Danby to York
From splendid scenery to the characterful city
Danby to York Itinerary
Rosedale Abbey to Hutton-le-Hole
Hutton-le-Hole to Kirkbymoorside
Follow the route - Danby to York
Danby to Rosedale Abbey
> From Danby follow unclassified roads south to Rosedale Abbey.
Visiting Rosedale Abbey
Rosedale’s 12th-century Cistercian abbey no longer exists: only a few stones remain in the village. Ruins of railways and kilns at Chimney Bank Top are reminders of the old 19th-century ironstone industry. The famous chimney, once visible for miles, was demolished in 1972 when it was declared unsafe.
Places to stay in Rosedale Abbey
> Continue to Hutton-le-Hole.
Hutton-le-Hole’s Ryedale Folk Museum, in an ancient cruck-type building, features a marvellous collection of farm equipment, and reconstructed buildings. There are two 4-mile (6km) walks signposted from the centre of the village into the countryside.
Places to stay near Hutton-le-Hole
Hutton-le-Hole to Kirkbymoorside
> Continue on unclassified roads, crossing the River Dove and through Gillamoor to Kirkbymoorside.
Situated at the edge of the moor, this small town is just off the main road, with quiet streets and squares. The church dates from the 12th century and retains some fine Norman masonry and fragments of a Saxon cross.
Places to stay near Kirkbymoorside
Kirkbymoorside to Helmsley
> Take the A170 for 6 miles (10km) to Helmsley and then Rievaulx.
Roads from Cleveland, Thirsk and York converge upon the town square, making Helmsley a busy trade centre. Helmsley Castle dates from 1186 and was once inhabited by the Duke of Buckingham, court favourite of James I and Charles I.
Two miles (3km) west of Helmsley is Rievaulx, one of the largest Cistercian abbeys in England. The 12th-century ruins are surrounded by wooded hills, and above the abbey wall is Rievaulx Terrace, a beautiful landscaped garden with mock-Greek temples completed in 1758.
Places to stay in Hemsley
> Follow unclassified roads from Rievaulx through Scawton to rejoin the A170, then turn left to White Horse Bank and Kilburn.
Kilburn White Horse is the only turf-cut figure in the north of England. Almost 314 feet (96m) long by 228 feet (70m) high, it can be seen from the central tower of York Minster, 19 miles (31km) away. The village is well known for its woodcarvings, the work of Robert Thompson, who died in 1955. His trademark, a mouse, is still carved into the items produced by craftsmen at his works.
> Continue on unclassified roads for 2 miles (3km) to Coxwold.
Coxwold’s most outstanding building is the 15th-century octagonal-towered church. In the churchyard is the gravestone of the 18th-century author Laurence Sterne, who named his house Shandy Hall, after the hero of his novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy; today it is a museum devoted to his life and works. Just beyond the village is Newburgh Priory, a 17th- and 18th-century house with a lake and gardens.
Places to stay near Coxwold
> Take an unclassified road northeast to Wass.
Wass was partly built from the ruins of nearby Byland Abbey, the largest Cistercian church in the country, with a 26-foot (8m) diameter window dating from the 13th century.
Two miles (3km) east of Wass is Ampleforth, which was chosen as the site of a school by English monks escaping from the French Revolution. Ampleforth College is now England’s premier Roman Catholic public school. Nearby Studford Ring is thought to date from the Bronze Age and is probably the finest earthwork enclosure in the area.
Places to stay near Wass
> Continue east on unclassified roads to Oswaldkirk. Turn right on to the B1363 and continue south to Sutton-on-the-Forest.
Set in the undulating Howardian Hills, this is an unusual brick-built village with a stone church. Sutton Park, an early Georgian house, contains antique furniture by Chippendale and Sheraton and a collection of porcelain.
Places to stay near Sutton-on-the-Forest
Sutton-on-the-Forest to York
> Return to York via the B1363, 8 miles (13km).
Visiting the City of York
This strikingly beautiful walled medieval city straddling the River Ouse is one of Britain’s top sights, with a multitude of museums and buildings spanning a range of historic periods. Much of York’s compact heart is pedestrianised, so it’s great to explore on foot, allowing you to absorb its wealth of interesting shops and enjoy the vibrant street performers. Among the most evocative streets are The Shambles, originally a street of butchers’ shops and retaining overhanging, jettied, timber-framed buildings; and Stonegate, where shop signs and frontages span several centuries. A circuit of the medieval walls gives great views over the city and beyond – it’s a walk of about two-and-a-half miles.