Reviewed by Nicola Wilson
“What a great sight!”
My family and I recently visited Rievaulx Abbey in April 2015. We all had a very enjoyable afternoon here! I would recommend this ‘English Heritage’ site to everyone to try at least once. However, once is all you will need to fall in love with this place. The Rievaulx Abbey is situated in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park in the Rye Valley near the River Rye. I definitely recommend this beautiful site to Ramblers, Artists, Photographers, Dog walkers and Lovers of unique architecture. Rievaulx has the most serene and peaceful atmosphere, you could hear a pin drop. It’s just infectious! We visited on a windy day but in the Rye Valley; where Rievaulx Abbey Stood the weather was so calm. It was as if time itself stood still. I could see why monks built a permanent settlement here. The Rye Valley beautifully frames the Abbey like a painting. My breath was taken away on my first sight of Reivaulx Abbey, it fits into the scenery perfectly.
The small Rievaulx village was built around the Abbey and it is mostly beautiful farm land. Also linked with the Abbey is the ‘Rievaulx to Helmsley walk’ run by the National Trust, which takes approx: 1 hour 20 minutes. Rievaulx Abbey itself is a large site with plenty to do and see. The Abbey has on site: 1. A cafe with lovely drinks and home-made cakes/food and themed music. 2. The historical Monk’s Museum; which is very hands on, interesting and interactive. 3. The Ruins. 4. The restored parts of the Abbey. 5. The Grounds. 6. The Shop. 7. Picnic Tables. 8. An Audio Tour. 9. The car park is small but free. A ticket must be purchased first then your money is returned after payment of your admission.
The ruins are completely open and you can climb / walk among the ruins and the grounds. It was great to see what remained of the monk’s water system, all the walk-ways and the broken staircases. I loved discovering the beautiful architecture. I particularly liked the archways of the Abbey itself and the Monk’s courtyard. You could really get up close to this site and really get involved in its immense importance to the Monks and now to the people of Yorkshire.
I give this visit a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. I would come again… I fact, I am looking forward to it! I have well behaved children with a maximum level of curiosity so I was only worried about the kids at one point; In the ruins by just one window there was a large drop. The staff were very friendly and helpful. It would have been nice to see them walk the grounds and offer information outside the confines of the shop. Overall we had a very good day thank you.
Tickets (with Gift Aid): Adult £6.20 (£6.90), Child £3.70 (£4.10), Family £16.10 (£17.90).
English Heritage membership starts from £41 and gives you unlimited access to castles and gardens, historic houses and abbeys, and kids go free…
For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/rievaulx-abbey.
Rievaulx Abbey, Rievaulx, Nr Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5LB