Helmsley Castle English Heritage Review

Helmsley Castle is one of the largest castles in Yorkshire (most were considerably ruined during the English Civil War and are a lot smaller than many other English castles). It is mostly ruined and maintained by English Heritage. The castle is in the heart of Helmsley, a small market town within the North York Moors National Park. We spent around an hour and a half there.

If you are looking to extend your day out there is Rievaulx Abbey nearby (also English Heritage), Duncombe Park with National centre for birds of prey, Byland Abbey (free English Heritage property) and Nunnington Hall (National Trust). There is a large pay and display car park located near the castle. This is not maintained by English Heritage so members will also have to pay to park.

Helmsley Castle English Heritage Review

Helmsley Castle Things To Do Review

There was a castle first constructed on this site back in 1120, it was later converted into stone in 1186 and the remains of the East Tower remain today. This is ruined and you can only look up into it as the floors no longer remain. Most of the castle was destroyed during the English Civil war although the mansion house was spared which you can look around today.

Within the mansion, there are exhibitions showing how the castle evolved over the centuries from a medieval fortress to a luxurious Tudor mansion, then to a Civil War stronghold and a romantic Victorian ruin. There are plenty of hands-on things to do in the exhibition rooms.

Helmsley Castle English Heritage Review

Kids will love running around and exploring the grounds with many of the ruined walls still in place they are perfect for little legs to climb and play on. When you arrive you can pick up an audio tour guide that is included with your entry fee. Make sure you walk out of the castle area at the back of the site as there are some lovely bronze archers which my son loved posing for a photo by.

Helmsley Castle

I don’t have much more to say about the castle. There is a scenic walk you can take from Helmsley Castle to Rievaulx Abbey. This is available to download from the English Heritage website. It’s a lovely place to stop off for an hour or two. Here are some more photos.

Helmsley Castle English Heritage Review
Helmsley Castle English Heritage Review
Helmsley Castle English Heritage Review
Helmsley Castle

Helmsley Castle English Heritage Review FAQ & Further Information

Address: Castlegate, Helmsley YO62 5AB, North Yorkshire

Category – Historic Attraction – Indoors and Outdoors – Suitable for all ages.

What are the ticket prices?

FREE for members of English Heritage. Tickets must be pre-booked online in advance with standard, peak and off-peak tickets available. An adult peak ticket costs £8.60 without donation. Children 5-17 £5.10. Under 5s are free. Family tickets are available.

What are the main facilities and things to do?

Historic mostly ruined castle with ruined walls, a mansion house with rooms including interactive exhibitions, audio tour. There are toilets and refreshments.

When are they open?

Helmsley Castle is open for most of the year. For up-to-date information please visit their website.

Is there food available?

There are refreshments including snacks, ice cream and hot and cold drinks. You are welcome to bring a picnic.

Is there parking?

There is parking nearby, charges apply.

Are they dog friendly?

Dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds only. Assistance dogs welcome across the site.

Are they accessible?

Information on accessibility.


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