Sunday 7th April 2019 – Helmsley Circular

Today’s walk leader was your very own blogger Dave W, who lead a 7.5 mile circular walk around the beautiful market town of Helmsley.  The weather was expected to be unsettled however a bright start greeted walkers arriving at Waterdale to catch the coach.

As it was the nearest walking weekend to Easter,  Jean T, our club organiser arranged a free Easter Raffle for members.  Lucky winners were able to choose from a number of yummy chocolate treats.  Happy Easter to one and all!! Again, Jean reminded everyone that the May walk will take place on Sunday 12th May and not the usual first Sunday of the month.

6 Non walkers stayed in Helmsley for the day, whilst the remaining 41 set off on the Cleveland Way, the path passing through fields gradually uphill.  Walkers were enchanted to see field adjacent to the path.  On reaching the field top, looking back, a lovely view of Helmsley Castle provided a good photo opportunity.   After descending steep woodland steps through Blackdale Howl Wood and up the other side, the group reached Griff Lodge where refreshments were enjoyed along with the stunning view down Jinny York Bank across the River Rye valley.  With rucksacks packed up again, the sun made an appearance and very soon glorious sunshine and a gentle breeze accompanied the group whilst taking a field path up a slight incline to reach High Ash Plantation.  The route then followed a field edge alongside a quiet road until the National Trust owned Rievaulx Terrace was reached.  A short section of steep downhill road-walking quickly led through the small hamlet of Rievaulx with its pretty thatched cottages and lovely gardens providing another photo opportunity.  At this point the first good view of the spectacular ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, dating back to 1132 could be seen.  The Cistercian Monastery, before its dissolution by Henry VIII in 1538, was home to a 650 strong community at its height – cue more photos!!  Rievaulx Abbey Visitor centre was the venue for our lunch stop, with its Tearoom serving hot food and delicious cakes for some of our members.

The afternoon walk again started with a another short section of road walking to Rievaulx Bridge where the Tuscan Temple of Rievaulx Terrace could be seen peeping through the recently emerging foliage on the trees.  On joining a path upwards through Quarry Bank Wood, the weather took a turn and a light rain shower had walkers reaching for their wet weather gear.  However luckily the rain was short-lived and very soon Griff Lodge came into sight once more.  Taking the path through Spring Bank Wood, this soon gave way to a metalled path, leading through the Duncombe Park Estate.  Good views of the historic Duncombe House provided another photo opportunity along the way.  The route continued past the entrance to the Duncombe House, to reach the estate gates and a short walk back into Helmsley with lovely views again of the 900 year old Castle ruins .  There was sufficient time to enjoy a hour in Helmsley before setting off back to Doncaster at around 4.30 pm.  Dave W was thanked for the walk that had many interesting features in a varied landscape.

Thanks for all who provided photos for the gallery.