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Abbey Trail

The beautiful Yorkshire countryside, with its gently sloping hills, valleys and amazing scenic views, is home to some of England's greatest abbeys. The Abbey Trail links seven of these historic buildings at Kirkstall, Fountains, Byland, Rievaulx, Lastingham, Rosedale and Whitby into a great long distance path with an ecclesiastical and historical theme. The Abbey Trail is 116 miles long and can be completed in just over a week as a long distance walk, but for walkers with limited time it can be conveniently divided into one day sections.

The guide by Clive Newsome divides the route into eight sections, which are: Kirkstall Abbey (near Leeds) to Otley; Otley to Pateley Bridge; Pateley Bridge to Ripon; Ripon to Thirsk; Thirsk to Helmsley; Helmsley to Rosedale Abbey; Rosedale Abbey to Grosmont; Grosmont to Whitby. Clive Newsome provides fascinating background information on the countryside and places of historic interest along the route. These include: Otley, the birthplace of Thomas Chippendale; Pateley Bridge, a market town with fine old buildings; Ripon, with its famed cathedral that includes the work of Kilburn's 'Mousey' Thompson; and the destination town of Whitby with its historic harbour and old town.


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Start: Kirkstall Abbey

Grid Ref: SE 259360

End: Whitby

Grid Ref: NZ 909100

Distance: 185km

Walking Time: 8 days

Counties Traversed

Explorer™ Maps
288; 297; 298; 302; OL26; OL27

Abbey Trail