WALK FROM RICHMOND June 2005
long summer days enable groups such as ours to travel away from our locality to enjoy walking in a less familiar landscape. Last Saturday Des Murray, who hails from County Durham, took us to Richmond for a walk of great interest and beauty. From the centre of the town our party of eleven initially followed Wainwright's famous Coast to Coast route in a westerly direction. Initially through farmland, the route climbs steadily to Whitcliffe Farm where a great overview of Richmond can be enjoyed. A little further on, at High Leases, we left the Coast to Coast route to follow the footpath at the top of Whitecliffe Scar where we had outstanding views along Swaledale. Our coffee stop was at the memorial commemorating the survival of Robert Willance in 1606 from an accident, whilst out riding, when his horse plunged into the valley. The horse was killed but Willance lived to a ripe old age. Leaving the valley of The Swale, the group turned north to walk over Richmond Out Moor past military training areas towards the hamlet of Hartforth. Our picnic was enjoyed on the boundaries of Gilling Wood with a wonderful, open aspect in glorious sunshine and good views of the Durham Fells. After lunch the group pressed on over the ancient bridge at Hartforth into the lovely village of Gilling West. The village has received many awards and the tidiness and flora evident during our visit suggested that these were well merited. Heading south from Gilling we walked through the grounds of Aske Hall. The house, the residence of The Dundas family since 1763 is the home of Lord and Lady Zetland whose interests in horses are reflected in the many jumps scattered around the grounds. After this feast of elegance, including a view of the stable block built by John Carr, we walked over another kind of elegance, The Richmond Golf Course, to return to the town and the teashop.
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