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After we left Durham, scene of our friends’ wonderful wedding, on Sunday morning, we headed to the Yorkshire Dales, and our final destination, The Devonshire Arms Hotel.  We decided to take the scenic route, going via the town of Richmond, and thence into the Dales. I was pretty sure there was a Norman castle (11th century) in Richmond, so we decided to make a pit stop. Posetta Baddog was quite keen for a constitutional too.

It wasn’t hard to find the castle – the keep towers over the town from the hill it is built on, and there are signs for the unobservant. (That’ll be lil’sis. Me: Ooh look, a castle! Her: Where? Me: That bloody huge lump of stone STRAIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.” Repeat all day concerning windmills/livestock/kestrels/ruins/pretty flowers etc etc.)

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Of course we then discovered that it is one of the greatest Norman fortresses in England. (And I was a prize-winning history student. Shame on me.) One of the joys of English Heritage properties is that many of them are dog friendly. P Bad had already luxuriated in the sheep poo ridden grounds of Riveaulx Abbey the day before, and was itching to get cracking at Richmond Castle.

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Someone wasn’t reading the notices:

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It’s a perfect sized castle for poking around. I think children would adore it, as it isn’t too daunting. You can also climb to the top of the Norman keep tower. We went halfway, as lil’sis with stick and a wriggling P Bad under my arm were somewhat of a liability. And I prefer lil’sis in one piece, not squished at the bottom of a practically vertical slippery spiral stone staircase.

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The town itself is really attractive and worth a proper poke around. It has a tortuous series of cobbled one way streets, so we became extremely familiar with many of them as we drove around and around and around….

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There’s a lovely drive under the castle, along the River Swale, and the view over the town and the Dales from the keep and ramparts is glorious.

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English Heritage visitor info for Richmond Castle here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Your aside re: lil’sis made me laugh as I am one of the Unobservant. It reminded me of a uni visit to Durham a few years ago. A friend and I were staying at the castle, but neglected to look up directions. So upon leaving the train station, we wander about aimlessly for a moment before catching sight of the hill and realising that we can just head in that direction. A while later, we have trekked up to the hill, having kept the castle in sight the entire time… and we can’t find the castle. Moment of confusion before we decide that the stone building ahead must be it so we move closer, looking for an open door. We can’t find one of course and then we notice that there are a surprisingly large number of gravestones. We are of course standing outside the cathedral, and then turn around to find… the castle! (Bear in mind that this is probably about 5-10 minutes after we’ve reached the top of the hill.) We felt like idiots.

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