The Richmond Way encompasses sections of the lower Lune Valley, the limestone country around Ingleborough and Whernside and the central and northern valleys of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The route is almost entirely along field, woodland and riverside paths, ancient tracks and quiet country lanes. The 60.5 mile long route was devised by John Coppack, author of the guidebook, and does not have local government status, so it is not waymarked. However, the route has been checked and the clear, easy to follow directions in the guidebook should make navigation straightforward.
From the historic city of Lancaster the route follows the river Lune and then its tributary, the Greta upstream to Ingleton in North Yorkshire. The route passes through or close to the ancient villages of Halton, Aughton, Gressingham, Hornby, Arkholme, Melling and Burton-in-Lonsdale. At Ingleton, famous for its glens and waterfalls, the route leaves the lowlands behind and enters an upland landscape dominated by limestone and the iconic Yorkshire mountains of Ingleborough and Whernside. The route from Ingleton to the head of Ribblesdale via Scales Moor traverses spectacular limestone pavements.
At Ribblehead the Richmond Way passes beneath the most famous viaduct in northern England whose 24 arches carry the Settle to Carlisle railway. Just beyond Ribblehead the route follows an old Roman road to Wether Fell and Dodd Fell Hill. This section traverses high and exposed remote moorland reaching 590 metres.
The Richmond way then drops to enter Raydale, a tributary valley of Wensleydale and passes the beautiful setting of Semer Water. On entering Wensleydale the route passes through the villages of Bainbridge and Askrigg and then seeks out an old drover's road which it follows to Castle Bolton. From here the route strikes out in a northerly direction and after crossing Redmire Moor enters Swaledale via Greets Hill.
The final leg of the journey to Richmond starts from the ancient village of Grinton and follows the Swale downstream to Marrick and Marske. Just beyond Marske the route follows a delightful fellside terrace above the looping Swale before rejoining the Swale into Richmond.
The Richmond Way can be walked at a relaxed pace in four or five days.
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