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Many visitors on a cottage holiday visit the beautiful market town of Richmond. Set on the fast-flowing river Swale amid stunning Dales countryside, the town is both dominated and defined by its impressive Norman castle and remains a relatively undiscovered gem. Close to Catterick Garrison, one the of British Army’s most important bases, there are plenty of shops and services, and visitors will find it an excellent base for a holiday cottage for discovering the North York Moors national park and the Yorkshire Dales.
The castle, a dramatic hilltop fortress built by William the Conqueror in the eleventh century, remains remarkably intact; visit Scolland’s Hall, thought to be the oldest surviving Norman great hall, the gatehouse, chapel and walls. Richmond has a more modern historic gem, in addition to the castle, in the form of the Georgian Theatre Royal, believed to be the oldest theatre in the country which still stands in its original form. A guided tour is well worth taking, and the adjoining museum makes for a fascinating visit. For a further insight into local history, both the Richmondshire Museum and Green Howards Museum are well worth a visit. The former has a variety of quirky exhibits, including the original set of the vet’s surgery as featured in the locally filmed television series, All Creatures Great and Small. Richmond is a market town, and the town centre displays some lovely Georgian buildings clustered around the ancient market place, dominated by the Church of the Holy Trinity, where trading has continued uninterrupted for hundreds of years. Nowadays, market day is Saturday, with a variety of local produce, crafts and toys on sale, while a traditional Farmer’s Market usually runs on the third Saturday in each month. Wander through the beautiful gardens surrounding Friary Tower, a fifteenth century monument, which is astonishingly intact. Families will enjoy a visit to Hazel Brow Visitor Centre in the village of Low Row, a farm experience set on 200 acres of organic livestock farm just outside of Richmond. See a working organic farm in action, try your hand or watch the experts working at local crafts and skills, from sheep dog training to rug and butter making, then enjoy a ramble along the riverside nature trails.
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