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Strictly speaking Ryedale is the valley of the River Rye (which connects with Bilsdale) just north of and including Helmsley on the western side of the North York Moors.
Attractions in the valley include Rievaulx Abbey and the market town of Helmsley itself, beyond which the River Rye flows eastwards in to the much broader Vale of Pickering.
[N.B. the western end of the Vale of Pickering is also sometimes referred to as "Ryedale", though this part of the valley is more of a broad plain rather than a "dale" in the traditional sense of the word. Confusingly, "Ryedale" is also the somewhat misleading name of the local district council - misleading because this administrative region covers a much larger area than just the geographical "Ryedale" (including a good part of the southern North York Moors, the Vale of Pickering as well as the northern part of the Yorkshire Wolds).]
The following (externally maintained) websites include further information about Ryedale and the surrounding area. (listed in approximate alphabetical order):
North York Moors - Home
North York Moors website is designed, maintained and promoted by
Eagle Intermedia Publishing Ltd.