Rievaulx Abbey

The grounds of Rievaulx Abbey are open. Takeaway catering is available. Our shop is open but all other indoor areas remain closed, and safety measures are in place to keep everyone safe. You need to book your visit in advance. Please keep in mind the government’s latest advice on travelling. Find out more below.

What you need to know

We've made some changes to help keep you safe, and things might be a little different when you visit. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Do we need to Book?

    Advance booking is now essential. We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. Make sure you've read our ticketing FAQ before you book.

    Book Tickets

    Booking FAQs

  • What parts of the site are open?
    • Abbey and grounds - All outdoor spaces will be open as usual.
    • Museum - The museum is closed. 
    • Café - Take away food and drink will be available. 
    • Shop - The shop is closed. 
  • Visiting Rievaulx Abbey after 16 May

    Rievaulx Abbey's interior spaces will open on 17 May, in line with government guidelines. At Rievaux this includes the café and the museum. 

    The café will open with indoor and outdoor seating, and it will also offer takeaway. The shop will also open.

    Face coverings are required within all of our interior spaces.
    We have additional Covid-secure measures in place including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and limits on visitor numbers.


  • Keeping you Safe

    We've made a number of changes to help keep you safe. Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.

    You can visit our reopening page for information on general safety measures we've taken to help keep you safe.

    General Safety Information

  • Do I need to wear a face covering?

    Face coverings must be worn in all indoor areas. We won't be able to provide you with a face covering, so please come prepared so you don't miss out.

Our Aelred

A new exhibition trail highlighting one of the world’s most fascinating saints has opened up at Rievaulx Abbey. 

Through a series of information panels Friendship, Leadership and Sainthood explores the life and times of Aelred, a 12th century abbot and saint from Rievaulx Abbey who has become an unlikely LGBTQ+ icon. The exhibition trail, which opened in 2021, looks at the twenty years that he spent at the abbey, his sainthood and modern role. An inspirational leader and writer, his influence resonates through the centuries with many of his works, especially those on friendship, still read today by people of all faiths and none.

The exhibition trail, which will be in place until the end of 2022, is free of charge and separate information leaflets are available. 

The life of Aelred of Rievaulx

Guidebook: Rievaulx Abbey

Price: £5.50


1131-2First Abbey

Walter Espec, lord of Helmsley, builds temporary timber structures for the first monks sent from Clairvaux in France.

Find out more about the history of Rievaulx Abbey

1135-6Stone Structures

William, the first abbot, begins work on the first stone buildings.

Membership starts from £51

Membership gives you unlimited access to castles and gardens, historic houses and abbeys, and kids go free ...

Join Now


Live and breathe the story of England at royal castles, historic gardens, forts & defences, world-famous prehistoric sites and many others.


Free entry for up to six children accompanied by an adult member (under 18 years and within the family group).


Complimentary full colour handbook worth £10.95. Plus our award winning Members’ Magazine delivered four times a year.


'step into englands story