Richmond to Hudswell Round

Watch the video of this walk

Richmond is one of the most beautiful market towns with its own unique character, which has little changed over the centuries, and domineering castle which stands high above the town. The River Swale and its waterfalls add to the beauty of this picturesque market town. The outside market is held every Saturday, the indoor market is held Monday to Saturday in the Market Hall, a Farmers Market is held on every 3rd Saturday of the month in the Market Place and then from Easter through to Autumn there are Craft Fairs held every Sunday in the Market Hall. There is also a museum which was founded in 1974 and is well worth a visit, you will be able to see the famous James Herriot set, a transport gallery, a leadmining gallery and lots of domestic bygones.

Richmond Castle with the River Swale flowing below is situated on a rocky outcrop called the ‘riche-month’ or ‘strong-hill’ where Richmond gets its name from. The building of the castle began in 1071 and is one of the oldest Norman stone castles in Britain. The town grew up around the castle and the present market place was then the outer bailey. The civilians lived on the outside of the bialy until Scottish raids proved a threat then a defensive wall was built around the bialy into which the civilians moved. The keep which was built over the original gate house is 12th century and stands over 100ft above Richmond and the walls are 11ft thick. Sixteen conscientious objectors were imprisoned here in the keep for a time during World War 1.

Richmond Station opened in 1846 and closed in 1970. In 2003 the building was taken over by the Richmond Building Preservation Trust with the aim of restoring it. The station is now beautifully restored, due to hundreds of volunteers and donors, with two cinemas, art gallery, heritage centre, a micro-brewery, an ice cream maker, a cheese maker, a craft bakery, a cafe and restaurant and six artisan food-makers. There are also rooms available for meetings and exhibits etc.

The George and Dragon in Hudswell closed down in August 2008 and villagers clubbed together to buy their local pub. With the funds they collected together with some grant aid and voluntary labour from the community they are refurbishing the premises. The pub re-opened at the beginning of 2010 and the villagers plan to use the pub to host a library, village shop, internet access point and allotments in the pub field. So give them a visit and support their great effort and dedication.

We park in the Station car park, free of charge, and walk over Station Bridge and into the Market Place for a look round. We then take a little street off the Market Place towards Richmond Castle and the waterfall (sign posted). First we go into the castle, costing £4.50 per adult, to explore which is well worth a visit. Once you have bought your ticket you can come and go as you please as long as you keep your ticket as proof of purchase. Then we walk down to the waterfall, where there is a car park that is payable, and spend some time admiring the falls. We then walk down the small road in front of the castle following the River Swale on our left until we come to the main road here we turn left over Richmond Bridge and then turn right onto the footpath now with the river on our right. We now follow the path, keeping to the lower paths close to the river, looking for wildlife until we come to an open wildflower field. We carry on keeping close to the river until we come to a bridge. At this bridge we then take the lower path into Hudswell Woods and follow the path, going down some steps, into Calfhall Wood and then the lower part of Hudswell Bank until we come to the sewage works. Here we turn left and walk up 311 steps, with a hand rail, towards hudswell village. At the top of the 311 steps we go over the stile and then cross over a field into Hudswell. We turn left through the village and arrive at the George and Dragon pub and decided to go in for a well earnt drink after the challenge of the 311 steps to get here. We then take the footpath on the left at the end of the village back down to the top of Hudswell Bank. We now follow the path on the top going over stiles and through fields and going round the top of Round Howe Wood. Here we then go over some narrow fields until we come to a large wide open field, where there are some horse jumps and bearing to the left we head towards the tree line. At the tree line we turn left and then go over the stile on the left, which is a little bit hidden. We now follow the footpath down to the river and then going right with the river on our left we walk back to Richmond Bridge. We turn left over Richmond bridge and then right back down the small road to the waterfall. At the waterfall we follow the riverside path to Station Bridge and back to the car park.


This is a moderate to hard walk with some very steep inclines and declines.


Approx 5.25 – 5.75 miles using OS map explorer 304.


Richmond is in Swaledale, North Yorkshire.


From the A1 take the A6136 or the B6271 into Richmond.

Toilets and Refreshments

There are public toilets in Richmond and in the car park and picnic area just before Hudswell Wood on the Reeth Road.
For refreshments in Richmond there are plenty of shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes, fish and chip shops, Chinese restaurants and fast food takeaways.
In Hudswell there is the George and Dragon.

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