After the rugged beauty of the Northumbrian borderlands, our well-travelled walking group headed to North Yorkshire for this walk around the handsome market town of Richmond.
The first leg of the walk follows the path of the famous Drummer Boy before continuing on, along the banks of the Swale, to the ruins of Easby Abbey. This brooding, atmospheric pile of crumbling stone shows just how much money and effort was available to the church in the 11th Century.
After crossing the Swale we headed back towards town along an old railway track, now popular with dog walkers and bike riders, before climbing steeply into the woods by old Richmond Bridge. These lovely wooded slopes overlook the town and give you great views of the castle and the sinuous river Swale. Above the woods we crossed a dozen stiles separating a broad selection of long narrow fields, probably with their origins in ancient farm settlements. At the height of this section of the walk we overlooked the western end of Richmond with the road to Reeth snaking off to our left.
A knee-straining steep descent brought us down to road and river level before we climbed back up the other side of the valley on Green Lane. We did take a short break here as the constant ascent-descent-ascent had us all a little out of breath and ready for a leg rest.
We skirted round a nice looking barn conversion before heading back towards town on a road called Westfields – a rural single track road that changes seamlessly from rural to urban before nudging into town past a Chinese take-away and a corner shop.