Back in the centre and into the 21st century, Helmsley caters amply for the modern day too. Its art centre hosts performances of music, theatre, cinema, comedy, dance and more, and acts as a valuable creative hub within the town. Helmsley also has one of the country’s best spa hotels, with the Feversham Arms and Verbena Spa providing a luxurious and relaxing day and night for romance, fun, or frankly any reason you fancy to spoil yourself.
There are an enjoyable mix of shops to peruse here too, from clothes at Helmsley Outdoors, Carters Country Wear, Pennita and Crane Vintage, to interiors and gifts at The Ginger Bear, White Rose, Homle Lea and Agnus & Co. But a market town like this always tempts you towards the local food and drink, and it is there that the shops really excel, notably at the specialists of their names, the Traditional Sweet Shop, Helmsley Wines, and especially at the renowned deli filled with great Yorkshire produce Hunters of Helmsley.
Of course, you will not just want to take these goodies home, but also eat and drink whilst here, and there are unsurprisingly an array of excellent cafes, restaurants and pubs to do just that at. For daytime comfort try any of Crema Coffee House, Porters Coffee Shop, The Beck Tea Rooms, Auntie Anne’s Castlegate Bakery, The Cocoa Tree or Mannion & Co. Later, great restaurant food comes from Spain at Origin or Italy at Gepetto’s and La Trattoria. Helsmley also produces its very own sweet treats by Ryeburn who create incredible ice-creams and chocolates. And for that all important pint or two, The Royal Oak and The Feathers are classic homely inns, whilst Helmsley Brewing Company is a cracking microbrewery with a tap room to sample their on-site ales.
Phew. You might want to make this one a particularly long weekend. Or visit again. And again. And again.