No ads have been saved yet.
Your last viewed and saved ads will appear here

Free Motorhome Stopover in Helmsley, North Yorkshire

During a visit to North Yorkshire in January we came across a rare thing in the UK, a free motorhome stopover in Helmsley, North Yorkshire. The stopover is situated in the long-stay Cleveland Way car park within the overflow section, and is free of charge between 6.30pm and 9am.  

If you take advantage of this stopover you will find there is plenty to keep you occupied as well as fed and watered. We travel with our rescue collie cross called Finn so are always on the lookout for dog-friendly places and I am pleased to report that Helmsley didn’t disappoint. In fact, it has been described as the perfect English market town with something for everyone.

History and Facts

  • In Doomsday book called Elmeslac – Helm’s Forest Clearing
  • Only market town situated in the North York Moors National Park
  • The oldest surviving house in Helmsley is Canon’s Garth, the vicarage.
  • The Cleveland Way National Trail starts in Helmsley
  • Evidence of first settlement in 3000 BC
  • Sir Charles Duncombe, a wealthy bank acquired the manor and castle of Helmsley in 1695 for £90,000 from the bankrupt estate of the late Duke of Buckingham
  • Population of approximate 3000 people – 51% female / 49% male

Dog-friendly things to do in Helmsley


Helmsley Castle

Helmsley Castle is situated right next to the motorhome stopover so why not drop in to explore 900 years of history. The castle is managed by English Heritage and welcomes dogs on lead in the grounds. The ruined remains and surrounding area is a great sight to see and is definitely worth taking some time to have a look around the unusual design and twelth century history.



Helmsley Walled Garden

Helmsley walled garden is situated directly behind the motorhome stopover and was originally built in 1756. It has developed from its derelict state in 1994 to today having a range of themed rooms that you can enjoy. Dogs are welcome in all parts of the garden and both inside and outside at the Vine House Café.

Duncombe Park

Duncombe Park belongs to the historic houses collection, which is the largest collection of independently owned historic house and gardens. The gardens are open to explore six days a week (closed Saturday) and in the grounds you will also find the National Centre for Birds of Prey. The grounds are dog-friendly. The house is closed to the public.

Helmsley Brewing Company

If you like your beer, then take a tour at around Helmsley Brewery. It is dog-friendly, and you can sample before you buy.

If you want to venture further afield and love history why not visit Byland Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey or Nunnington Hall.

Dog-friendly places to eat

We had a lovely dinner in The Feathers Hotel and drinks in the dog-friendly bar at The Black Swan. Also highly recommended by my sister-in-law is the La Trattoria Italian restaurant, all of which welcome dogs.

There are lots of other dog-friendly places to try like The Cocoa Tree, Barkers Café Bar and Porters Coffee Shop.

Walks in the area

Once you have sampled the food why not take a lovely walk or alternatively work up an appetite first. The Helmsley town website has five great walks in the area that you can download.

The walks range from 1 mile with a gentle stroll around town to a more challenging 8 miles so there is something to suit all ages and abilities.

  • Helmsley and Beck Dale (6.5 miles) – Download the route map here
  • Helmsley and Riccal Dale (8 miles) – Download the route map here
  • Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey (7 miles) – Download the route map here
  • Helmsley and the River Rye (4 miles) – Download the route map here
  • Helmsley Discovery Trail (1 mile) – Download the route map here

Campsites in the area

We haven’t stayed at any of these as we use the free motorhome stopover but if you require facilities and wish to stop in the area here are a few options for you.

If you are still searching for your caravan or motorhome, check out what is for sale on this website and start planning for all the amazing adventures to come.


Adventures In Our Van
Caravan Blogger
Published on 10-09-2019
My name is Anne and I travel with my husband Andy. Back in 2016, we made some changes in our life (we are now both self-employed) so we can take longer holidays in our campervan with Finn our rescue collie cross, rather than the traditional 2 weeks that we were restricted to before. We have had various campervans for over 13 years, even running a campervan rental business for a few years. Our first van was an old converted VW T4, which amazingly did successfully take us across the channel on holiday to France one year, albeit very slowly. Our current van which we have owned for a couple of years is an Autotrail V-line 620. We have now completed several extended trips across Europe over the last three years, as well as many shorter trips around the UK which I write about on our blog