Fancy a short walking and sightseeing break to get away from it all in the golden Yorkshire Dales? Then look no further than a 3-night/4 day stay in the attractive town of Richmond, North Yorkshire. Here you can relax at our base, spend time visiting the town walking the historic town trail, visiting the Norman castle, going for a riverside walk to the nearby Easby Abbey. We then describe some walks taking you into the countryside around Richmond, so that you can spend time discovering the Dales in more detail. Some of the walks are of a circular nature from Richmond; others may require you to take a bus to Reeth or elsewhere. If you have driven up there are also a couple of further a field options for you to enjoy. Richmond also has a fair range of ‘eateries’ and pubs to alight at and is an attractive place to be.
Easy - Moderate. Some steep hills especially non the further afield options. Really what you do on this break is up to you, so you can have an easy or a more strenuous time! Most of our options are easy to moderate, but nothing is too challenging!
Make your own way to Richmond. This attractive Georgian town was formally established by the Normans in 1071, as they rapidly progressed up the country after the 1066 invasion. They quickly constructed timbered fortresses and later remodeled them with full stone work defenses. The name Richmond is derived from ‘riche-mont’ or ‘strong-hill’ and whose massive keep dominates all other buildings that have grown up around it in the town. During the medieval period the town became an important market place, royal charters were granted giving it rights to hold markets and fairs. Hence the substantial cobbled open market place, surrounded by shops and pubs.
The market square today is, apart from some modern shop fronts, unchanged for decades and has a brooding quality on a grey blustery day. You will notice around the square and as you stroll through the town, some very fine stone buildings, many from The Georgian era when mercantile dealings and the wool trade brought much wealth into the town. Later on furniture making, especially cabinets became very important to the local economy.
If you arrive early you can start with one of the walks mentioned below.
1) Circular Walk from Richmond through Low Bank and Billy Banks Woods. Distance
3.5 miles. This is an attractive little walk down by the River Swale and then along and into the riverside woods for a picnic.
2) Circular Walk Richmond-Swale-Applegarth-Richmond 7 miles. This takes you along part of the famous Coast to Coast route out of Richmond.
3) Reeth, Arkengarthdale and Grinton. Approx. 5.5 miles or a shorter walk of 3.5 miles. A lovely ramble through fields and by rivers in Arkengarthdale.
4) Possible walks into and around Wensleydale.
You can follow the Town Trail and the Plaque Walk, which takes you through the fine Georgian streets and little alleys. Explore Castle Hill and Castle Walk, also Millgate where you can choose to walk down to the river and falls. The Keep is looked after by English Heritage and can be climbed up (£5 entry) for an even more sumptuous view of the town and countryside. From the Market Place, Friar’s Wynd takes you through one of the two remaining medieval gateways, past the Georgian Theatre to the Friary Gardens where the fine 12th century Franciscan Friary bell tower, amidst well kept gardens, still stands. Richmond has a number of good restaurants and pubs of varying quality.
Walking option examples:
A round walking tour to Easby Abbey (Called The Drummer Boy's trail) Distance: 4 miles (6.4 km). A largely flat route following the River Wharfe, past the Town Falls and then downstream to the secluded leafy delights of Easby Abbey. This was dissolved by Henry VIII in the reformation, but there is enough left of the structure for it to be interesting. You should perhaps take a picnic to have in the pastures near the monument or by the river. The abbey can also be reached on a gravel track on the other side of the river and this makes it into a pleasant circular walk, arriving back at the old railway station which has been converted into an interesting gallery, cafe and shopping space.
A) Circular Walk from Richmond through Low Bank and Billy Banks Woods. Distance 3.5 miles (5km) This is an attractive little walk down by the River Swale and then along and into the riverside woods for a picnic.
Slightly longer is the circular walk Richmond-Swale-Applegarth-Richmond 7 miles (11km). This follows the above route but takes you on 3 miles of the famous Coast to Coast route out of Richmond as well.
B) If you want to do a longer walk, you can take the morning bus from Richmond Market Place to Reeth, then follow a delightful route through lower Swaledale along the Coast to Coast path, this time into Richmond (10.5 miles / 17km). It is an attractive ramble past Marrick Priory, and up to a high scarp by Willance’s Leap before reaching Whitcliffe Wood and then walking down into Richmond, with good views of the keep from a few miles away.
C) If you have a car you can drive ito Langthwaite near Reeth and have a lovely ramble through fields, by rivers and up around old mine hushings in Arkengarthdale via the hamlet of Booze. (3 miles / 5km)
D) With a car there are possible walks that you can do into and around Wensleydale. Park in Aysgarth at the start of The James Herriot Way and do a short circular walk on the north side of the River Ure, visiting upper, middle and lower Force waterfalls through woodlands brimming with anemonies and then bluebells in Spring (3 miles)
E) Or do a walk up to Penhill Beacon 526m from Aysgarth, with great potential views over Wensleydale. (10miles / 16km)
Depart after breakfast.
Yorkshire Dales - Cordilleras House, fantastic. The scenery was amazing - loved the lot! All accommodation great and enjoyed every day of walking. Thankyou!
M. Findlay., Macmasters Beach, NSW, Australia
Per Person, Twin Share