Day 12: Helmsley Castle, Rievaulx Abbey, and Howard Castle

The first order of business for the day was breakfast. We started off the morning with a full English breakfast. You can see our gracious host, Emma, in the background. It was very lovely.

I gave my mushrooms to Shelley and we all declined to have black pudding.

Helmsley Castle

After breakfast, we loaded up into the car and drove to Helmsley Castle. You can see the old tower from the marketplace and it’s obvious that it was built to dominate the skyline and impress visitors.

Below is a model of what the castle would have looked like in its glory days.

And here we are walking around the outside of it.

Below is the front gates as they are now, and then you can see an artist’s idea of what they probably looked like.


We stopped to get a family photo by the soldiers.

Inside the gates you can see the tower.

We took a picture in the gate tower (or, rather, whats left of it).

Zeke suddenly needed to go potty. Since there were none there, we found him a corner.

Past the gates you come to the courtyard. Here’s a panorama of it.

The tower is below.

And here’s the manor house.

Inside, there were some kids clothes to play dress up.

And with that, we were out of time. Our parking ticket was expiring and we needed to move on to the next site.

Rievaulx Abbey

We got to the abbey and it was time to eat lunch, so we ate outside. You can see the abbey ruins in the background. It was a beautiful day.

The abbey ruins were amazing, serene, awe-inspiring.

There was also a museum with some interesting displays.

Here’s some more shots from the abbey ruins.



After spending about two hours at Rievaulx, we headed over to Castle Howard, which was not very far away.

Howard Castle

Castle Howard, a still-functioning estate, we pretty epic. When we arrived, we took a little trolley to the manor house from the carriage house because we were tired.

Here’s the house:

We arrived just in time to participate in afternoon tea (we had planned on it, but were unsure we would make it in time).

The afternoon tea was really amazing and quite delicious.

After tea, we toured the house. All of the rooms are still used when the Howard family has guests over.

Below you can see the ceiling of the main entryway.

After all that touring, we found the playground on the Howard property. The kids really loved it.

Finally, we drove to York, found our B&B, returned our car, and hit the sack.

It was a great little car and we survived driving 3 full days in England! Yeah! One thing that we will all enjoy NOT hearing any longer is the Garmin in the car starting nearly every direction with “At the roundabout…”