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Helmsley is a very pretty market town on the northern bank of the
River Rye, with lots of interesting shops and smaller streets off the
main square, where there is a monument to Lord Feversham.
To the west of the town stands Helmsley Castle, built by Robert de Roos,
Lord of Helmsley from 1186 to 1227.
The de Roos family owned the Castle right up until 1508.
The Castle was under siege by parliamentary soldiers during
the Civil War, and after three months of siege the garrison
surrendered in 1644 to Sir Thomas Fairfax.
The Castle was then blown up to prevent it from being used again.
Helmsley has beautiful riverside walks, traditional tea rooms and genteel
country pubs. A favourite haunt for walkers who gather at the market
cross to begin their journey on England's longest long-distance
footpath journey, The Cleveland Way, which continues for 108 miles
around the North York Moors National Park.

Market Place, Pickering

Market Place, Pickering, North-Yorkshire

Pickering, a market town, has many historical buildings including castle ruins
dating back to the 11th Century which were used by King Henry I to found the
hunting grounds in Pickering forest. Between 1100 and 1400, almost every
monarch spent some time in Pickering Castle to enjoy the pleasure of the
chase - one exception was Richard II (d1399) who stayed as a
prisoner on his way to Pontefract and death.

Pickering Castle

The castle was already badly dilapidated when the Civil War began, a
process that was accelerated by the removal of the remaining
lead, wood and iron to make good the defences of Scarborough Castle.

Pickering Castle

Pickering Castle.


Thatched cottage, Thornton-le-Dale


2 miles east of Pickering

One of the most photographed cottages in Thornton-le-Dale, one of the
prettiest villages in Yorkshire. Trout dart through the clear waters of Thornton
Beck as it sparkles and chatters through the village on a great sweeping
curve, like the flourish beneath a signature. It is much loved by the
tourists for 'cute' little bridges that cross the streetside beck to enable
folk to reach their cottages dryshod. In the upstream part of the
village the lawns of graceful Georgian mansions slope down to the beck, and a
footpath gives a close view of a beautiful thatched cottage with three dormer
windows - the type that rise snugly into the thatch.


 Village square, Thornton-le-Dale

Village Square, Thornton-le-Dale

No Yorkshire village pilgrimage would be complete without a look
at its hall, its almshouses of 1657, they were endowed by the
Lumley family, Barons of Scarborough. Its much photographed thatched
cottage beside the Dalby Beck and the church, which contains the
effigy of a fourteenth-century lady, her head beneath a canopy.

Dalby Forest

Dalby forest lies in the south-eastern corner of the North York
Moors National Park in an area once covered by the long gone
Royal Hunting Forest of Pickering. Following the demise of the ancient forest,
the heath became an enormous rabbit warren providing fur for felt hats.
Owned by the Forestry Commission since the 1920's, it has become a
popular place for people to visit as well as providing a varied
wildlife habitat and producing valuable timber.

Whether you're travelling by car, cycle or using the summer 'Moorsbus'
service the forest and it's facilities are all accessed from the 9-mile
Dalby Forest Drive. A feature in it's own right, the drive crosses streams,
winds through valleys, passes a lake and crosses hilltops
between trees and fields.
The Dalby Forest Visitor Centre is nearest to Thornton-le-Dale and Pickering.


Pickering is also the starting location for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway,
where you can take a trip on a Steam Train to several stations situated
in beautiful Newtondale, finally stopping at Grosmont, and passing through
Goathland, the home of the television series 'Heartbeat'.


North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway was given financial backing to enable
George Stephenson to build a rail link from Pickering to Whitby, and
in 1836 at a cost of £130,000 it was completed making this
track one of the oldest pieces of railway engineering in the world.
One horse, or two if required on the steepest hills, were used,
but in 1845 the railway tycoon George Huson acquired the line for
£80,000 and quickly introduced steam locomotives. Many rural train lines
were closed in England in the 1960's under the Beeching Plan and the 130
years old Whitby to Pickering line was to be one of it's victims
. After a public outcry and a wave of public support for the
Yorkshire Moors Railway Preservation Society, British Rail agreed to sell the
first stretch of track to the Society in 1968.
Today this stretch of the track, and in my opinion the prettiest,
brings visitors in abundance carrying over 300,000 passengers a year, to sample
the nostalgia of steam railways, were the passengers felt that the magnificent
locomotive pulling the carriages along it's route was alive.

A day on the Railway offers more than just a ride 18 mile ride on a steam train, with beautifully resored period stations, shops, refreshment rooms, locomotive viewing sheds, historical information, attractive walks and countryside.

Yorkshire Traveller..continued

Yorkshire Traveller..continued

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Date Last Modified: 21/07/09