Byland Abbey

Byland Abbey, Coxwold

Byland Abbey
4.5
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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About
OPENING TIMES: 3rd November 2014 - 29th March 2015: 10am - 4pm Saturdays and Sundays ONLY. 30Th March 2015 onwards: opening times available nearer the time. Along with Rievaulx and Fountains Abbeys, Byland Abbey was once one of the greatest Cistercian monasteries in the north of England. It boasts some of the earliest Gothic architecture in northern England as well as internationally significant medieval floor tile pavements. Much of the church survives to a great height, including the fantastic rose window, and the remains of the domestic buildings are extensive. There is also a museum packed with artefacts found on site and beautifully illustrated interpretation panels, which give visitors an insight into monastic life. There is also much to interest nature lovers as many varieties of wild flowers grow on the ruins of the abbey and a multitude of birds and small mammals can be seen around the site, including kestrels, buzzards and hedgehogs.
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4.5
280 reviews
Excellent
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Very good
99
Average
28
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5
Terrible
1

Drake-601
Manchester, UK106 contributions
Like many have said, we found this by accident and for us, that was through taking a different route than usual to our week’s accommodation in Pickering. It really does pop out at you and, again as others have noted, is very imposing.

So, we made a point of making it a small trip out a couple of days later; we took the camera and the fact that it was mostly cloudy and slightly drizzly on the day, it didn’t detract one bit from getting some great shots. Very impressive and to imagine what it must have looked like ‘in its pomp’ was intriguing. Again, as others note, it’s free to visit too so we felt like we were experiencing a bit of a bargain.

I would imagine that if there were many visitors to the area then it might be hard to find a parking space close to the ruins, as the car park opposite is quite small and seemed serve, also, people who wanted to go for a walk in the opposite direction of the ruin. Still, that can be said for many attractions in a beautiful part of the country, so I suppose it can be a bit of potluck.

At some point, a few information boards with artists impressions of what parts or all of the building used to look like would be good.

If in the area, I would definitely recommend a visit for 45 minutes to an hour.
Written November 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Goldfoot
York, UK25 contributions
If you are driving in the area, stop by this beautiful abbey! It is maintained by English Heritage, but free to visit - unlike Whitby and Rievaulx. It is also staggeringly large!

There is a small free car park (I'd say suitable for maybe 8-10 cars) on the opposite side of the road to the tearoom/cafe. The entrance is just across the road from the cafe, and the whole area is generally flat, so I would say it's pretty accessible.

It's free to enter and just stunningly gorgeous. If you have even 15 minutes to spare on your travels in this area, give this place a visit!
Written May 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you, Goldfoot, for the 5* rating and detailed review! I hope that you get to visit Byland Abbey again soon.
Written May 22, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

James19941
Bargoed, UK130 contributions
Couples
Wow, what a fantastic site. The Abbey is well preserved, even with original tiles still in place. The remnants of the rose window is stunning and the site shows lots of preserved buildings of the monastery. It's a great sized site with more preserved than other monasteries in the area.

Visited on a trip to Yorkshire with the specific intention of visiting as many monasteries as possible. This was on my 'maybe' list but it should be on your 'definite' list!
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

boyd1952
Newton Aycliffe, UK869 contributions
Friends
Visited here as members of English Heritage to find this is free to enter a little annoying when we have paid membership. Quite a lot left of this once enormous Abbey. Pleasant to walk round more information boards would be useful. Very Limited parking.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DY R
Heacham, UK11 contributions
This abbey is well off the beaten track but is one of the largest we have visited. There's a little museum house that's only open on weekends, currently, but there are signs around that help one understand the layout and history of the place. If there are attendants, the ones we met were very knowledgeable and informative. It's also very close to the white horse.
Written August 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Yorkterrier01
York, UK2,600 contributions
As this is a free to enter site, you can go to it under the current lockdown rules in the UK. It was very busy at the start everyone went home at 5 leaving me a good 30 minutes or so to wander around. I could not go into the visitor centre or Abbey tearooms but enjoyed seeing and photographing the ruins.
Written June 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nicdigby
UK94 contributions
Family
Came across it accidentally as it wasn’t signposted. Pleasant to have a look around for 20 mins and sit in the sun. Would have liked more info boards to tell me what it was. Had to google it and it doesn’t come up straight away in google in any detail so it took a while. Parking was full so I can imagine this would be tricky on a busy day. No toilets.
Written May 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you, nicdigby, for your review of Byland Abbey. We have taken your comments on board as we are always striving to improve the visitor journey at our sites. If you would like to learn more about the abbey, our on-site museum is now open to visitors. We rely on a team of dedicated volunteers who open the museum and welcome visitors on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 12-4pm. Additional parking and toilets are available at Byland Abbey Inn.
Written June 1, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarah b
Lytham St Anne's, UK1,527 contributions
Couples
We wanted to visit here as we were in the area visiting Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle with which this has historical connections.

Amazing that there was so much remaining of the abbey after so many years of being battered by the weather. The most notable is the remnant front window of the abbey which apparently was the example used in the development of the big rose window in York Minster.

Not much of this left of course but enough to be able to imagine how this looked when it was an active abbey.

We walked the whole site and saw where the lay brothers would have lived and got a good idea of how the abbey looked during its various stages in history.

We always love to imagine we have a time machine and follow the path of the monks walking around the cloister or into the abbey for one of the 8 periods of prayer they would have observed. Really interesting place. I'd love to visit for longer on a day when it isn't bucketting down!

There was some restoration work going on in the grounds and I understand there is usually a small museum open.

In the middle of the countryside so very picturesque and good for birdwatching too.

Very small car park opposite the abbey so take care.

There is a pub beside the abbey (Just called the Abbey), which sold refreshments and have toilets available.
Written May 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Deltablade
Buckinghamshire, UK500 contributions
Came across quite by chance whilst holidaying in the area. Remarkably preserved ruin (English Heritage), free to walk round. There is a museum (not open Mon, Tue). Later in the week visited Fountains and Rievaulx ..every time I see the remains of these once wonderful iconic structures and reflect on the desecration & criminal vandalism wrought by the tyrant Henry VIII it makes me weep. Thanks to EH & the NT these places are both a necessary reminder and link to our troubled past.
Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Louise G
5 contributions
Couples
We were travelling from Helmsley back home. Passed Byland Abbey by chance and decided to stop. Lateish in the afternoon so not too difficult to find a parking spot. It was actually relatively busy considering it’s not as well known as the other abbeys. Quite extensive ruins but not much signage explaining things. There is a tiny museum but it was closed.
It doesn’t feel as remote as Reviaulx and not as scenic as Jervaulx with its beautiful wild flowers tumbling over the walls. Worth a visit passing. We stayed an hour and a half or so but that involved a drink in the pub opposite and just drinking up the atmosphere. I think finding it by chance was what added to the experience !
Written July 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Byland Abbey is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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