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Welcome to Helmsley

"Visit Helmsley" is the official website for "Helmsley in Business". We are a group committed to promoting the beautiful market town of Helmsley, the only market town located within the boundary of the North York Moors National Park.

Our membership is varied, incorporating pubs, hotels, tourist attractions, cafés, restaurants and retailers including boutiques, delis, galleries, salons and gift shops. We offer quality accommodation, good transport links and plenty of interesting and unique things to do; whether you are looking for good food, shopping and relaxation, or if you are looking for action and adventure!

Watch out for the "Free WiFi" icon for all businesses in Helmsley that offer that valuable facility and look here for a Business Map. If you want to get in touch with the Committee for Helmsley in Business, please use this email address: enquiries@visithelmsley.co.uk.

Magna Carta in Helmsley: June 14th 2015

To mark the date, activities will run across Helmsley throughout the day, and include a dedicated ‘Living History’ path along the walkway from the town up to the original steps of Helmsley Castle.

Click here to see the Living History Path Map for the locations of all the attractions.

Storytellers and Jugglers will wander amongst visitors, while Walkabout Magician Jay Rawlings will be on hand to show people his medieval magic, and Helmsley Arts Centre's 1812 Youth Theatre will perform their specially commissioned street theatre piece Magna Carta: Helmsley's Story!, a comedy romp through the history of the period.

Traditional Morris Dancers will entertain the crowds, and the Town Council have arranged for the much-loved Bilsdale Silver Band to perform in the Market Place at 4.15. Businesses will also be taking part, with themed decorations, floral arrangements and window displays, shopkeepers in medieval costumes and a Shield Trail treasure hunt for families.

Other activities include a ducking stool, stocks, spinning demonstrations, a Scout’s campfire, Knights in Armour, Birds of Prey, food and drink tastings and jugglers.

Organised by Helmsley in Business group, the daytime activities tie in with those being organised by the Town Council and English Heritage, which include an evening picnic at the castle on 14th June for local residents.

Em Whitfield Brooks of Helmsley in Business, who is also artistic director at Helmsley Arts Centre, said: “It’s often said that the Magna Carta was Great Britain’s most valuable export, ever, to the rest of the world. It is of huge historical importance, and the fact that Helmsley played such a vital role in it deserves to be honoured.

“We’ve had lots of fun thinking up medieval activities and how to dress the town up. It should be an absolutely fantastic day for families, history buffs, tourists, locals - in fact anyone! With lots of free activities and our Living History trail, complete with actors, storytellers and dancing, it promises to be an event to remember. And you might just learn a bit of history too!”

Going Bananas! Lynn Helps Orangutan Orphanage in Borneo

Lynn Hempsall, co-owner of Helmsley's Traditional Sweet Shop, is leaving on a self-funded month-long trip to Borneo on 4th June, to offer a helping hand at the sanctuary.

To help raise desperately needed funds for the charity, the Traditional Sweet Shop, which is based in Helmsley’s Barker’s Yard, is now selling bags of 'Bananas for Budi', full of the much-loved yellow foam sweets. Costing just £1.50 each, the whole amount will be donated to the orphanage. There will also be a "Guess the number of sweets in the jar" competition on 28th and 29th May, with the nearest guess winning the whole jar of goodies.

The sanctuary teaches orphaned baby orangutans how to be adults and is run by International Animal Rescue. Budi was just one baby that arrived at the centre at the beginning of the year critically ill after losing his mother. With the intensive care and dedication of the sanctuary team he is now able to walk, has a friend and is ready to go to baby school to start the first stages of learning how to be an adult. Ultimately the hope is to release him back into a safe area.

Wild orangutans are depleting in numbers and along with the Sumatran elephants, Sumatran tigers and other species will become extinct in the next 20 years due to the logging and deforestation of their habitat for the production of cheap palm oil. Palm oil is found in many of our daily food items, make up and cleaning products, but much of it is not produced ethically.

Lynn, who lives in Helmsley, explains: "When we set the sweet shop up we were careful in the selection of suppliers we worked with, as it is important to us that the majority of sweets we sell are produced in the traditional manner so they both taste as they should taste and not rely on the use of palm oil.

"I have always loved primates and one of my dreams was to go on a holiday to see orangutans in the wild. But it’s just devastating to think that in 20 years there may be nowhere left to see them. This trip is a dream come true, although I am also terrified. This is a big challenge for me as I don't like flying, and I haven't travelled outside Europe before, or travelled alone. Holidays are usually nice hotels and a bit of luxury! This is going to be very basic, but what an experience. It would be great to be able to raise some funds before I go to help buy some equipment. It costs £100 for a climbing frame and £25 for a wheelbarrow to take the little guys to Orang school. I am also taking some veterinary supplies over with me and some text books they need. So come along to the Sweet Shop over the next week and join in all the monkey business!"

Lynn hopes to tweet about her travels @Lynn_Sweeties.

Image credits: Lisa Burtenshaw.

You can donate to International Animal Rescue directly here.

Magna Carta: The 800th Anniversary

In celebration of the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede, a video has been produced, giving a brief history of Magna Carta, Helmsley and its Baron, Robert de Ros (pronounced "Roos"!)

The video is presented by Helmsley Town Councillor, Martin Vander Weyer.


