The walk from Richmond to Marske takes to the higher land under Whitcliffe Scar and through Whitcliffe Woods. Marske is a lovely little village and it is pleasant to explore before returning close to the river.
This is my favourite walk out of Richmond. Whilst the majority of visitors take a stroll down to the river or along the castle walls I prefer heading west through Whitcliffe Wood. The walk continues onto the track at the foot of the impressive limestone scar which bears the same name. This is good walking country, the tracks are obvious but not spoilt and the views stretch along Swaledale. Initially Richmond is the focus but soon more can be seen in up the dale. The walking passes through a combination of fields, isolated farms, woodland and open hillside.
Marske itself is a pretty little village, set on a steep hillside. It was once the centre of a large mining community which possibly goes back as far as Elizabethan days. Without doubt the bridge does. The village is now dominated by holiday cottages with a pretty church and village hall (which fortunately served a cup of tea when I passed through). Marske Hall has a colourful history going back to the 13th century, although it is surrounded by trees and difficult to get at. Returning back to Richmond from Marske take the lower path at Applegarth Farm. Then follow a line that travels much closer to the River Swale joining the A168 just short of Richmond.
The outskirts of Richmond hold little appeal for the walker. However within fifteen minutes I had reached the attractive market square. It takes no time at all to visit the castle or wander down the steep road to the riverside. On a another day continue along to Easby Abbey, a lovely stretch of riverside walking.
Marske is geologically significant. This is due to the steep valley sides which the remnants of where the Stainmore Glacier broke in to Swaledale. This can be clearly seen if you walk past the church and look up Marske beck.
The route along the river starts at High Applegarth Farm, A path leaves downhill just before reaching the farm buildings.
Excellent walk – we extended the end to go through Hudswell Woods, south of the river, which was definitely worthwhile!
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