Best of The Abbey Way Guided Trail

Sun Star on Whitby Abbey
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided Trails
Walking Grade: 3
from £899pp

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.

Holiday Highlights

  • Helmsley, a bustling market town with its 12th century castle
  • The Rosedale Valley
  • Hutton le Hole, Grosmont (home of the North Yorkshire Moors steam railway)
  • A clifftop coastal walk to Whitby Abbey and Old Town

What’s included

  • Full board ensuite accommodation
  • Experienced HF Holidays Walking Leader
  • All transport to and from the walks

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

47 miles with 7-11 miles and up to 1,200 feet of ascent in a day

Your leader will give an introductory talk about the holiday.

Our walk starts by the ruin on Byland Abbey, described in the 14th century as “one of the three shining lights of the north”. Passing through the small valley village of Wass, we ascend Wass Bank and Moor to cross the A170, a route since pre-historic times. Crossing woodland and moor, we 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 destination for today, Helmsley, with its medieval street plan and striking ruined castle.

8 miles (14km) with 750 feet (280m) of ascent.

A fantastic day with lots to see. We start from the bustling market town of Kirkbymoorside and follow country lanes and woodland paths to the pretty village of Hutton le Hole. It's then off to Lastingham, famed for its crypt containing the remains of the original monastery built in AD 654. The wild side of the moors now greets us as we cross to Rosedale Abbey and the remains of the Cistercian Priory.

10 miles (16km) with 1,200 feet (360m) of ascent.

A day without any walks programmed, giving you the opportunity to explore the local area independently.

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 mining railway track onto Rosedale Moor. We then follow the George Gap Causeway across Glaisdale Moor - one of the highest of the North Yorkshire moors, before descending into the village of Glaisdale where today’s trail finishes.

11 miles (18km) with 1,050 feet (320m) of ascent.

The walk today takes in the picturesque Esk Valley. We start from Beggars Bridge, just outside Glaisdale, and walk alongside the river through Arnecliff Woods, before taking a detour to visit the steam train station at Grosmont. We continue along the Esk Valley through Sleights and Ruswarp, before crossing the magnificently restored railway viaduct to reach Larpool Hall.

10½ miles (17km) with 750 feet (220m) of ascent.

Leaving Larpool Hall, we follow the track of the old Whitby to Scarborough railway line before crossing over to the cliff top path and heading towards our final destination - the famous Whitby Abbey. 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 2km back to Larpool Hall.

7 miles (11.5km) with 850 feet (260m) of ascent.

Larpool Hall

Escape to Whitby, whose handsome harbour and medieval streets are famously the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and home to the world’s best fish and chips, for a stay in Larpool Hall. This imposing Grade II listed Georgian mansion has been part of the town for hundreds of years and has evolved to offer an updated take on traditional hospitality. The Hall retains its original grandeur and styling, while offering guests the perfect mix of contemporary comforts to deliver a large amount of atmosphere and character. Sweep up the magnificent staircase, marvel at the impressive fireplaces, watch through the large picture windows and feel yourself transported. With 29 rooms, 14 acres of attractive grounds and views over the Esk Valley, you couldn’t be better placed. Step out to explore the coast, Captain Cook country or walk on the Cleveland Way. Discover Robin Hood’s Bay and hunt for fossils or head deep into the North York Moors for a contrasting landscape carpeted in sweetly scented heather.


Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.


Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms, where contemporary design touches complement the original architecture and features. With 29 bedrooms, Larpool Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from. Choose the very spacious Room 15 on the ground floor for its lemon and grey styling, super-comfy sofa in front of a large fireplace and views across the Esk Valley. Climb to Room 2 on the first floor for similarly expansive vistas from the front of the house, or settle in under the eaves and exposed beams of beautiful Room 30 on the second floor of the house.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.


Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, multi-purpose activity room, three lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring the tight and twisty streets of Whitby or the windswept headlands and smugglers’ haunts of the Yorkshire coast, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Relax outside in the pretty courtyard or stroll the 14 acres of grounds and gardens with their manicured lawns and mature trees. Grab a well-thumbed copy of Dracula and hole up in the lounge, or join fellow guests in the large ballroom with its comfy seating and central dance floor to discuss your own adventures. The small, sociable bar provides another great space in which to relax.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Larpool Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of local flavours.


For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10674_0050 - Larpool Hall - Exterior

Getting to Larpool Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.


  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.


  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
24 Jul - 31 Jul
7 Guided Trail £955 £945 Save £10 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
01 Oct - 08 Oct
7 Guided Trail £899 Available Trip Notes Book Now

Important Information

At this time, due to Covid-19 safety restrictions, sharing a room on a Trails Holiday with someone who is not in your own personal “bubble” isn’t an option, but we hope that it will be by the time you travel. If it isn’t, we will try our best to accommodate you in a single room, with the resulting supplement. If a single room is not available, we may need to cancel your booking. Alternatives include, booking a single room now to guarantee your place on the holiday, or finding a friend/family member to bubble up with and share your room. Your shared room booking is accepted based on this understanding.

7 nights
Guided Trails
Walking Grade:

7 nights from £899pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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