Richmond’s tourist riches
by Northern Life
Richmond sits at the northern tip of the Yorkshire Dales, and with riverside walks, Georgian architecture, a Norman castle and large cobbled market square, there is lots to love about this pretty North Yorkshire town.
The town has an impressive history and was originally formed around Richmond Castle which was built in the 11th century on the top of a hill named Riche-Mont (this is translated as Strong Hill and gave Richmond its name). The hilltop position looks out over the town and the well-preserved castle remains include a 100-foot keep and curtain wall. Kids will love exploring the various nooks and crannies and there’s an interactive display where they can learn more about the fascinating history of the place. Just outside the castle walls you’ll find the pretty Cockpit Garden which is a tranquil spot to watch the world go by with lovely views over the River Swale that runs through the town.
If you are a fan of lovely gardens (and historic houses to go with them), Kiplin Hall is an award-winning Jacobean House that’s set in 100 acres of woodland, gardens and parkland that are just a few miles from Richmond. There is plenty to keep children entertained with family activities including Giant Garden games!
Other pretty places to visit include Richmond Falls waterfall and the ruins of Easby Abbey (reached by a riverside walk) which has been painted by artists including J M W Turner. Both make perfect spots for a summery picnic!
Explore the Dales
The location of Richmond (right at the top of the Yorkshire Dales) means there is lots of scenic countryside to explore and plenty of Dales towns and villages nearby that are well worth a visit including Reeth, Leyburn, and Middleham. You can follow in the footsteps of the 2014 Tour de France race with a cycle through Muker and stop for refreshments at the Farmer’s Arms while other good gastro pubs nearby include The Punch Bowl at Low Row, The Wensleydale Heifer at West Witton and The White Swan at Gilling West.
There is also lots of great historic architecture to admire throughout the town with guided walks, town trails and even a ghost walk on offer where you can delve into Richmond’s very interesting past. You can take a tour behind the scenes at the Georgian Theatre Royal (it’s the most complete Georgian theatre in Britain) and see the fully restored Woodland Scene which is Britain’s oldest surviving stage scenery.
Another fascinating building (this time Victorian) is The Station, a former railway building that now houses a selection of independent businesses along with an art exhibition and the Seasons Bar and Kitchen.
Eating, drinking and shopping
The lovely market square is a focal point for the town and as well as hosting regular Saturday markets you’ll find a selection of fine Georgian buildings housing tearooms, shops and restaurants – perfect for a spot of lunch, retail therapy and a drink (or two).
Where to stay
Xanadu is a stylish pad for two that’s Grade II listed and right in the centre of town. You’re just a couple of minutes’ walk from the cobbled market square and this bijou (and dog-friendly) cottage has everything you need for a break.
Evergreen is a pretty stone two bedroom cottage with five-star interiors and spectacular views over Richmond Castle. It’s a little slice of holiday heaven!
For somewhere a little bit different, Churra is a sweet shepherd hut that’s positioned next to a duck pond in a beautiful private estate that’s just a few miles from Richmond with lovely views of the surrounding countryside.
If you’re planning a special celebration or just need somewhere large enough to gather the extended family, Gilling Lodge is a magnificent six-bedroom Georgian manor house with grand interiors and gorgeous gardens.
For more information on any of these properties visit www.gorgeouscottages.com or call 01642 263 249.