The Gilling West and Richmond walk in Northern England

West from the village of Gilling West along Waters Lane to a point just past Crabtree House Farm, then south-west through Gilling Wood and all the way to the minor road on the southern perimeter of Beacon Plantation. South-east into Richmond via Whitcliffe Farm and Hurgill and briefly alongside the River Swale to see the waterfalls. North through the town centre to Richmond Golf Club and back to the starting point by way of Aske Park and Aske Hall. A 10-mile walk in Northern England.


The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of Darlington & Richmond, reference OS Explorer 304, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

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Standard Ordnance Survey map of Darlington & Richmond, reference OS Explorer 304, scale 1:25,000.
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Gilling Old Mill Cottages, a group of luxury self-catering holiday cottages on Waters Lane, Gilling West.


The route into Gilling Wood.


Passing the ‘Wainwright’ bench on Westfields en route to Richmond.

A plaque attached to the side of the bench contains a passage from Alfred Wainwright’s book ‘A Coast To Coast Walk’ which reads as follows:

There is a thrilling view of Richmond ahead. Richmond is a town unlike others, a place unique, rich in relics of the past, steeped in a long history that still lingers in the ramifications of its castle and the narrow alleys and quaint buildings that huddle in the shelter of the massive Norman keep. The castle, dramatically poised on a cliff high above the Swale, is a dominating feature. It is a town of reminders of times long past. It is too good to be by-passed.


The view of Richmond from one of the benches situated on the slopes of West Field, Hurgill.

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The River Swale waterfalls in Richmond town centre. Said to be England’s fastest flowing river, the Swale is often golden brown in colour, particularly after heavy rainfall, because its waters have absorbed peat high up on the moorlands of the Yorkshire Dales.

A fallen tree has recently lodged itself between the rocks on the north side of the river.


A walled garden and seating area by the side of the River Swale waterfalls.


Heading up Millgate towards Richmond Castle.


Richmond Golf Club.


One of the gated entrances of Aske Hall.

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Aske Park.


Aske Hall, a Georgian country house currently owned by the Marquess of Zetland.


Saint Agatha’s Church, Gilling West.


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