Helmsley is one of James Herriot’s North York Moors market town favourites. When he walked his favourite dogs over the Moors, he would visit Helmsley and many of his call outs would have taken him to farms around the town.
Dramatic Helmsley Castle ruins and the National Bird of Prey centre are a brief walk from the bustling market square. Here, local traders, independent shops, boutiques with designer clothing, sparkling jewellery, arts and crafts and food and drink confirm the town’s 2015 Best Small Shop accolade.
Award-winning eateries and the town’s very own Brewery entice you to enjoy some of the best flavours of Herriot Country. Cosy cafes, warm-hearted inns with roaring fires in winter, tempting ice cream parlours in summer, fine dining restaurants and award-winning fish and chips shops make it a challenging choice!
For art lovers, Helmsley has captured the inspiration of a fine collection of creative and craftwork individuals. Several galleries and craft centres put the town’s creative types on show. Regular art and craft fairs bring more in from around Yorkshire. There are also creative activities on offer, including painting and stick making, with the town’s very own The Stickman.
If activities appeal, Helmsley is well-placed to put you through a challenge. For outdoor lovers, it is right in the heart of the North York Moors and ideal for cycling, walking, horse-riding and it is also a dog-friendly place. Helmsley even has its own lido, perfect for outdoor swimming aficionados. Plus, a hotel with spa and pool for the more cosseted activity bunnies.
The Walled Garden, National Birds of Prey Centre and a 900-year-old castle ruin are key Helmsley attractions and Helmsley Arts Centre is a unique venue that includes a cinema, theatre, music events, talks and exhibitions. Plus, wildlife, horticulture and fabulous views are all part of the unique charm of Helmsley which is just 14 miles (25 minutes) to the World of James Herriot.