Best walking routes in Helmsley

At the Black Swan, we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the North York Moors. The picturesque views and undulating paths make this the perfect location for walking, with routes that vary in length and difficulty. Whether you’re interested in embarking on a short walk with flat surfaces or a longer route with hills and climbs, you won’t be short of choice. We’ve listed a few of the best walks near to us so that you can experience the beauty of the surrounding nature.

Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey
One of the longer yet more classic routes to embark on is the Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey walk. Famous for its archaeological ruins, Rievaulx Abbey is worth a visit – especially for those who love to learn about history. Measuring 7 miles long, this walk is for those who like to explore and wish to see more of what North Yorkshire has to offer. The walk begins with a gentle climb which offers views of the town and the castle, before dropping down again through scenic bluebell woods. This is all before reaching a tranquil town and experiencing the Rievaulx Abbey ruins. This walk takes roughly 4 hours to complete, so is perfect for those who love to exercise and spend time in the outdoors.

Rosedale Mineral Railway
For those who would prefer to embark on a shorter route, the Rosedale Mineral Railway walk might be just for you. At 1 mile long, you’ll progress from start to finish in 1 hour – perfect for those who want a short burst of exercise before going on further adventures. This route offers panoramic views of the North York Moors countryside and is ideal for history lovers, as it was previously home to an old railway line for Rosedale’s 19th century ironstone mines. This walk also has easy access so is perfect for all ages and abilities, with the path remaining fairly level throughout.

Levisham Moor and the Hole of Horcum
Another walk for those who enjoy long-distance strolls is Levisham Moor and the Hole of Horcum. At 5 miles long, this walk takes on average 3 hours to complete and offers great landscape views – perfect for picture opportunities! Whilst walking through Levisham Moor, you’ll notice some important archaeological ruins. You’ll then have the chance to take a diversion to Skelton Tower and the rocky Dundale Griff before returning to the Hole of Horcum. This is an easy track to follow, so is great for all the family – but it can be muddy in places, so don’t forget to take your wellies!

These are just some of the fantastic walking and biking routes that you can explore during your time in North Yorkshire. They’re also just a short distance from the Black Swan, so are the perfect way to fill your time during your stay with us.

Alternatively, if you’re visiting North Yorkshire for an adventure, why not extend your stay and book a room with us at the Black Swan? Nestled in a tranquil location and dog-friendly, we’re perfect for those looking for a peaceful weekend away with a furry friend! See here for more information about our rooms.

Cosy Christmas 2018

Dreaming of a Christmas where you can relax without having to worry about catering for your friends and family? Here at the Black Swan, you’ll be looked after by our dedicated team throughout the whole Christmas period – and the only finger you’ll have to lift is when you’re picking up a celebratory glass of Champagne!

Upon arrival on Christmas Eve, you’ll enjoy a quaint mini afternoon tea in one of our cosy lounges which overlook Helmsley’s Market Square, twinkling with festive fairy lights. After nibbling on some delicious canapés and sipping a glass of your favourite tipple, you’ll be welcomed into an exquisite five-course gala dinner – featuring a special performance by harpist Sarah Paterson to create the ultimate festive, relaxed atmosphere. After indulging in a hearty dinner, you’ll have the option to attend midnight mass at All Saints Church before returning to the Black Swan for delicious mince pies and mulled wine.

The big day of Christmas festivities will begin with a special Bucks Fizz breakfast. This is all before you join us for the main event – the Christmas lunch. You’ll be presented with sumptuous, festive dishes before a celebratory slice of Christmas cake and glass of port to toast the Queen’s speech. Make sure you leave room for the evening nibbles – later, we’ll prepare a delicious buffet for you to indulge in at your heart’s desire. You’ll then be able to order your favourite drink at the bar whilst enjoying the after-dinner entertainment, which will feature a singer and acoustic guitarist.

Just because the big day is over, that doesn’t mean Christmas is – at least, not at the Black Swan. The magic continues into Boxing Day, which will begin with a filling Yorkshire breakfast, using some of our freshest and finest local ingredients. The rest of the morning is to be spent as you wish – whether that’s relaxing in our lounge by the log fire or embarking on one of the many breath-taking walks that surround the hotel. You may even wish to visit Rievaulx Abbey – one of North Yorkshire’s most historic ruins. When you’ve spent your day as you please, you’ll return to the Black Swan for a special performance by magician Mark Waddington in the Garden Room, before enjoying a three-course meal in The Gallery. You’ll then be presented with coffee and caricatures to end the day.

The following morning, we’ll present you with yet another full Yorkshire breakfast before you depart. Here at the Black Swan, we’re dedicated to making your Christmas as magical as we can. For more information about our offering, please see here.

Baby Loss Awareness Week 2018


This week, people all across the UK are commemorating and recognising those who have lost babies, with charities lighting up buildings in pink and blue in the hope that parents who have experienced this devastation will not feel alone in their grief.

Baby Loss Awareness week is now in its 16th year, and is a collaboration between more than 60 UK charities. Being held annually between the 9th and 15th of October, this commemorative week applies to anybody who has lost a baby – no matter the stage of the pregnancy or birth, and continues into infancy. Baby loss is something that affects thousands of people each year. In order to provide parents with the care that they need, the Baby Loss Awareness charity are now calling for improvements in research and bereavement support. They also hope that raising awareness will break the silence around this topic.

Here at the Black Swan, our pink and blue lights are shining until the 15th of October to show recognition and support for those who are suffering with bereavement. This is amongst other places in Helmsley also showing support, such as the All Saints Church. These lights are shining in a bid to encourage conversation around baby loss, which will hopefully create a community of individuals that can help and support each other.

A picture of our lights can be found on our Instagram page, and any guests who would like to share their support can take a picture and share on social media, using the tag #BLAW2018. Additionally, the Baby Loss Awareness charity have created a visual representation of the effects that baby loss has on families, whilst showing the public how they can help to raise awareness. Click here to see more.