abbey walks

Stage 1 - Rievaulx Abbey To Byland Abbey ( start at Helmsley )




From Helmsley 13.4km / 8.6 miles

Explorer maps


North York Moors, Western Area OL26



3 - 3.5 hours average time based on Naismith’s rule

Total ascent   303m
Total descent   273m

Waypoint coordinates


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This is a very pleasant start to the route south, with mainly flat paths and only a slight incline between Rievaulx Abbey and Byland Abbey.



Walk Description :



1 - From the market square in Helmsley follow the B1257 signposted to Stokesley and Rievaulx Abbey. Turn right at the junction with All Saints Church, and after 100m turn left signposted Rievaulx Abbey, along the Cleveland Way. Follow the Cleveland Way footpath and after approx 4km (2.5 miles) from the start, reach a minor road.  Turn left, continuing along the Cleveland Way.  Rievaulx is signposted 1 mile. Good views of Rievaulx Abbey are over the fields on the right. Just before the small bridge turn right to the Abbey.






stage 1 photo2 - From the Abbey, return to the small bridge, turn right and follo the road signed ‘ Scawton’ and  ‘ Old Byland’.  Walk past the junction on the right following the road to Scawton.  After approx 100m and just after the house turn left signposted ‘ Public Bridleway’.  Follow the Bridleway up the slight incline and after approx 700 metres turn right.

About 1 km further bear left  ( photo above ) through the gate and continue along the path on the ridge with good views behind you of Rievaulx Abbey in the valley below.  Walk through the next 4 gates passing the farm buildings on the right to reach the main road.




stage 1 photo3 - At the main road turn right and follow the Public Bridleway.  After 70m turn left into Wass Woods at the mile post.











stage 1 photo

Follow the Bridleway straight ahead ignoring the other paths on the left and right.











stage 1 photo

4 - Eventually reach a small country road and turn right down into Wass. At the crossroads ( with Wombwell Arms on left ) turn right.  After 200m turn left through the gate into a field and continue straight ahead and towards Byland Abbey which soon comes to view to reach the road.  Turn right to the Abbey and Tea Rooms.




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Walking can be a dangerous sport.  Walkers should always be suitably equipped, including carrying and knowing how to use a map and compass.