Richmondshire District covers 509 square miles and is actually larger than four English counties, but within its boundary live only 51,400 people (2007 estimate). Richmondshire is therefore one of the most sparsely populated District Councils in the country, its boundaries stretching from the River Tees to Cumbria. The area is predominantly rural in character and a large part is situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The largest town in the District is the historic market town of Richmond with its Norman Castle, cobbled market place, famous Georgian Theatre Royal and elegant Georgian buildings.
There is a thriving tourism industry within Richmondshire and this now forms the economic bedrock of the District.
The District also boasts two other bustling market towns, Leyburn and Hawes, with many other urban developments to the east, namely Catterick, Scotton, Hipswell, Colburn and Brompton On Swale. Reeth is also a service centre for the upper Dales.
Richmondshire is actively promoted as a major part of the Yorkshire Dales and has provided ideal film and television locations for such as James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small". There are many other attractions, especially for outdoor pursuits, including fishing, riding, caving, climbing, hang-gliding, etc. Two famous long distance walks cross the District – The Pennine Way and The Coast to Coast Walk. There are numerous castles, churches, museums and rural craft centres.
Two main arterial roads, the A1 North/South and the A66 East/West five miles from Richmond, give easy nationwide access. Employment opportunities are good with light industry within and close to the District. The District also contains the largest military establishment in the country, Catterick Garrison, which adds greatly to the economic wellbeing of the area. There are good schools and health facilities and a range of excellent housing.
Escape humdrum everyday life and stay somewhere completely different. Make your holiday home a converted chapel or coach house, an old mill or mansion, and let the tranquil setting work its restful magic.
Hearty breakfasts are a natural part of Dales’ hospitality, using ingredients that have clocked up the bare minimum of food miles. Stay on a working farm or in one of the many homely B&Bs and you may see the hens that laid the eggs for your breakfast wandering about nearby. Food doesn’t get much more local.
Camping, whether in a tent, caravan, bunk barn or hostel is a great way to enjoy a back-to-nature holiday and take time to appreciate the beauty of the stars in the clear night sky.
For indulgent relaxation, wrap yourself in a cuddly bathrobe and take it easy in a country house hotel. Many of them serve high quality food which tastes even better when you know that later you can just flop down in one of their bedrooms!
If you would like to find out where to stay in Richmondshire, contact either Richmond or Leyburn Tourist Information Centres.