Duncombe Park

Helmsley YO62 5EB

The rather fine Baroque country house of Duncombe Park – built originally in 1713 – lords it over Helmsley, and while the house itself is closed to the public, its gardens and parkland are firm favourites for a summer stroll and picnic, or a winter tramp in the woods and grounds. The 35 acres of landscaped gardens contain terraces, temples and woodland walks, while out in the 18th-century park (parts of which are a National Nature Reserve) you can encounter some of England's oldest trees – mighty specimens up to 500 years old, remnants of the Elizabethan 'wild wood' that used to cover the Helsmley landscape. For a peek at the private house, check the events pages of the website – there are craft fairs at Easter, August bank holiday and in November, while other large-scale events sometimes close the gardens for the day. There's a tea room in the grounds, while you're only a short walk from the centre of Helmsley itself.

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