Blue Box Digital Media

The official Magna Carta Barons website details the plans that towns & villages are making to celebrate 800 or more years of their history in 2015. Click here for Helmsley's page.

From the "Magna Carta Barons" website:
The names of the twenty-five barons elected as sureties or guarantors of Magna Carta are now part of the historical record.

Their lives and achievements have been well documented and, rightly or wrongly, many people proudly claim descent from them. Yet these men were very much a product of those unsettled times. They were the aristocratic elite of Anglo-Norman society, holding large swathes of land from the king, particularly in the North of England and East Anglia.

Each baron had at least one barony that was made up of a number of fees or manors, and one manor in particular was the caput onouris, the chief manor. Eight centuries later, unsurprisingly, few of the barons' descendants are connected with the communities that developed on these manors.

More information regarding Helmsley's celebrations for Magna Carta will be posted shortly.

The Best Fish & Chip Shops in Yorkshire
Yorkshire Life have listed Scott's Fish & Chips of Helmsley in its selection of best fish & chip shops in Yorkshire. You can see the listing along with all the other entrioes on the Yorkshire Life website.
Let Them Knit Cake!

With the North York Moors laying claim to the title of "Britain's Capital of Cake", and Helmsley home to many fantastic tea rooms, coffee shops, bakeries and delis, Christine Bentley, the owner of Castle Stores Wool Shop in Helmsley, and her friend and customer Anna Lupton from Ampleforth, decided to launch their own homage to the cake - with zero calories.

Entrants to the competition must knit or crochet a cake of their choosing, which will then be displayed from 1st - 25th September 2015 at Castle Stores on Church Street in Helmsley.

From 26th September the cakes will be made available for members of the public to buy. The money raised through the festival will be split between the Malton Norton & District Hospital League of Friends and Sheffield Children's Hospital.

Christine Bentley, the owner of Castle Stores: "Everyone loves cake and we’re very proud of the North York Moors' reputation as the Capital of Cake. We wanted to put our own spin on it, and help raise money for some very worthwhile charities at the same time. After the success of our fantastic Christmas Yarn Bomb for Small Business Saturday, we wanted to create another knitting challenge, but this time ask people from beyond the town to get involved. We can't wait to see the entries - whether your favourite is a Victoria Sponge, a Yorkshire Curd Tart or an elaborate ten tiered wedding cake, this is one bit of baking which is guaranteed to rise to the occasion, with no soggy bottoms!"

Entries must be sent, along with a £3 entry fee, to the address below by 1st September and will be on display for visitors to come and see until 25th September, when the judges will choose their winner. Cakes will then be sold to raise additional funds for the charities, so unfortunately cannot be returned.

Christine Bentley: Castle Stores, 27 Church Street, Helmsley , North Yorkshire YO62 5AD

UK's Best Small Shop 2015

Hunters of Helmsley who have just won "UK's Best Small Shop 2015" at the House of Commons today (25th February 2015).

Huge congratulations to Chris, Christine and all the staff who work so hard and are so deserving of this National recognition! Read one of the first news articles here: The Grocer Magazine.

Visit Helmsley | Promotional Video!

Following on from our "teaser trailer" which generated over 300 views in 3 days, this is the official promotional video. Enjoy!

You will see at the top of each page, just under the "Visit Helmsley" logo, an icon for YouTube. This will take you directly to the Visit Helmsley channel on YouTube owned by Helmsley in Business and operated by Blue Box Support.

All our online media will be published here going forward, so pay the channel a visit and please "Subscribe"!

View the video directly on YouTube here.

AOL: Best Christmas Breaks in the UK

Following on from the Daily Telegraph feature on the Best Places to Raise a Family, internet firm AOL has published a report on the "Best Christmas breaks in the UK".

Starting with; "If there's no way you'd be anywhere but the UK during the festive period but would still like to escape your home town for a Christmas mini-break, here are some cracking destinations for Christmas markets, ice skating and festive fun......"

The article goes on to feature Helmsley as one of only eleven locations!

Read the article here.

Daily Telegraph: Britain's Top 20 Best Places to Raise a Family

Helmsley has featured in the Daily Telegraph, in a section focussed on the Top 20 Places to Raise a Family in Britain. Helmsley came in at Number 11, which is a fantasic advert for the town. Skipton came in at number 8 and no other Yorkshire locations featured in the Top 20!

See the article here.

The article says, "The market town of Helmsley has a recently opened, proper, old-fashioned sweet shop, with row upon row of jars filled with all the old favourites," explains Ben Pridden of Savills York. If you are reluctant to see your offspring stuffing themselves with humbugs and liquorice allsorts, there are plenty of alternative attractions. Try the riding school in the grounds of the Duncombe Park Estate, or the doll's house collection at Nunnington Hall. The surrounding moors are ripe for roaming, too.

Selection of Events @ Helmsley Arts Centre
 
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We have an active Twitter feed with over 3,600 followers which will keep you up-to-speed with everything going on in and around Helmsley. Please join us on Twitter by choosing to "Follow" @VisitHelmsley.

Remember not all businesses and organisations in Helmsley are members of Helmsley in Business (HiB).

So if you are looking for that little extra or something different, look out for the HiB logo to identify HiB member organisations. Or failing that, just ask!

We also have a lively Facebook page. If you like what you see why not prove it, and click "Like". Over 300 others have!

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