Days out in Yorkshire: Historic Helmsley

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Where can you find a castle, afternoon teas galore and birds of prey displays?

Only in historic Helmsley, the gateway to the North York Moors National Park.

The quintessentially English market town sits beautifully on the cusp of the moors and en route to the coast providing the perfect trip out or break away.

There’s the brand new International Centre for Birds of Prey at Duncombe Park which will be home to more than 100 international birds when it opens for the first time this Easter.

The new visitor attraction promises to be a popular spot with a cafe, picnic area and three displays every day in the stunning grounds.

After a morning at the centre, head into Helmsely where there’s a great selection of foody places. Try the popular Black Swan Hotel for one of their fabulous afternoon teas or slap up lunches.

There’s also the luxurious Feversham Arms for a glass of champers by the outdoor pool.

For the coffee shops try the family-run Cotton House which is also home to a gift shop selling handmade cards, gifts and artwork. Situated in the old stable yard in Helmsley, the Cotton House is a gorgeous new coffee shop which was a working stable only until recently.

After a food pit stop, head to English Heritage’s Helmsley Castle, a must-see for any visitor. Discover how the castle evolved over the centuries, from a mighty medieval fortress to a luxurious Tudor mansion, to a Civil War stronghold and a romantic Victorian ruin.


Prices: International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP) & Helmsley Castle (see websites for latest)

Opening Times: ICBP opening Easter onwards & Castle open Sat & Sun 10am to 4pm (see website for both)

Addresses: Duncombe Park, Helmsley, YO62 5EB & Castlegate, Helmsley, YO62 5AB

Car Parking: ICBP free & Castle pay and display

Attraction Website: &

Telephone: ICBP 0844 7422035 & Castle 01439 770442

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