Situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with the River Swale flowing through, is the beautiful and historic market town of Richmond. It is said to be one of the most romantic towns in the North East and in 2009 was named the UK’s town of the year.
Richmond was founded by the Normans in 1071, and is overflowing with history, mostly centred around one of the finest tourist attractions in North Yorkshire – Richmond Castle. The castle, finished in 1086, is one of the greatest Norman fortresses in the UK and well worth a visit, not only to hear the history of the unruly North but to see the stunning views of the Dales from the castle keep and the tranquil Cockpit garden.
Richmond was also once the centre of Swaledale’s wool industry, back in the 18th century this industry was thriving. It was in this period of wealth that Richmond’s Georgian architecture originated, you can see the best example of this architectural era in the Frenchgate.
Today, Richmond has become one of the major tourist hubs in the Yorkshire Dales, not only for the many tourist attractions but also, as one of the larger towns it provides a pit stop for many tourists staying in the more remote areas of the dales.
The town centre has many independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants surrounding the cobbled market place (said to be the largest in England), but also has many high street stores such as; W H Smith, Boots and a large CO OP situated on the outskirts to stock up on essentials for your holiday.
What to do in Richmond
Richmondshire Museum – the museum incorporates the essence of Richmondshire including a cruck house, a lead mining gallery, the Herriot Set from the BBC’s All Creatures Great and Small, the history of Richmond and a recreation of the Richmond Grocer’s shop – famous for being where the founder of Fenwick department store chain started out.
Georgian Theatre Royal – the Georgian Theatre Royal was built in 1788, had major restoration works carried out in 2002, reopening in 2003 for visitors to explore the theatre and its history as well as watch professional productions.
The Station – this magnificent Victorian building has been restored by hundreds of volunteers to convert it into a fantastic cafe/restaurant, an art gallery, a two screen cinema, a heritage room, a micro brewery, an ice cream maker, a cheese maker and a craft bakery.
Ghostwalks of Richmond – fantastic entertainment, but not for the faint hearted! Your guide dressed in period costume will walk you round Richmond bringing to life local stories and legends.
Other interesting venues to visit; Culloden Tower, Easby Abbey, Friary Tower & Gardens, Green Howards Museum and Millgate House Gardens.