How to spend 48 Hours in Helmsley
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How to spend 48 Hours in Helmsley

Helmsley - Joe Cornish

Image by Joe Cornish

It’s no secret Helmsley is one of our favourite places in Yorkshire. As well as its picture postcard good looks, this gorgeous little market town punches well above its weight in terms up-market cafes, restaurants and independent shops.

We spent a weekend here recently at Coco, our boutique cosy cottage set just a few minutes walk from the town square. We took full advantage of staying in this lovely town, and here’s what we would recommend next time you have 48 Hours to spare here…

Friday Evening

Helmsley Brewery

Wander into town at dusk and enjoy looking in all the pretty shop windows. Mosey down to the Helmsley Brewery and enjoy one of their classic golden ales. The bar is a charming little place and is a popular spot for the locals to come in and catch up.

Afterwards head over to Helmsley Spice, an execptional little Indian restaurant with quite superb dishes on the menu. We recommend the salmon pakoras…


Mannion & Co Helmsley

Decision time; indulge with a slap up breakfast at Mannion & Co or head to one of the several excellent deli/butchers to pick up your own supplies. Mannion & Co is a charming cafe/bistro with super large portions, with delicious options like Yorkshire Rarebit as well as all the other breakfast favourites. Thomas the Baker and Hunters delis both offer a tremendous selection of fresh Yorkshire produce, including meat, veg & dairy – so everything you’ll need to rustle up a breakfast fit for kings.

After that enormous breakfast you’ll feel the need to walk it off. The circular walk from Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey is perfect At 7 miles its should take you around 4 hours, and passed through some beautiful North York Moors countyside and woodland on the way. Set off about 11 and you’ll arrrive back into Helmsley just in time for afternoon tea.

Black Swan Tea room Helmsley

There are lots of lovely cafes in Helmsley to choose from, but our favourite is the Black Swan tea-rooms. With its elegant decor and attentive staff, its reminiscent of a by-gone era when afternoon tea was given the attention it deserves. Add a glass of champagne before your sandwiches to make it extra special.

Enjoy those balmy summer nights outside - lanterns and candles provided for you.

As evening falls head into the art deco bar in The Black Swan for a cocktail before heading back to your cosy cottage. Coco is a delight in the evenings with its wood-burning stove. And in the summer the enclosed rear garden is the perfect place to enjoy your sundowner. For eats pick up some cheese and nibbles from town as well as a nice bottle of something from the excellent Helmsley Wines. Then all you need to do is settle down by the fire for a good old catch-up.

If you prefer to head out for eats in the evening, how about Gepettos, a great little Italian just off the market square. Particularly good if you have children in tow.


Strike out and explore the North York Moors, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and all within a few miles of the cottage.

Take the opportunity to explore the stunning North York Moors National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and right on your doorstep. We recommend heading up via Hutton-Le-Hole and up towards Blakey Ridge for some truly stunning views. There are many wonderful walks to try and if you’re into cycling, this is the perfect spot. You can follow in the path of the Tour de Yorkshire routes, now an annual event in Yorkshire.

Indulge with lunch at one of the many gastro-pubs in the area.

Time for Sunday lunch, and for us just has to be The Star Inn at Harome. This Michelin-starred gastro-pub has a much deserved reputation as one of the best restaurants in Yorkshire. You can book in or choose to take your chances in the cosy bar. A heavenly way to while away your final afternoon.

Where to stay

The handsome exterior of Rose Cottage.

We have several gorgeous cottages in and around Helmsley. Take your pick from Coco, Rose Cottage or St Aidans – all offering something very different depending on your needs. Or choose one of the many other cottages we have across the North York Moors.

If you would like any further information on any of our cottages please don’t hesitate to call us on 01642 263 249 or email 

More Images from our stay…


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