Local Area Information

The quiet village of Wass sits in the south west corner of the North York Moors National Park, with two excellent pubs within easy walking distance of the cottage.

The ruins of Byland Abbey are less than half a mile from the cottage and are free to visit, with the recently opened Abbey Inn opposite. Wass is 2 miles from Ampleforth which has the nearest shop and post office, a dog friendly cafe serving light lunches and yummy cakes, two dog friendly pubs , a doctors surgery and a sports and leisure centre at nearby Ampleforth Abbey. A nine hole golf course is open to all at Gilling East.

The nearest supermarkets are in the market town of Thirsk, 10 miles away. There’s also a co-op in Helmsley, 4 miles. Wass Farm Shop is a couple of minutes away in the car, selling fresh eggs, vegetables and locally reared meat, wild venison and other game, as well as charcuterie and delicious local ice cream. 

The market town of Helmsley, a 10 minute drive to the north has a wealth of small independent shops, tea rooms and restaurants. Visit the mediaeval Castle and the Walled Garden with Vine House Cafe next door, or the Bird of Prey Centre in the rolling grounds of Duncombe Park stately home. Helmsley also boasts an outdoor swimming pool in the summer, a vibrant arts centre and a popular local market on Fridays, ( the last Friday of the month being a local artisan food market). The Cleveland Way walking trail starts in Helmsley and the first leg to Rievaulx , where you can visit the historic Abbey ruins and enjoy refreshments in the cafe or a picnic in the grounds, is a must.

The majestic views from the top of Sutton Bank are a 10 minute drive away. The well known author and vet, James Herriot, described it as “ England’s finest”, and it’s easy to see why. From the National Park Visitor Centre, there are walking and cycle routes out along the escarpment. Cycle hire is available from Sutton Bank Bikes at the Visitor Centre and there is also a new Dark Sky centre for those interested in star gazing. Close by is the iconic Kilburn White Horse carved into the hillside, which can be seen from miles around. Take the road past the gliding club, down the steep White Horse Bank and stop off half way down to take a close up look, or carry on down towards the village of Kilburn for the most impressive views.

Kilburn is home to the famous Mouseman furniture and Robert Thompson Museum. Pony trekking is available at Boltby, through the beautiful woodland on the lower slopes of the bank.

For the dedicated foodies, seeking Michelin starred gastronomic excellence, Old Bald Peg cottage is less than 2 miles from the world renowned Black Swan at Oldstead. (Booking well in advance is essential to avoid disappointment.) The famous Star Inn at Harome is a 15 minute drive away. The area boasts many and varied great places to eat to suit any taste or budget. The market town of Malton is the food capital  of the county with a monthly farmers market of local producers and an annual food festival. There is also a popular monthly food market in the village of Hovingham, 15 minutes away. 
Don’t forget, there’s great food at the Stapylton Arms on your doorstep, and The Abbey Inn, recently opened by TommyBanks, just a stroll away…..

Further afield, explore the wild and expansive heather moorland and the rugged North Yorkshire Heritage coastline, with its enchanting coves and villages, under an hour away. Staithes, Robin Hoods Bay, Runswick Bay and more, offer great insight into the quaint beauty and at times wildness of life on the edge of the North Sea.

The area is great for bird watching and long coastal walks, forming part of the Cleveland Way.

Take the North Yorkshire Steam Railway from Pickering and enjoy a relaxing day trip to Whitby with the best ever fish and chips, a splash of gothic intrigue if you can climb the 199 steps to the Abbey, learn of the legacy of Captain James Cook or get spooked at the Dracula Experience.

Stop off at Goathland station, home of Heartbeat and Harry Potter, and walk to Mallyan Spout waterfall then visit Yorkshire’s  smallest pub, the quaint Birch Hall Inn at Beck Hole, with a sweet shop in the middle of it.

Walk round the Hole of Horcum, Go Ape in Dalby Forest, visit the Ryedale Folk Museum and take in the views from the top of Chimney Bank.

Whether on foot, two wheels or four, the North York Moors is a wonderful area to explore in all seasons, from the fantastic Farndale wild daffodils in the spring to the glorious colours of the heather in bloom in late summer, autumn reds and golds in the woodlands and frosty winter walks in the dales and forests. Throughout the summer months there are various village, area and county shows as well as horse racing at Thirsk and York for great additional days out.

Wass is also on the edge of the Howardian Hills AONB, with the imposing Castle Howard at its heart. Take a tour of the house, or just enjoy a walk and a picnic in the beautiful grounds, and pick up a plant or two at the garden centre. Nearby is Yorkshire Lavender with its maze and vast swathes of every lavender under the sun, that also has an interesting and varied plant centre. Eden Camp revisits the wartime story and Flamingo Land has animal fun for everyone.

The ancient city of York is a 30 minute drive with its famous Minster and many other historic attractions and museums, plus excellent shopping opportunities, after which, you can recharge at Bettys renowned tearooms or take a leisurely cruise down the river Ouse to see the sights in style. Walk the ancient city walls, shop in the Shambles or visit the Vikings at Jorvik. There’s also a great festive atmosphere at the annual St Nicholas fair from mid November until Christmas.

Harrogate, Ripon and Easingwold are also within easy reach and the Yorkshire Dales just an hour away.

For more information on everything to see and do nearby, please ask and we'll happily help!



  • Charming, Modern 2 Bed Cottage
  • Pretty Courtyard Garden
  • Log Burner, Aga & Central Heating
  • Perfect for Walkers, Cyclists, Romantic Breaks & Foodies
  • Welcome Pack on Arrival
  • 2 Dogs Welcome (Prior Arrangement)