Self-catering holiday accommodation in Helmsley
Stay in a luxury holiday home in Helmsley on your getaway to Yorkshire. Helmsley is a traditional English market town with a stately square, castle ruins, enticing cafes and tearooms, and old-fashioned pubs where you can drink local ales from tankards. The only market town in the North York Moors National Park, our holiday cottages in Helmsley offer the perfect base for outdoor adventures, but there’s also plenty of things to do in Helmsley right from your front door.
Things to do in Helmsley
Two major walking trails originate in Helmsley: The Cleveland Way and the Ebor Way. Bring your walking boots and enjoy mile upon mile of staggeringly beautiful North Yorkshire countryside. Your dog will enjoy these walking routes too, and we have a great range of dog-friendly cottages in Helmsley to choose from.
Best of all are the ruins of Helmsley’s wonderful castle: towering over the town, the crumbling edifice of Helmsley Castle is now managed by English Heritage. You can still marvel at the keep, cleaved in two during a three-month siege by Oliver Cromwell’s men.
If you love flowers, plants and peace and quiet, head to Helmsley Walled Garden which sits beneath the imposing ruins of the castle. The cafe here is a great spot for a slice of homemade cake after exploring the 5 acres of scented borders, flower-filled glasshouses and apple orchards.
Just a short walk from Helmsley is Duncombe Park where you’ll find the largest collection of birds of prey in the north of England at the National Centre for Birds of Prey, including eagles, vultures, hawks, falcons, owls and many more.
Helmsley also has a reputation as being a creative town, home to the Helmsley Arts Centre which hosts a fine selection of pantomimes, films, dance, theatre, art workshops and events throughout the year. And on a warm, sunny day, nothing beats a refreshing dip in Helmsley’s Open Air Swimming Pool, which is open from June until September.
Why not discover our top 5 reasons to visit Helmsley in our guide?
Explore Yorkshire further
If you’d like to adventure further afield from Helmsley, there are so many beauty spots to be enjoyed within the North York Moors National Park. Take a look at our North York Moors guide for things to do and places to go throughout this breathtaking landscape or read through our Ultimate Guide to the Yorkshire Coast, and discover some of the best beaches to visit nearby.
Local highlights in the wider area include Castle Howard, which enjoys popular connections to the phenomenally famous TV show Downton Abbey, the impressive ruins of Byland Abbey which was once one of the greatest monasteries in England, and the atmospheric Rievaulx Abbey where 12th-century monks once lived and worshipped.
Lovers of literature can stalk the Bronte sisters around Haworth and the moors that inspired their spellbinding stories, while lovers of great food should head over to Hawes to sample some iconic Wensleydale Cheese. There’s also a wealth of charming towns and villages to visit in and around the spectacular moors, including Hutton-le-Hole, Kirkbymoorside, Pickering, Ripon and Thirsk.