One of the shorter and easier days of the Coast to Coast is the tranquil stroll, mostly flat, through woodland, across farmland and beside the River Swale from Reeth to Richmond.
Predictably the River Swale is the lifeblood of the Swale Valley, and as the largest town on the Coast to Coast walk, Richmond is its beating heart. Richmond is a historic market town, centred around a large, cobbled market square and guarded by the prominently-placed Richmond Castle, the best-preserved Norman castle in the country. More importantly for the weary walker, Richmond is a chance to relax, top-up provisions and enjoy an evening in the bright lights of North Yorkshire; why not swap the pub grub for a sophisticated evening of French, Indian, Italian or Thai food?
Getting to Richmond is a gentle stroll from Reeth, passing through woodland resplendent with wildflowers and the intoxicating aroma of wild garlic, across farmland and beside the river. As it is a shorter walk, consider taking the time to explore the quiet villages the route passes through.
Tip van de auteur
Allow some time for pottering around Richmond’s Market Square, one of England’s largest, which the whole village is centred around. Get lost in the back-streets, poke around market halls, and if the weather allows why don't you simply sit outside with a coffee and watch the world go by.
RuststopHonesty Box - Snacks and Drinks
Elaine's Farmhouse Kitchen
There are a few stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement or verge. Walk on the right side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a right-hand turn, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the maximum chance to see you.
There is a cattle grid to cross today; place your feet carefully and bear in mind it may be slippery when wet.
If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the Harvey Coast to Coast maps (East and West for the full route). Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.
If you wish to bring a guidebook, we would recommend the Trailblazer Coast to Coast Path by Henry Stedman & Daniel McCrohan
Points of Interest
Richmond Castle was built in 1071, probably one of the earliest castles constructed from stone, with the prominent Keep added in the 1100’s. It is the best-preserved Norman Castle in the country, and surrounded by Cockpit Gardens, which are also worth an explore.
More information available here: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/richmond-castle/
The ruins of Easby Abbey are impressive and deserving of a visit, with the refectory, gatehouse and canon’s dormitory still active. Easby Abbey suffered the same fate as many across the country when, in the 1530’s, Henry VIII supressed the monasteries. The Parish Church nearby is still in use and contains 13th century wall-paintings.
More information available here: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/easby-abbey/
The Green Howards Museum
In the centre of the Richmond Market Square is the Green Howards Museum which exhibits artefacts and stories that pertain the Green Howards, one of the local infantry regiments, and their 300 year history.
Food and Drink
Despite passing through numerous villages today, few offer opportunities to buy food on drink. We recommend bringing adequate provisions from Reeth.
After 6 kilometres, once you reach the gravel road, you will see a signpost for Nun Cote Nook Farm – you can pop into Elaine’s Farmhouse Kitchen for some freshly-baked snacks.
After 8 kilometres you will reach St Edmund’s Church, which has a table filled with chocolates, crisps, energy bars and drinks and operates on an honesty-box system.
Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
This walk is isolated with limited opportunities to buy food or water so be sure to bring enough with you.