5 reasons why you should move to Helmsley
PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 December 2019
Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd
Neighbourhood know-how, places and people
As lusciously North Yorkshire as can be. This homely, honey-coloured town is everything you want from a market town - in fact it's the only market town in the North York Moors National Park. There's the majesty of a ruined castle, a grand country estate and stunning countryside on the doorstep. There's the bustle of a marketplace, some great places for a pint or a scone and when it comes to shopping, lots of lovely independents. There's even a swanky hotel with an outdoor heated pool.
The A1 is about 45mins away taking you north or south and Teesside or York about an hour away. From the A19 you can take your chances up Sutton Bank - stunning views guaranteed. Trains - Thirsk is your nearest main line station or Pickering and Malton. For planes - Leeds Bradford Airport.
Bag a property
This is the territory of honeypot homes. There's a lot of love for the properties, with a well above average quota of Farrow & Ball paint on doors and windows - to charming effect. Find shared ownership apartments for the 55 plus from £38,000 or a three bedroom new build from £259,000.
If you hanker after starting a business, you can plump for a centrally located property on Bridge Street with two shop fronts, a cottage let, and apartment with roof terrace, for £795,000. Out of town lust after the beautiful Arts & Crafts property Leysthorpe Hall at £1.95m.
You don't need to wander very far. Grab small children, give them a play sword and they (and you) will have the time of their lives exploring the Norman Helmsley Castle, now looked after by English Heritage .
Elsewhere there's a secret walled garden to explore or take in the history with a town trail map from the tourist information centre at the Market Place. It's one of those places where pottering is the perfect pastime. Helmsley's 'big house' is Duncombe Park which hosts regular country events and sells Christmas trees in December. There's a lively cultural scene at the thriving Arts Centre. The ruins of Rievaulx Abbey are an easy-signposted walk from the town centre.
Café & cocktails
This is such a foodie place. Definitely head there with hunger to make the most of the wealth of food shops, cafes, pubs and tearooms. It's afternoon tea central - the Black Swan being a really top notch destination for the quintessential tea and cakes experience. Having said that, every little street offers a glance through steamy windows to teatime treats in store. We love Mannion&Co Kitchen for everything from fresh baked scones to dreamy mains - braised short ribs were on the menu when we visited and looked luscious.
La Trattoria is newish to the Market Square with spot-on Italian treats or just grab gorgeous ingredients from award-wining deli, Hunters, and take a walk and a picnic of everything from game pies to Yorkshire cheese and chutney. They've even got their own microbrewery - Helmsley Brewing Co, where 'summat's brewing' - and you can stop off for a cool down pint. Fine dining (and a great spa - the one with that outdoor pool) is to be found at the Feversham Arms or The Black Swan or, a taxi ride away, The Hare at Scawton (Yorkshire Life Restaurant of the Year!) or Andrew Pern's famed Star at Harome.
Spoilt for choice sums it up. The friendliest independents, nicely curated galleries and niche gift shops. Take a tootle up Bridge Street for wine know-how at Helmsley Wines. Art enthusiasts will love Look Gallery in Castlegate for its fabulous selection of original works. Saltbox, also in Castlegate, is home to paintings, jewellery and contemporary ceramics. The pretty Meeting House Court collection of shops includes a hairdresser, barber, and milliner Amanda Field who creates stunning hats in her studio workshop. In this bustling lane you'll also find as cafes and interior stores and the impressive fruit and veg shop.
Elsewhere the courtyard shopping area off Borogate is home to more coffee stop-offs as well as gift shops including the sweet and very festive Ginger Bear. If you're shopping for clothing try Miller's Tale or Pennita for designer womenswear, shoes at Veneto or Brown's department store - which also stocks the hard-to-find skincare brand, The Ordinary. Countrywear at its finest - and thoughtful service - is to be found at Carter's on Bridge Street.