A perfectly picturesque journey over the North York Moors will bring you straight into Helmsley’s market square, flanked by gorgeous gifts shops, cafes and stunning country cottages. Go there for quaint tearooms, cosy pubs, stress-free shopping, delicious delis and scenic strolls. Whether you’re seeking a family-friendly day out, shopping for local Yorkshire produce or fancy a spot of afternoon tea, it’s definitely worth a trip over the moors.
Helmsley lures us in with its lovely-looking country properties. It’s stripped back of all things superficial, maintaining its country charm, yet still embodies luxury living in terms of its shopping, dining and property scene. Helmsley doesn’t fall short of country character, but it also boasts everything from old-world manor houses and quaint cottages, to flash flats, new builds and beautiful bungalows. As a fairly small market town, most properties benefit from easy access into the many local amenities. A £1m price tag will find you detached houses comprising private grounds and stunning country views; while quaint, country cottages on the outskirts of town are worth around the £400,000 mark. Local Helmsley estate agents include Boulton & Cooper Stephensons and Dundalls RFAS Ltd, where agents will help you find a wide selection of stunning properties in and around this beautiful area. A YO62 postcode will give you exclusive, contemporary-meets-country-chic living in this well-connected market town close to the A19. It’s the perfect base to browse the likes of York, Thirsk, Northallerton and all the lovely villages in between. Whether you’re visiting, renting or buying in this area, you’re in for a treat – it’s the perfect gateway to all that North Yorkshire has to offer.
Helmsley is served by 21 local bus routes to surrounding villages, towns and cities including York, Easingwold, Barrowclife, Northallerton and Middlesbrough. A beautiful, scenic drive over the moors will take you straight into Stokesley and its surrounding villages: Great Broughton, Great Ayton and Carlton to name a but a few. A short trip over the A19 will take you to Thirsk and Northallerton, with several lovely village stops along the way.
Helmsley is an incredibly pleasant shopping destination among many other things. Packed with delis, gift shops, fashion boutiques and galleries, it’s got something for everyone. But what’s a market town without a traditional weekly market? Serving the folk of Helmsley and beyond for almost 600 years, as the weekend sets in, this Friday market brings the beautiful town to life. If rummaging around quaint, country stalls is your thing, make sure you check it out. It brings together a magnificent mix of artisan gifts, household goods and foodie favourites. The Friday market is complimented by a craft fair held in the town hall.
Pick up treats and trinkets at the town’s many gift and sweet treat shops including White Rose Gifts, Bowley & Jacksons and the forever favourite Helmsley Traditional Sweet Shop – a small family business selling sweet somethings to the people of Helmsley. For all things fashion, interiors and jewellery, make sure you visit The Snooty Fox – a country inspired designer boutique where you can pick up something truly unique for yourself, for a loved one or for your home. There is, of course, Browns Department Store – at the very heart of Helmsley’s Market Place. Operating for over 100 years, this family owned business offers ladies fashion and accessories, menswear and a much-loved linen department. For some winter warmers to see you through to spring, visit Millers Tale, a ladies fashion store showcasing cosy gilets and fabulous fur numbers.
For foodie fans there is Hunters of Helmsley – an award-winning delicatessen and Britain’s Best Small Shop in 2015. Pop in and you’ll see why – it’s an Aladdin’s Cave of fantastic food and drink treasures, with a wide selection of tasty produce and perfect products for gifts and treats.
Check-in for a lovely afternoon tea at The Black Swan. It’s a cosy, country comfort retreat complete with roaring fires, delicious cuisine and a traditional Yorkshire tea room. Visitors can enjoy a fabulous afternoon tea packed with savoury sandwiches, scones and sweet treats. An endless list of hot, cold and alcoholic beverages and Cygnet speciality teas top off the high-tea experience.
For yummy, seasonal baked treats, Cinnamon Twist is Helmsley’s fabulous foodie haven. Artisan bread, rustic recipes, croissants to die for and a sweet selection of cakes will have you ditching those new year diets.
The famous Cleveland Way National Trail begins in Helmsley, following a horseshoe loop around the North York Moors and Yorkshire coast for 110 miles. But if you’re here for a short stroll around town, there’s still plenty of choice. Follow the remains of Helmsley Castle that flank the market town or browse the landscaped gardens of Duncombe Park – one of Yorkshire’s foremost historic estates, home to the Duncombe family.
Set slightly out of town, Rivelaux Abbey boasts gothic architecture and an insight into the fascinating past of the monks who once lived there. The abbey is home to an elegant artefact museum, perfect for a rainy day. But to embrace the outdoors, wander the extensive ruins and pick up an audio tour to learn about medieval life.
Sarah Wood is Manager of Hunters of Helmsley, a quality delicatessen in the heart of the town’s Market Place.
Three good things about living here: I love the independent shops we have in such lovely, scenic surrounds. It’s also nice to see so many friendly faces – 50% of our visitors are repeat customers.
Three places you take visitors: I always bring them to Hunters for some lunch and goodies of course, followed by a lovely walk around Duncombe Park and a scenic stroll around the walled gardens.
An ‘in the know’ secret: Come here with an appetite – we serve Yorkshire portions!