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“A lovely place to visit”
Review of Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey
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$52.45*
and up
Castle Howard, Rievaulx Abbey, and North York Moors Day Trip from York
Ranked #2 of 19 things to do in Helmsley
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Hidden in the deep River Rye valley, the beautiful and tranquil abbey ruins reflect nearly one thousand years of spiritual, commercial and Romantic history. Rievaulx was one of the first Cistercian abbeys to be founded in England in around 1130, and after the dissolution, became the centre of commercial activity for many years. The abbey forge was used to set up an ironworks on the site. The abbey then entered its Romantic period when its picturesque ruins became a beacon for poets, painters, and scholars. It was one of the first major ruins to be conserved by the Office of Works (ancestor of English Heritage) in 1917.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This was the second time we have visited the abbey. It is such a lovely place to sit and just be quiet and listen to the birds and imagine how it would have been in former times. We have been lucky to visit in the sunshine both times and it is amazing how it changes as the sun moves over the ruins and gives different shadows. Great tea shop too (had the amazing coffee cake!). On the down side there is very little parking but you can park on the road but I can imagine it gets very very crowded in the high season.

Thank KarenMoyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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931 - 935 of 1,032 reviews

Reviewed October 6, 2012

Having arrived at York we looked at brochures at the hotel to see if there was anything we didn't know about worth seeing. There was a brochure for Rievaulx Abbey advertising afternoon tea. Because we would be travelling through the area and had not had a proper english afternoon tea yet we decided to stop there for the tea. We never got to have afternoon tea because we were so busy being enthralled by the beauty and rich history of the most stunning place. It should be advertised more along the line of Stonehenge. Everywhere you look there are paintings showing how it looked when it was new. You stand at the picture then look up and can see the ruins come to life. For I think 5GPB you get entry and an audio guide that makes the whole abbey come alive. This amazing place is a jewel in England that I am so glad I got to see. Photos do not do it justice. As part of the English Heritage group, it is well worth buying a pass which gives you entry to all English Heritage listed sites. It doesn't cost much. I didn't realise how many places were covered and did not buy one. Next time. England I loved you and I hope to come back.

Thank Michele D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012 via mobile

Words cannot describe this amazing site. Excellent value and an interesting history. It's beautiful and you can easily spend hours wandering around exploring. Not many tourists probably because buses are not able to get there, making it peaceful and enjoyable.

Thank Travelquest23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

I really enjoyed the walk from Helmsley, Most of it was on safe footpaths of the road. As you come near to Rievaulx there's a choclate coloured river just like the one in Charlie and the Chocolate factory. We didn't pay to go into the Abbey because we've been before and you can see most of it anyway.The cafe was nice.

Thank gill l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

The site is quite large and is very impressive. There are little details to keep an eye out for: carvings in the stone for Abbot Williams shrine and coloured floor tiles. Most of the abbey is what you would expect but it is the Cloister building that managed to get a 'wow!'. It really is impressive and it is only when you see other people stood amongst the arches that you realise exactly how big it is. I have visited many abbeys before this one but Rievaulx is easily the most impressive.

I was surprised to find that the car park had to be paid for (£4) but it is refundable. I also enjoyed lunch in the cafe (tomato and herb soup with a bread wedge) and it was delicious and very reasonably priced. The weather wasn't the best as the abbey is situated in a valley so I would advise hiking boots and a raincoat as the grounds could get a bit muddy and damp.

Thank Elizabeth P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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