Richmond Castle and the River Swale

by David Murray on 29 May 2012

in Yorkshire Dales

Having driven over the A66 from Cumbria last Saturday we decided to stop off by the River Swale at Richmond before heading down the A1 to Nottinghamshire. It was a gloriously sunny afternoon, and I hope this selection of four of my photographs give some idea of the place. Richmond is well worth many a visit – not just one.

We did not stop in the town itself, and decided that rather than go to the castle we’d stroll along the river, and so parked in the York Square carpark. This first shot shows a glimpse of the castle towering above the houses.

Richmond Castle - Yorkshire Dales

The houses are old but the castle is much older. Built initially in the second half of the eleventh century, not long after the Norman conquest, Richmond Castle was extended over the next few hundred years. Today it is in the care of English Heritage. My second selection from the day’s photographs was taken from the river bridge just around the corner from our carpark, then we walked along the road by the river.

Richmond Castle from the River Swale Bridge - Yorkshire Dales

The water level was quite low on Saturday following on a relatively dry spell, but as many signs informed us the river can rise very quickly. The River Swale is one of the fastest flowing in England and when there has been rain in the hills it is very easy to be taken by surprise as the torrent sweeps downstream with little warning. Red flags are raised at several places whenever there is danger. During our visit, though, there were no red flags and many young people (along with some not so young) were enjoying the water.

Fun in the River Swale at Richmond - Yorkshire Dales

After enjoying an ice cream we strolled further. Groups of families and friends were out enjoying the sun. There were even picnic groups on the rocky areas in what would often be midstream but today were uncovered. Further along the path opened out onto a area of parkland. Many were enjoying a combination of ballgames and barbecues.

There is also, of course, Richmond Castle to explore, and certainly there are quieter areas of Swaledale, but for a pleasant afternoon out with a family on a sunny afternoon the banks of the River Swale at Richmond would take a lot of beating.

Parkland by the River Swale at Richmond - Yorkshire Dales

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