The walking programme comprises three main walks each day of various lengths and grades, mainly in the Swaledale and Wensleydale areas; plus town walks around the lovely Georgian town of Richmond; and several of the short Walking for Health walks for the less active friends and families of the more serious walker. The Town Walks generally have a literary, artistic or historic theme led by local experts anxious to pass on their knowledge and enthusiasm.
This variety makes the event a venue for a family holiday based in our lovely town on the edge of the Dales as well as a destination for serious walkers.
The SOC is a Richmond-based outdoor activity club founded in 1966. The club welcomes new members, who are encouraged to join a walk on a "come and try it basis" at any time. Walks of varying lengths and grades take place on a Sunday and every other Thursday throughout the year.
Walk locations include the Northern Yorkshire Dales, Teesdale, North York Moors and the Lake District. The club also holds camping and barn weekends and runs the famous Swaledale Marathon each June.
For those interested in more than just walking, the club has 9 activity sections including cycling, skiing, caving and canoeing.
For more information, see www.swaledaleoutdoorclub.org.uk or ring the Walking Section Organiser, Ian Dale, on 01325 381975.
Richmondshire Ramblers arrange weekly walks usually of some 8 to 12 miles and normally on Sundays. In Summer some evening walks are held. Walks are usually in the Yorkshire Dales but occasionally in the Durham Dales, the North York Moors and the Lake District.
The group has an annual walking holiday abroad, usually Austria and walking weekends in the Lake District. Anyone is invited to take part in the walks, try two or three initially but with the anticipation that they become members.
Contact telephone: Hon Secretary 01748 822845
Free guided health walks take place regularly in the daytime, evenings and Saturday afternoons. Beginners walks are 30 minutes, and longer walks up to 90 minutes. Details from or call 07710 739192
The MoD have also recently opened up, for more general public access, a section of their training area to create the Downholme permissive footpath which covers approximately 3.6 miles across various unsurfaced terrain within one of the largest MoD training areas in the North East of England. Lying within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the route now forms part of the Swale Way long distance foot path (see below), and offers wonderful previously unseen views over the Lower Swaledale valley. The wildlife associated with the footpath can be exceptional.
For more gentle walks, Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve is a rich mosaic of habitats situated within Catterick Garrison on the boundary of the Training Area behind Cambrai Lines. It is open to the public all year round and features different events each month for the benefit of the local community. It has a thriving volunteer group and a bird ringing team which has processed over 100,000 birds on the site. More than 2440 species have been recorded throughout the reserve which has a purpose-built Field Centre and three substantial hides; more than four miles of paths suitable for all ages and abilities are available. For more information go to www.foxglovecovert.org.uk
For those needing to replace worn-out gear, Richmond has several outdoor shops and Britain's last remaining boot manufacturer Altbergs. See www.altberg.co.uk
Less well know is the recently re-vamped Swale Way which also passes through Richmond. This walk follows the full length of the River Swale from its confluence with the Ure at Boroughbridge to its origin high in the hills above Reeth. See www.swaleway.org.uk. The route continues to Kirkby Stephen giving the option of returning by the Yoredale Way along the course of the Ure.
General countryside access info: www.naturalengland.org.uk.
Footpath problems within the Richmondshire Electoral Constituency :
Yorkshire Dales National Park (North) 01609 771169, (South) 01969 624758
Richmondshire (outside YDNP) 01677 422689
North Yorkshire County Council Countryside Access Officer: 01609 533758
Many thanks to Richard Wright for compiling the information on this page