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With its higgledy-piggledy frontage and partial black-and-white timbering, this inn can't help but catch the eye. Overlooking the marketplace of pretty Helmsley, on the edge of the North York Moors, the former 17th-century coaching inn is well-placed for walks or exploring the town's castle, and independent shops and tea rooms. The extensive ground floor is all low-beamed rooms, wood-panelling and log fires while bedrooms (dog-friendly) share a simple country style. The best are in the original buildings although those in the modern extension have easy access to the tiered walled garden, a quiet place to relax away from the town's bustle. Families are welcome while food is robust and filling and just the ticket after a day's walking.



We took the easy six mile round-trip walk to Rievaulx Abbey, a ruined 12th-century Cistercian abbey which sits in a magical woodland setting beside the River Rye.

Situated in the North York moors, there are plenty of walking trails; Helmsley Castle is a 5-minute stroll away.
By car: around an hour from Leeds, 2 hour 15 minutes from Manchester and 5 hours from London. Free parking on-site.
By train: London Kings Cross to Thirsk takes around 2 hours. The station is a 25-minute taxi ride from the hotel.

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Style & Character

People who want an affordable countryside break in a pretty market town where they can choose to be as active or as lazy as they like will love staying here. We appreciated the bold choice of richly coloured and patterned wallpapers that, mixed with the beams and panelling, create a sense of the building's history yet with modern comforts.

Service & Facilities

With several log fires in the warren of ground-floor rooms, we could always find a cosy corner to hunker down with a book and tea and scones.

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Garden
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

The hotel adores dogs, with all bedrooms able to accommodate them. Dogs are allowed throughout the building apart from a couple of dining areas.


Rooms in the main building are more characterful with creaky floorboards and features such as beams and window seats. Virtually all the rooms offer a bath as well as shower - excellent news for those who like a soak after a good day's walk.

Single Room, Small Room, Room, Classic Room, Feature Room, Superior Room, Family Room, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, iron and ironing board, TV, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

Being able to choose a table next to one of the several fires was a lovely indulgence. If we'd had room, we would have tried the fruit crumble with custard - there were plenty of scraped-clean dessert plates around us.

The Black Swan: traditional pub and restaurant. Classic British cuisine, seasonal menus. Mains include homemade pie, confit pork belly and venison medallions. All-day dining, open daily. Sunday roasts served 12-4pm.

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