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 and onto the track at the foot of the limestone scar which bears the same name. This is good walking country, the tracks are obvious but not spoilt and the scenery is varied. Most of the walk to Marske is high up and offers extensive views, initially back over Richmond, but later over lower Swaledale. The views open up with 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 to Elizabethan days, certainly the bridge does. It is now is full of holiday cottages with a pretty church and village hall (which may or may not be serving tea). 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 and follow a line that travels much closer to the River Swale. The outskirts of Richmond hold little appeal for the walker but within 10 to 15 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 (I am not sure I would bother though, leave it for another day)
Marske is geologically significant as the steep valley sides are 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.
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