Things to see and do
Welcome to Rievaulx Abbey
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. To book your visit, click here.
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.
- Abbey and grounds - All outdoor spaces will be open as usual.
- Museum - The museum remains open as usual.
- Toilets - The toilets will be open. Please note that the toilets are only open to visitors with a booked ticket to visit the abbey.
- Café - The Café remains open with a limited offer. You do not need a ticket to visit the café, although bear in mind that parking at the Abbey is still reserved to visitors with a pre-booked ticket.
- Shop - The shop remains open as usual with limits on number of people at any given time.
- Face coverings - Face coverings must be worn in Rievaulx Abbey's indoor shop, café and all other indoor spaces. We won't be able to give you a face covering so please come prepared so you don't miss out.
Stop by the museum
Discover the rich past of this powerful medieval monastery in our elegant museum displaying previously unseen artefacts from the abbey including elaborate medieval stone carvings, chess pieces and gold coins which tell the story of the rise and dramatic fall of the first Cistercian abbey in the North of England.
Rievaulx Abbey Cafe
Enjoy stunning views of Rievaulx Abbey as you enjoy a treat in our café. The café serves hot and cold drinks and a selection of high quality food using locally sourced ingredients. There's a choice of hot and cold meals, sandwiches, soup, cakes, tray bakes and scones all freshly prepared on site.
Our homemade soup is always vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy free, and we offer more options for those with a vegetarian, gluten-free or dairy-free diet. Children's lunchboxes are available, and we can offer smaller portions of some of the main dishes especially for younger visitors.
We also have an outdoor terrace where you can soak up the atmosphere of the Abbey while enjoying your meal or afternoon tea. The cafe is accessible without admission to the Rievaulx Abbey site and is open whenever the Abbey is open, but note that we close 30 minutes before the site.
Take the audio tour
Pick up an audio tour when you visit and discover 900 years of fascinating history. Learn about the monks in medieval times. Hear how they devoted their lives to spiritual matters yet at the same time established a thriving business to become one of the wealthiest monasteries in Britain.
Find out about the abbey's role in the development of the Cistercian order across Europe, and its important place in England's medieval economy.
Grab a trail sheet from the visitor centre and find out all about life as a monk at Rievaulx Abbey. Discover what monks ate, how they communicated and where they went to the toilet! Would you have liked to be a medieval monk?
Have a game of hide and seek in the maze-like rooms of the infirmary and snap a family selfie with a view from the abbey church. Enjoy activities during the school holidays too.
Lace up your boots
Walk in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims from the stronghold of Helmsley Castle to the breathtaking Rievaulx Abbey. Discover more about the castle at Helmsley, which belonged to the founder of Rievaulx, and explore the beautiful and peaceful Rievaulx Valley.
Download our walking map here. Theres also a free podcast available to download featuring historian Julian Humphreys who picks out key landmarks along the way.
The walk takes around one hour following the Cleveland Way. Unfortunately, parts of the path are not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.