Swale to Easby Abbey

  • Short walk along the river Swale
  • Pass though the ruins of the abbey
  • Explore Richmond and out.

The ruins of Easby Abbey make a lovely afternoon stroll from Richmond following both banks of the River Swale. The abbey is apparently Premonstratensian (I think that is spelt correctly!) which is derived from a French Catholic order of the 12th century but it was good old English soldiers who largely destroyed it during their stay on route to the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346. Unlike other abbeys it was left to fall in to disrepair and now has little to remind of the once impressive working abbey it once was.

However I coupled the walk to the abbey ruins with a visit to the still very impressive Richmond Castle which is one of the best examples of a Norman fort in England today. The stretch of river bank linking the two offers a very easy stroll with the powerful River Swale a deep brown colour, derived from the peat and moors further up the dale. The power of the river was such that strenuous efforts had to be made to ensure Easby Abbey did not drop in to the river a few years ago – have a look at how it has cut in to the bank near the abbey ruins!

Recommend: Wander up from the abbey and take a look at the little group of buildings at Easby itself.

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Easby Richmond map


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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. Explorer 304. Darlington & Richmond.
Start Point: NZ 173010. There is plenty of parking in Richmond. Walk 'down town' past the castle to the river bank.
Height to Climb: 25ms (82 feet)
Terrain: Good footpaths lead along the banks of the Swale. Cross the river at a bridge a few hundred yards beyond the abbey,
Eating & Drinking: Richmond has a large choice of places to eat, drink and generally explore, everyone will have their own favourite.
Similar Walks Nearby: The Riverside at Reeth
From Richmond to Marske
Discovering Arkengarthdale
Places to Stay:


West End Garden Cottages, Richmond