Rievaulx Terrace

Rievaulx Terrace is two miles west of my favourite village of Helmsley, overlooking the dramatic ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.  The terrace is about half a mile long and winds its way across the side of a steep wooded  hillside with lovely views. At either end of the terrace stand two small “temples” of outstanding beauty, built around 1730.

At the south-east end is the domed Doric Temple which has a pavement floor that came from the choir of Rievaulx Abbey. The Ionic Temple stands at the other end, it is decorated with elaborate ceiling paintings and furnished in the period style. It was intended as a banqueting house and the central table is still set as if for a meal.The basement housed the kitchen and servants’ living quarters but nowadays it holds an exhibition on English landscape design in the 18th century.

The stroll along the terrace on a sunny day is quite delightful and it is a perfect place for a picnic. Of course you can also visit the abbey, just a short distance away, or take the gentle drive across the moors to the peaceful village of Hawnby for a pint or a meal in the award winning Hawnby Hotel.


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