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“HIDDEN GEM” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rievaulx Terrace and Temples

Rievaulx Terrace and Temples
Rievaulx, Helmsley YO62 5LJ, England
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Ranked #5 of 12 Attractions in Helmsley
Type: Historic Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the village of Helmsley, visit the Rievaulx Abbey and its two 18th-century temples, one of which is the splendid Ionic Temple with its intricate ceiling paintings and 17th-century furniture.
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

My sister and I left Goathland after having stayed overnight at our lovely Heatherdene guest house and thought we might explore new surroundings. Having reckindled my love of walking we decided to drive to Helmsley near York. We first parked in Helmsley town centre which is only small but what a beautiful well kept little village with its querky little gift shops and cafes. After we'd purchased our lunch to take on our walk we drove to Duncombe Park.There are waymarked walks, discovery trails and orienteering courses for all ages which explore the woodlands, river valley, meadows, woodland skyline and commercial forestry. After walking several miles on the mapped route I looked up and saw the the stunning remains of Rievaulx Abbey. It is a reminder of the scale of what was once the wealthiest Abbey in England. It runs along side the river Rye and down at the bottom there is a Heritage gift and coffee shop which I have to say make the best carrot cake. All in all we had a lovely day and I really do think this is well worth a visit, especially if you have young children.

Visited May 2013
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111 reviews from our community

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English first
East Yorkshire
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
50 attraction reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Temples in the trees”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

Visited here with a friend, we were lucky enough to be arriving just as they were about to opening the Ionic temple, now only open for v small periods each day to preserve the interior of the building from light damage. The painting on the ceiling was breath taking! The guide was most knowledgable. We then walked up through the woods to the Tuscan temple were you can view another beautifully painted ceiling via precision placed mirrors and the mosaic tiled floor was easily viewed through the many windows. We walked back along the terrace and viewed the abbey ruins below through strategic cuts in the trees.
There is also at present a sculpture exhibit at this attraction by Emma Stodhard who works with willow and wire to produce some stunning pieces.
Let down by not having a tiny tea room on site.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tamworth, England, United Kingdom
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A beautiful bit of Yorkshire countryside”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

The Rievaulx terrace a few miles outside Helmsley is one of the hidden gems of the English/Yorkshire countryside. Parking is a bit on the limited side but the walks are fantastic.
Basically you walk through the wood to the far end of the property and then out onto the lawned area that stretches along the side of the escarpment overlooking the river Rye and with beautiful views down onto Rievaulx Abbey itself.
At the far end there is small circular mock-classical building that can't be entered. At the other end near the entrance/exit is an imitation of a Classical Greek temple. Originally it was intended as a dining room for the local lord. In what were originally the kitchens downstairs is a display about the terrace. The main room upstairs has the restored dining room with the table set up ready for a meal and the most brilliant painted ceiling.
There is plenty of bird life about. You tend to hear the pheasants rather than see them, but there are plenty of smaller birds about and the occasional rabbit. The trees are at their best in the autumn as they change colours into their gold and brown, before the leaves fall. The plantlife changes with the seasons. In the spring snowdrops are followed by primroses and celandines. By Spring Bank Holiday, they are usually replaced by the cowslips and the rich scented lilac as well as purple orchids. High summer brings the thistles that attract a variety of butterflies and then into the rich colours of autumn.
New attractions include a series of sculptures including deer, three hares, a couple of fairies - I kid you not - and a horse, all sculpted out of wire. They blend in well except for, in my opinion, the horse, which stands mid terrace overlooking the abbey.
Apart from limited parking, the only other drawback is fairly basic food....some hot drinks and ice creams, but what a fantastic place to have your own picnic on the lawns!
One of those places you can visit again and again through the year, as I've been doing for years and always find something different to see. Nearby is picturesque Helmsley and there are great drives up Bilsdale or down Sutton Bank to Thirsk, as well as another National Trust property, Nunnington Hall.

Visited April 2013
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Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Abbey views”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

If you are interested in the abbey beautiful shots from up high, nothing much else there really other than the Temples, when we visited Easter Tuesday Temples were only open occasionally.

Visited April 2013
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Winchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“A very interesting walk providing excellent views of Rievaulx Abbey”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

Although the weather was very cold, windy and slightly snowy, we still had a very enjoyable walk through the gorgeous woods, spotting various things of interest created for adults and children alike.
The Ionic Temple is only open four times a day for approximately 30 minutes at a time in order to preserve the contents of the Temple.
The Tuscan Temple is well worth the walk to it in order to appreciate the tiled flooring and the mirrors placed on the windowsills of this temple provide a clear view of the beautifully painted ceiling.
The walk along the terrace provides glorious views of Rievaulx Abbey down below, where on can appreciate the size, design and architecture of the Abbey. A real photographic opportunity.

Visited April 2013
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