Deli-icious North Yorkshire town
"Fab for foodies"
If you're a picnic-aholic, then Helmsley has a lot to offer. It is only a small market town, but it boasts two excellent delicatassens on either end of the village square, and a top-notch cake shop, where you will lose your eyes just looking at the meringues in the window. There is also a very nice ice-cream shop near to the main tourist car-park, which has unusual varieties (eg: cranberry, pistachio) alongside the usual chocolate or vanilla.
"Biker boys' day out"
One slightly incongruous thing about Helmsley, is that it is always full of born-again bikers - the forty-somethings who buy the Harley Davidson they weren't allowed when they were twenty-somethings, and who spend their Sunday's tearing up the North Yorkshire country lanes to Helmsley. I can't quite understand why you'd want to spend a summer's day baking yourself in leather and a helmet, but when you're tired of the North Yorks TT, Helmsley is a good place to stop off a for a drink and a mosey around.
"The village essentials and a top-notch Abbey"
It's not a big place, but there's enough to keep you occupied at Helmsley. There's some fun browsing shops (country clothing, shoes, books and a great kitchen shop). There's a ruined castle (National Trust), which is good for a clamber round, and the walled garden. This last is a work in progress, so it isn't a great show garden, but it is a good place for a picnic. And if you fancy taking a trowel and doing a bit of weeding, they are always looking for volunteers. Just outside of Helmsley though (and a decent walk) is Rievaulx Abbey - a spectacular ruin in a gem of a spot. The Cistercian monks really knew about location, location, location, and there is something very serene about the setting.