Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Helmsley Welcomes You with Open Arms; Steve Howarth Takes a Yorkshire Weekend Break That Combines Past, Present and Pampering

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Helmsley Welcomes You with Open Arms; Steve Howarth Takes a Yorkshire Weekend Break That Combines Past, Present and Pampering

Article excerpt

FILLED with history and quirky shops and surrounded by the beautiful North Riding area, Helmsley is home to the four-star Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa - a haven of peace, tranquility, comfort... and Black Sheep bitter!

Towering above the sleepy town is Helmsley Castle - or rather half of it.

It looks like an angry giant has taken a gigantic chainsaw to the huge 12th century tower and cut it clean in half.

What remains is still mightily impressive, despite the best efforts of Cromwell's forces during the English Civil War.

It was they who were responsible for the carnage, partially destroying the ancient East Tower after the castle fell following a three-month siege so it could never again be used as a stronghold.

If you're into historic ruins there's also nearby Rievaulx Abbey.

A peaceful haven of calm now but this is where Henry VIII ran amok in 1538 after dissolving what was once one of the wealthiest abbeys in England.

The area also boasts impressive stately home Duncombe Park, completed in 1713 and rebuilt in 1895 after a massive fire.

Although not currently open to the public because it is still home to the Duncombe family, the impressive National Trust-run gardens are, and the house has been used for period TV and film dramas including BAFTA-winning Parade's End, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Parts of the Feversham Arms are equally historic. Originally an old coaching inn, the pub was rebuilt and renamed by the Earl of Feversham in 1855.

It was greatly extended in the 1970s and again in 2009 when the spa was added, resulting in the luxurious facility we see today, boasting 33 rooms, 20 of which are suites with balconies, and a heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.

The extensive spa is very popular, as we found out when you-knowwho only just managed to get squeezed in for a facial treatment as I tried out the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. …

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