On a bright, shining, truly stunning winter’s day we set off from Richmond in a westerly direction to find the monument at Willance’s Leap, an interesting if gory story but well worth a read and well worth walking to!
Easy parking in the Nun’s Close car park, £3.50 for four hours, (but longer may be better!) and the walk brings up back through town so places to stop and eat if you wish. Mixed terrain so please do wear suitable footwear and clothing and take the usual drinks and snacks. Even though the path is well walked do plan your route beforehand and take a map. About seven miles.
Set off from the car park in a westerly direction out onto Victoria Road after a few yards bear right onto Westfields, pass Burrard Avenue and the 30 mile an hour sign, a few yards more at the last house on the left there is a finger post and footpath off to the left. Turn into here and a little further on you will come out into a large field. Keep more or less to left of the field but when the wood comes into view in front of you you can begin to veer diagonally to the right up hill across the field. Keeping the wood on your left as you go up hill you’ll soon spot a gateway on the crest bringing you out on Westfields road. Turn left here.
Follow on to High Leases and once at the buildings you will see a wooden stile on the right, go over here and then walk diagonally to the left up hill, north west. The map does indicate to go directly north but the other path seemed to be more well walked. Follow on here keeping the wood on your left, over a couple of stiles, into the wood along a narrow path and eventually you come to Willance’s Leap. Wonderful views into Swaledale and to the North York Moors in the other direction, the River Swale winding along in the bottom, you can even see Penhill from here. Rest a while at the monument then continue as before along the path in a westerly direction into Deepdale. You will see in front of you a single track, tarmacked road, turn left, south, to go down here. Follow the road until you come to a way marker pointing in both directions, turn onto the grass and continue down the hill in the direction given. After a while you’ll come to a three directional way maker, follow east for Richmond 3 miles. Walk along the River Swale, sometimes close, sometimes not but follow a well marked and much used path to Lownethwaite Farm. The grassy path now turns to a concrete road, follow on here to Reeth Road, A6108.
Stop, it’s quite a busy road, seek out the footpath sign opposite and make for this. Down through the wood to the car park, right onto the bridge over the River Swale, turn left and make your way to Richmond Bridge at the bottom of Sleegill. Just as an aside, after a while the path splits, we took the rocky path that was immediately next to the river, quite passable today but may not be if the river is in full flow in which case take the path through the wood a little higher up. For us time was running out as we did fancy walking below the castle but no time so straight over the bridge, up Bridge Street, bear left onto Bargate, up the steep hill to come out at Newbiggin. From here cross to the other side, right a little then follow round to the left, onto Rosemary Lane, left onto the A6108 then retrace your way into the car park a little further on. Once in Newbiggin though if not going round the castle or straight back to the car park, venture down Finkle Street and explore the town!
If you’d like stay nearby have a look on our website for availability or call me Nadine or my daughter Joanne on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice. See you soon!
Written By Nadine Bell