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River Swale in flood at Richmond after the recent heavy rain
River Swale in flood at Richmond after the recent heavy rain

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Route No. 804 - Thursday 20 February 2020
Richmond Station for breakfast, Richmond Castle,
River Swale in flood - 2.5km
Richmond, Swaledale . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 304 Darlington & Richmond


The Station at Richmond where we had our breakfast
The Station at Richmond where we had our breakfast

The very wet and windy weather just goes on and on! So today my friend Jim and I decided on a change of plan. We drove to Richmond on the River Swale. The river was definitely in spate but it had not overflowed its banks in the town. We parked at the old Richmond Station, map ref NZ 177 009. The old station buildings have been refurbished and now comprise a complex of small shops, a two screen cinema, a small brewery and a good cafe/restaurant. We had set off fairly early and stopped at the cafe (it opens at 9.00am) for a very nice full English breakfast. The public car park in front of the cafe is a "Pay-and-Display" type with a maximum stay of 4 hours.

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Our turning off the A6166 to the path across the parkland
Our turning off the A6166 to the path across the parkland

We walked along this pleasant path for about 300m until we came out on to a narrow lane called Park Wynd. We continued along this Park Wynd for about 50m to its junction with Millgate where we turned right to walk along Millgate up a steep hill. After about 100m Millgate began to bend right and here we turned left off Millgate to go up some steps and followed the signs to the entrance to Richmond Castle.

We had paid at the car park ticket machine and displayed our ticket in the windscreen. We walked from The Station cafe car park to the A6136 where we turned right to cross the road bridge over the River Swale. The bridge is called Mercury Bridge and is high above the river. About 100m beyond the bridge we turned left off the A6136 on to a surfaced footpath across some parkland between Richmond School and the River Swale.

Looking back to the Mercury Bridge on the A6136
Looking back to the Mercury Bridge on the A6136

About to turn left off Millgate to the steps towards the castle entrance
About to turn left off Millgate to the steps towards the castle entrance

Our visit to Richmond Castle:

See the English Heritage web site for information about the castle's history and visits to the castle. We spent about an hour and a half looking round the castle and then we returned the way we had come to Millgate.

The keep at the castle entrance
The keep at the castle entrance

Gateway into the castle central courtyard
Gateway into the castle central courtyard

Ground floor of the keep
Ground floor of the keep

Climbing the narrow spiral staircase to the next floor
Climbing the narrow spiral staircase to the next floor

Landing at first floor level
Landing at first floor level

Terrace at first floor level
Terrace at first floor level

Castle entrance seen from the keep
Castle entrance seen from the keep

Hall on the next floor
Hall on the next floor

Up to the next floor
Up to the next floor

Battlements at the top level
Battlements at the top level

Battlements at the top level
Battlements at the top level

Richmond market square seen from the keep
Richmond market square seen from the keep

Heading back down
Heading back down

Range of buildings round the castle wall
Range of buildings round the castle wall

Range of buildings round the castle wall
Range of buildings round the castle wall

Entrance to the Cock Pit garden
Entrance to the Cock Pit garden

The Cock Pit garden
The Cock Pit garden

Richmond Bridge over the River Swale seen from the Cock Pit garden
Richmond Bridge over the River Swale seen from the Cock Pit garden

Walking down Millgate towards the river
Walking down Millgate towards the river

Nearing the river at the bottom of Millgate
Nearing the river at the bottom of Millgate

Flood water pouring over the rock steps in the river
Flood water pouring over the rock steps in the river

After about 150m the path turned a little to our left and we rejoined our outward route along the path between Richmond School and the River Swale. We continued along the footpath back to the A6136 and across Mercury Bridge back to The Station cafe. We had another coffee at the cafe before driving home after a good breakfast, an interesting visit to the castle and an impressive view of the power of the River Swale in flood.

From Richmond Castle we walked down Millgate past Park Wynd and down to a car park and viewing area next to the River Swale. Here there is a right angle bend in the river and the river flows over two rock steps. After all the recent rain the turbulent flow of the river was impressive. From this area by the river we followed a footpath along the river heading down stream.

Walking down Millgate towards the river
Walking down Millgate towards the river

Turbulent water below the rock steps in the river
Turbulent water below the rock steps in the river

Footpath by the turbulent river
Footpath by the turbulent river

The Mercury Bridge ahead as we crossed the parkland heading back to The Station car park
The Mercury Bridge ahead as we crossed the parkland heading back to The Station car park

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