Days out in Yorkshire: Helmsley Castle

Helmsley Castle holds all the makings of a fascinating day out.
Helmsley Castle holds all the makings of a fascinating day out.
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The North York Moors National Park is home to a number of magnificent attractions and there is none more magnificent than the historic Helmsley Castle.

The castle, known anciently as Hamlake, dates back to the medieval period and was originally constructed in wood around 1120 by Walter l’Espec, who once controlled Northern England and went on to become the High Sheriff of Yorkshire.

Now under the watchful eye of English Heritage, Helmsley Castle holds all the makings of a fascinating day out.

Visitors enter the castle via a bridge, crossing a moat that was once filled with water.

Once inside – and with the help of a little imagination – you can see how this particular stronghold would’ve looked many centuries ago.

More than 350 years ago during the English Civil War the castle was besieged by Sir Thomas Fairfax, leading to the condemnation of the castle and destroying the majority of the masonry.

The ground floor of the Tudor mansion sees a display of fascinating finds from the area and delves deeper into the social, domestic and military aspects of the historic fortress.

There’s an interesting audio tour for every visitor which provides extra narrative at particular points around the castle and virtual tours of less accessible areas – offering a real insight into the 900 years of history around you.

And once you’re done exploring history, make sure you take some time to explore the charm of modern day Helmsley.


Prices: Adult £5.40, Child £3.20, Family £14. Free for English Heritage members.

Opening Times: 10am – 6pm (seven days a week)

Address: Castlegate, Helmsley, North Yorkshire

Car Parking: Pay and display parking in Helmsley

Attraction Website: www.english-heritage.org.uk/helmsleycastle

Telephone: 0870 333 1181

Sat Nav: YO62 5AB

For more days out see www.yorkshire.com