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  • Writer's pictureKelly

The Rievaulx Terrace National Trust - Our review

We have been National Trust members for years now and it is so worth it. We have been to so many fantastic National Trust properties over the last 5 years.

We have built up a list of some of our favourites to visit and one of those is The Rievaulx Terrace.

We have been here quite a few times over the years and we have such a great time everytime, no matter what the weather is like. It is perfect for the kids to run and play in the woods.

Created around 1749-57 by Thomas Duncombe II, to provide a distant view over the magnificent abbey. He would invite his guests over to enjoy the landscape and you can see why.

You arrive at a a really pretty driveway which leads to the car park. Parking is limited but if you go early you will be fine. The gift shop is small but well stocked and the staff are always really welcoming. I love some of the items they sell, such as the bird houses, bug houses and the wool blankets.

You have the option of taking an explorer's pack for the kids which is full of really great things for them to do. Included in each pack (we got three) Binoculars, magnifying glass, bug container, paper, crayons, a pencil case with pencils etc and a really good info pack about the woods, what animals you can find, types of trees and leaves you can find and a map. Plus a backpack to carry it all in. You do have to hand these back in when you are finished and we left a £5 deposit which we happily spent on kit kats! It would be fantastic if the National Trust started selling a similar pack. I bet they would be really popular as long as they are reasonably priced.

The toilets are right next to the shop so make sure you go before you get all the way to the bottom of the walk. Always clean and tidy.

We set off through the woods greeted by some large outdoor games which the boys spent ages playing with. Chess, Quoits and Giant Jenga were the options which are always a favourite with the kids.

Next was the bird watching spot, so out come the binoculars, the boys spotted quite a few little birds such as Zebra Finch and Robins.

Next stop down the path is the cloud watching, which I was a bit disappointed with as there used to be more logs to lay back on, but they have removed them and only left two.

We were then greeted by the bug hunt part of the walk. We found a worm! The boys were ecstatic but they were not really in the mood to find spiders (Thank goodness).

The boys were picking up leaves throughout the walk trying to identify them. Please only pick up the ones that have fallen.

Then we reached the boys favourite part. The natural play area with various stepping stones and rope play and den building.

You can not drag my kids away from den building, so we sat for a while and let them while play we just listened to the birds singing and watched the sheep in a nearby field. It was so peaceful.

After a very successful time building dens we then set off for the main part of Rievaulx Terrace. There are various ways in so, if you just want to go straight to the temple, you can access the terrace at the entrance cutting out the woodland walk. We always do the woodland walk so we use the entrance further down.

You have a short walk to the first building which is The Tuscan Terrace. On the floor is 13th century tessellated pavement. The ceiling is painted in the nicest shade of blue I have ever seen.

You can stop and take in the views which are amazing. Then we set off for the walk along the terrace , stopping to take in the views at various viewing points. Eventually you come to The Ionic Temple, designed by Robinson in the late 1750s. With a few rooms to explore make sure you stop to look at the magnificent artwork.

The place is heaving with wild garlic and just looks amazing. The smell from it is not so strong just yet but once it flowers it will smell fantastic. No vampires in site that's for sure! No matter the time of year it is just a great place to spend a morning. We will visit a lot more I'm sure.

Kelly X



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