The Abbey Way Guided Trail
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Hills & moorland
Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
This 50 mile, Best of the Abbey Trail combines the stunning North Yorkshire Moors and the lovely Esk Valley with some of England’s most beautiful 11th century abbeys: Byland, Riveaulx, Lastingham, Rosedale and Whitby.
The trail also visits Helmsley, a bustling market town with its 12 century castle, the Rosedale Valley, Hutton le Hole, Grosmont (home of the North Yorkshire Moors steam railway) and concludes with a clifftop coastal walk to Whitby Abbey and Old Town.
Whitby is truly unique. Venture into this tight and twisty town whilst exploring the local architecture. Larpool Hall provides excellent accommodation and spacious public rooms. A magnificent location situated above the harbour and perfect for our walking and leisure activity holidays.
Larpool Hall has 28 newly refurbished bedrooms in the main building. Rooms at the front of the house enjoy wonderful views across the Esk Valley.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including an evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Larpool Hall is accessible to wheelchair users
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
Day 1: Arrival Day
Your leader will give an introductory talk about the holiday.
Day 2: Bylands to Helmsley
Our walk starts by the ruin on Byland Abbey, described in the 14th century as “one of the three shining lights of the north”. Then passing through the small valley village of Wass, we ascend Wass Bank and Moor to cross the A170, a route since pre-historic times. We cross woodland and moor, then follow the River Rye to arrive at the famous Rievaulx Abbey, founded in 1132 and the first Cistercian Abbey built in the North. Returning to Rievaulx Bridge we join the Cleveland Way along Whinny Bank to reach our final destination for today, Helmsley, with its medieval street plan and striking ruined castle. 8 miles (14km) with 750 feet (280m) of ascent.
Day 3: Kirkbymoorside to Rosedale Abbey
Starting from the little market town of Kirkbymoorside, we walk through open farmland on old lanes to the “surprise view” at Gillamoor, then down to cross Douthwaite Dale and around the Nab to arrive in Hutton le Hole, one of the most attractive villages in the National Park. The passing St Mary Magdalene’s Well to reach Lastingham, with is famous crypt, containing the remains of the original monastery built in AD 654. The we strike out across Spaunton Moor to descend into the beautiful Rosedale valley. Todays walk finishes in the village of Rosedale Abbey, where a little remains of the Cistercian Priory founded in 1158. 10 miles (16km) with 1,200 feet (360m) of ascent.
Day 4: Rosedale Abbey to Glaisedale
Our route today explores the moors and dales of this lovely part of the National Park. Starting from Rosedale Abbey, our path follows the Northdale Beck and the old Rosedale mining railway track onto Rosedale Moor. Then we take the George Gap Causeway, an old “trod” or pathway with views down into Great Fryup Dale with its scattered farms. We then follow a good track, Glaisdale Rigg, across Glaisdale Moor, this is one of the highest of the North Yorkshire moors, with views opening up of Glaisdale itself, full of slate roofed houses built for the Victorian ironstone miners. Finally, we descend into Glaisdale where our trail ends for today. 11 miles (18km) with 1,050 feet (320m) of ascent.
Day 5: Glaisdale to Larpool Hall
The walk today features the picturesque Esk Valley. We start from Beggars Bridge outside Glaisdale and walk alongside the river through Arnecliff Woods. Continuing on the pretty Esk Valley riverside walk, we take a detour to visit the steam train station at Grosmont with its many tearooms. Our trail continues along the Esk valley walk through Sleights and Ruswarp, before crossing the magnificently restored railway viaduct to reach Larpool Hall. 10½ miles (17km) with 750ft (220m) of ascent.
Day 6: Larpool Hall to Whitby Abbey
Leaving directly from the house, we follow the track of the old Whitby to Scarborough railway line, now a dedicated footpath & cycle way until we cross over to the cliff top path and start towards our final destination; the famous Whitby Abbey, standing on the headland above Whitby old town. After an optional walk around the Abbey and celebratory refreshments, there will be plenty of time to explore the old town and harbour. We’ll finish our trail by walking the final 2.3km back to Larpool Hall. 7 miles (11½km) with 850ft (260m) of ascent.
Day 7: Departure day
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors.
