|Reeth to Richmond (18 km)|
Wast Water - Wander
Wast Water - Scafells
Patterdale - Helvellyn
Richmond to the left and the Vale of Mowbray from West Field
This is a nice easy day with much less climbing than yesterday. It starts by following the River Swale down-river until the remains of Marrick Abbey, clambers up to the sleepy Marrick village and descends into the Marske valley to rejoin the Swale for a high traverse into Richmond. There is lots of pretty scenery, a pair of quaint villages and an old priory along the way. The shortness of the day allows plenty of time to get a taste of Richmond which is a very interesting and historic town - if you are considering a rest day on the walk, this is a good place for it.
|Arkle House||B&B||01748 884815|
|2 Bridge Terrace||B&B||01748 884572|
|The Buck Hotel||Hotel||01748 884210|
|Hackney House||B&B||01748 884302|
|Hillary House||B&B||01748 884435|
From the bottom of the green, the Richmond road takes the Coast to Coast Walk over Arkle Beck (on Reeth Bridge) and into the fields to Grinton Bridge via a wicket-gate. Our route does not enter Grinton but passes straight over the Reeth-Grinton road for a riverside path. However, a side-trip to Grinton is easily done (it is just over the bridge). This tiny village was once the premier centre for Swaledale with an enormous parish resulting in an impressive Norman church known as the 'Cathedral of the Dales'.
The riverside path sticks to the river bank until a bend in the river and a tiny wood forces it up onto the surfaced lane to Marrick Priory. This 12th century Benedictine nunnery is now a residential youth activity centre but its gardens are open to visitors. The lane is left just past the priory for a gate on the left through a field to Steps Wood. A splendid stone causeway ('Nuns Causey') climbs up through the woods. More fields then lead into Marrick village, once with a youth hostel, inn and post office but now very quiet. Marrick, previously known as Helensley, is old Norse for 'horse' or 'boundary ridge' - the high location of the village supports the second meaning. Two right-hand turns at junctions lead to a short cul-de-sac and even shorter green lane to a long series of stiles descending to a farm track near Nun Cote Nook.
|Bridge Inn||Pub||01748 884224|
|Grinton Lodge||YH||0870 770 5844|
|Scarr House||B&B||01748 884479|
The farm track leads through a gate where a thin path departs to drop down to the isolated house at Ellers and a footbridge across Ellers Beck. A slanting ascent gets you to Hollins Farm and then the brow of the hill in the fields beyond. A last field is crossed to a stile giving access to the main Reeth-Richmond road which is followed down into Marske. We are now about halfway to Richmond. The road reaches a junction with the A6108 branching to the right - there is a seat here that is handy for a rest.
Cross the old stone Marske Bridge and head up the road past the even older St. Edmund's Church (displaying some fine Norman features) to another junction where the Coast to Coast Walk branches to the right. Nearly a kilometre of walking brings a stile into the right-hand fields and a nice thin track through several hedges to a bridge over Clapgate Beck. Be sure to stop in the fields to appreciate the limestone escapements ahead of you - Applegarth Scar directly ahead and Whitecliffe Scar to the east - with gleaming glimpses of white limestone through dark foliage.
|The Lodge||B&B||01748 884474|
A cairn on the hill above entices the path onto a slanting climb to join a farm track that goes to the West Applegarth farmhouse and more fields to a road serving East Applegarth (passing between High and Low Applegarths). Along here, we leave the Yorkshire Dales National Park (entered just past Nine Standards 3 days ago) - the many 'no public right of way' signs nearby make the change obvious. Before East Applegarth is reached, a stile takes us back into the fields and then a cart-track from the farm makes undulating progress over rough ground to pass through Whitecliffe Wood. Through the woods the track joins a lane at High Leases for a long, steady drop into Richmond. However there are several stiles giving access to the enormous West Field and a nice grassy walk rejoining the route either further along the lane or at the fields bottom corner.
Richmond is dominated by its castle which is loomed over in turn by its massive 12th century keep. Begun in 1071 by Alan Rufus, the high walls of the castle are further guarded on 2 sides by the riverside cliffs of the River Swale. The well-preserved ruins are open to the public. Before the keep is the vast Market Place covered with ancient cobblestones surrounding the Church of the Holy Trinity and its 14th century tower. A unique feature is the inclusion of a row of shops and the Green Howards museum in the church. Radiating out from the square are many "wynds" (narrow lanes), many dropping to the river and all worthy of exploration. Of more importance to the walker are the many shops and inns which line the square. This also acts as a bus station except on Saturdays when it reverts to its original function.