St Aidan's is in the North York Moors National Park, near Helmsley.

Helmsley is known for its galleries, arts centre, boutique shops, luxury hotels, and coffee shops. Pop in to the church and admire the murals, and don't miss the delights of the many cafes and pubs. There is a market on Friday including the Cinnamon Twist bakery stall.

The ruins of Helmsley Castle are impressive and the Walled Garden is a hidden treasure, with the track to walk to Rievaulx Abbey starting nearby.

 If outdoor swimming appeals, Helmsley swimming pool is a gem, very basic but with views of distant sheep on the hills. It is usually open from early summer until the beginning of September (and they do moonlight swims too!)

On the doorstep
Turn right out of St Aidan's and a few steps up the road there is a footpath leading to Helmsley through a wooded valley. A mile or so further, a walk from Cowhouse Bank starts with a fantastic view and goes on to one even bigger, with forestry between. Keep on the road and you head up to Bransdale - drystone walls, green fields, woods, stone cottages, becks, hills and endless, endless skies.

Dark skies
On a clear night in the North York Moors you can really see the stars . There are three Dark Sky Discovery sites nearby.

Milky Way and Perseid Meteor shower above Sutton Bank (c) Russ Norman Photography_NYMNP

Milky Way and Perseid Meteor shower above Sutton Bank (c) Russ Norman Photography_NYMNP

Explore the area is run by people who live and breathe the North York Moors and love this area. It has a great ‘What’s On' listing too.

There are leaflets about attractions and places of interest in the church, together with an OS map of the area. 

The North York Moors has several venues for music, film, drama and other creative arts, some of them in delightfully quirky little buildings.

Helmsley Arts Centre 

The Milton Rooms at Malton 

The Band Room at Farndale

Food is important in this area - Yorkshire Food Finder  organise culinary trails to some of the highlights, each one involving local producers and top chefs and kitchens. High Farndale, an upland farm not far from St Aidan's, offers visits to buy free range pork, bacon or hogget.

It’s not far to the coast, with all flavours of english seaside experience from paddling and rock pools at Sandsend or Staithes to fish n chips and fairgrounds - and Whitby has some interesting visitors on goth weekend (hopefully not nsfw!)