Discover the North York Moors
During your stay at Larpool Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Whitby:
Whitby is a bustling harbour town and a popular tourist destination. From Larpool Hall it is a 1½ miles downhill walk, or a short drive to the town centre. The town has a full range of facilities including shops, banks, pubs and cafés. If you don’t mind the queue, the Magpie café on the waterfront is said to serve England’s best fish and chips!
The iconic ruined abbey commands a wonderful position above the harbour and can be reached by climbing the famous 199 steps. About 10 minutes' drive or a 1½ mile walk. www.english-heritage.org.uk//whitby-abbey
The pretty fishing village of Staithes is a pleasant spot to visit. Young children may well recognise the village as the setting for Old Jacks Boat on CBeebies. Around 25 minutes' drive from Whitby.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway operates steam trains over its 18 mile line between Grosmont and Pickering and in the summer some trains continue over the British Rail branch line to Whitby. This is a highly scenic route: one reason why the line has become Britain’s most visited steam railway. The well-kept and historic stations are worth seeing for their own sake and you may well recognise Goathland which has doubled as ‘Adensfield’ on the Heartbeat TV series, and as ‘Hogsmeade’ in the Harry Potter films. Either join the train at Whitby, or at Grosmont, about 20 minutes' drive away. www.nymr.co.uk
Scarborough & Stephen Joseph Theatre
Scarborough is a quintessential Victorian seaside resort with plenty of attractions for both young and old. The Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough is home to Alan Ayckbourn, the renowned playwright. It has two theatres - the round and the McCarthy which doubles as a cinema, plus a restaurant and shop. www.sjt.uk.com
Whitby to Scarborough Cycle Trail
This superb trail uses the route of disused railway line and offers miles of traffic-free cycling, often with outstanding sea views. The trail passes right next to Larpool Hall and heads south to Robin Hoods Bay, Ravenscar, or if you are feeling keen to Scarborough. Bikes can be hired at nearby Hawsker. www.trailways.info
Rydale Folk Museum
This museum is located at Hutton-Le-Hole, about 50 minutes' drive from Whitby. This pretty village west of Pickering that has a feel of a Cotswold village, being built of mellow stone and with a stream though the middle. The museum houses exhaustive displays of rural life and crafts in buildings spread over several acres. www.ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk
Located near Malton about an hour's drive from Whitby, Castle Howard is one of Britain’s grandest stately homes. It is well known as the location for the TV series Brideshead Revisited. Today the house is still owned by the Howard family and the building hosts many exhibitions & events throughout the year. Also of interest are the extensive gardens that contain a formal rose garden and elegant ponds and fountains. www.castlehoward.co.uk
One of Britain’s most attractive historic cities, York is about a 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Larpool Hall. Attractions include the city walls, Minster, National Railway Museum, and Yorvik Viking Centre. www.yorkminster.org www.nrm.org.uk or www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk
Travel to Whitby
Our address is: Larpool Hall, Larpool Drive, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4ND
The nearest railway station to Larpool Hall is at Whitby, which is at the end of a long branch line from Middlesbrough.
However, most guests find that travelling via Scarborough station is more convenient. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 2 mile journey from Whitby station takes approximately 10 minutes, with a cost of around £7 per taxi. The 21 mile journey from Scarborough rail station takes approximately 40 minutes, with a cost of around £30. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Larpool Hall Manager.
The 93 bus runs regularly between Scarborough station and Whitby. As you approach Whitby, alight by the Larpool Industrial Estate. From here it is an 800 metre walk to Larpool Hall. See www.traveline.info for bus times.
Most guests approach Whitby via the A171 from Teesside or the A169 from Pickering and Malton; these roads converge at a roundabout about 2 miles outside Whitby. After this roundabout and as you approach Whitby, cross another roundabout then turn right at the traffic lights signposted to Scarborough. Cross the large bridge over the River Esk, then immediately turn right into Larpool Lane. After 500 metres turn left into the narrowing road of Larpool Drive. Larpool Hall is directly ahead at the end of this road. A large car park is available in the grounds.
Travelling from overseas
Manchester Airport is served by a range of long-haul flights. There are trains every hour from the airport to Scarborough with one change at Manchester Piccadilly. Allow 2hrs 50 minutes to Scarborough - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow 4½ hours to reach Scarborough. From Heathrow first take the Piccadilly line Underground train to London Kings Cross station. From here take a train to Scarborough (1 change at York) - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Scarborough you can complete the journey to Whitby by bus or taxi (see above).