One of North Yorkshire’s most popular market towns, Helmsley is situated on the banks of the River Rye, from which Ryedale takes its name. Unfortunately Helmsley suffered for floods in July 2005 but within days was back up and running and very much open for business so do show a bit of support and visit if you are in the area.
The market square has a busy street market every Friday. The square is overlooked by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s gothic memorial to the second Baron of Feversham and a stone market cross, and is flanked by attractive shops, pubs and tearooms.
The town is overlooked by the 12th century ruins of Helmsley Castle, with Tudor Manor, now an English Heritage property. The great estate of Duncombe Park lies on the outskirts of the town, and consists of one of the finest restored houses in Yorkshire, surrounded by an 18th century landscaped green garden and parkland, much of which is designated a National Nature Reserve.
The ancestral home of Lord Feversham, Helmsley has a rich history waiting to be explored. You’ll find a Norman castle and ancient market cross as well as old coaching inns to stay in and a varied selection of tearooms. Duncombe Park, the home of the present Lord Feversham sits in attractive parkland on the edge of the town. Built in 1713 to the designs of William Walkefield, the house has been completely renovated since 1985.
Helmsley Walled Garden is the 5 acre former vegetable garden of Duncombe Park and has been lovingly restored to offer a peaceful, tranquil place to sit, rest and enjoy. The Helmsley Arts Centre is a thriving centre for a very diverse programme of theatre and music.
A colourful market is held in the ancient Market Square every Friday and there is a nice selection of leisure shops, most of which are open on a Sunday and great for a wander around. It is well served with coffee shops most are very good. There is also a particularly good deli in the square, check out their Pork pies and fabulous cheeses, and if its a sunny day when you visit then try the ice cream lovely!!!