the trees to the stone built Griff Lodge and views across the Duncombe estate. The track then drops down through Quarry Bank Wood to join the unclassified road to Rievaulx. Some of teh best views of teh abbey are from this road.
It is a lovely walk – but best not done on a hot afternoon with temperatures heading to the mid 20˚s and the sun on your back. Still, there is a tearoom at the abbey!
There are more pictures “here”:https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/helmsley-to-rievaulx-walk.5977/.