Day 4, 16th July.
Our only inland jaunt, and when we left the sunny weather behind. It drizzled all day, which was actually a good thing, as the countryside is stifling in the sun!
I have been to Rievaulx before, many moons ago, as a small child, and vaguely remember arches everywhere. Obviously, him indoors has never been so I was preparing him to be gobsmacked. He was already in total awe of North Yorkshire. It is a place you cannot see properly in pictures, photos, or even Google streetview, it's much bigger and better than that, the only way to appreciate it is to be there. It is amazing.
Rievaulx is a decent run from Scarborough, but we were starting further north, and taking our time so the journey was a long one, through all the villages and towns along the A170. Finally, down a winding and sometimes steep road, through the village of Rievaulx, we arrived at 11.30. We parked up in the English Heritage car park (fee is refunded on entrance to the Abbey) and had our packed lunch before we set off.
We also changed into our dried out muddy walking shoes, which were soon cleaned off nicely in the long, damp grass around the abbey!
There is a great little visitor centre at Rievaulx, which explains how the abbey was built and what happened after the dissolution. I loved this fother, a half ton piece of smelted down roof lead from the abbey, discovered in the 1920's, and the only one left, after another was used years ago to repair York Minster. It bears the seal of Henry VIII.
Him indoors was more taken by the sign outside the visitor centre, thought it referred to him!
Here's the initial view of Rievaulx
The scale of the building is amazing
But the sense of gentle decay is also all around, this is the only part of the cloister left.
This is only half the length of the abbey, the other half is completely gone, it must have been huge.
The refectory, looming large over the ruins of the tannery
The north transept, me in the doorway, look at the height!
A part of the original Nave floor
Lovely view from a kitchen window!
We saw this in the abbey shop, and him indoors bought it for mum as her birthday is in July
We spent ages wandering around in the damp grass, it was a thoroughly enjoyable time. The weather was perfect, misty and moody, and complemented the setting. When we came out of Rievaulx, we walked along the little road which led down the valley, and found the best place to take a picture of Rievaulx, it looks just like a painting!
As I took this picture, a car drew up near us and the passenger jumped out with a camera in her hand, ran over to where we were standing and proclaimed "there are so many Abbeys round here!", as she snapped away on her camera. We were then joined by another car, and several folk, all with cameras, began taking photos of this beautiful scene.
We walked back to the abbey car park, finished our sandwiches and cake, with tea, and headed off home, via Helmsley.
We had a fairly flying visit to Helmsley castle, it's not a grand ruin on the scale of Rievaulx, but there's enough to keep you occupied for an hour or so, even in the drizzle!
This is the Keep
The other side of the Keep, which shows the changes the building has been through
Much later buildings, Elizabethan era
Lovely panelling still remains on part of one wall
The moat, I believe this was where the drawbridge was
Me, looking out from the castle wall, can you see me?
In the castle shop I bought some fudge (which was soon eaten at home) and a lovely Yorkshire keyring. I always make a point of buying something from the English Heritage shops as we get in for free with my corporate membership.
As we exited the castle, tired and weary, we saw a sign beckoning us to a nearby tea shop. Yippee! We followed the arrows and came across a fabulous little tea shop in a back road in Helmsley, called the Ryeburn tea rooms
We enjoyed mugs of tea, for just £1.10 and him indoors had a big slice of Victoria sponge, with a creamy filling, for £1.50, served with a fork, and I had a large slice of Bakewell tart for 90p.
On the way home, we stopped at Proudfoot in Scalby for provisions, and I bought some local sausages for us to have with peas and mash for tea.
We arrived back at our cottage at 4.30pm , and had a sort through our photos after tea, followed by an early night.