Nine (cheap) things to do on a winter’s day in Richmondshire

The Swale Trail has already been launched in Swaledale.

It’s a dreary winter’s day and the kids are being a pain.

You want to get everyone outside but you don’t want to spend a fortune.

Fear not as this month we’ve got nine ideas for day trips out that wont break the bank.

All you’ll need are coats, wellies and a determination to have some fun!

1 – Running wild at Easby Abbey

Completed in 1152, Easby Abbey was partially demolished in the 16th century. Your children wont care about this however as they run around and play hide and seek. It’s free to enter and walkable from Richmond town centre.

2 – A brisk walk up Penhill

Take the back round of West Witton and you can park quite close to the top of Penhill, which overlooks Wensleydale. On a clear day the view across to Teesside in spectacular. On a grey day you may not be able to to see as far but it’s still worth the effort.

3 – An ice cream at Brymor

As well as great ice cream, Brymor, between now have play facilities which will keep the kids entertained while you enjoy your chocoholic double cone.

4 – Go for a swim

Richmondshire is lucky enough to have two swimming pools. You can get a family ticket for either for around a tenner, or, if the kids are old enough, you can send them in on their own go for a cuppa yourself! Or what about wild swimming at Ellerton Lake? Details here.

5 – Walk by the river at Aysgarth

There are many places to go for a walk in Richmondshire, but if the weather really isn’t great and you don’t want to go too far, walk through the woods to Aysgarth Falls, which are even more impressive if there has been a recent downpour.

Aysgarth Falls. Photo: Wehha.

6 – Biking on the Swale Trail

The new off-road bike trail in Swaledale is suitable for the whole family. It’s an easy-going route which doesn’t require riders to be using the latest mountain bikes. For more details, visit

7 – Watch cheese being made in Hawes

You can get in to the Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese Experience at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes for just £1 per person. There’s an interactive tour, as well as games and activities for all. More details here.

8 – Call in to the Dales Countryside Museum

U16s get in for free to the museum in Hawes, which tells the story of how Dales people lived in the past. There’s loads to see including a bronze age spearhead, a gold Viking ring and a woodland trail.

9 – Fun at Foxglove

And finally, no list of things to do in Richmondshire would be complete without a mention of the fantastic Foxglove Covert, a local nature reserve maintained by the military. You get to the reserve through Cambrai Barracks in Catterick Garrison, and it’s free to enter, although donations are welcome. There’s always lots taking place. Visit for details.

Foxglove Covert. Photo: Anthony Harrison.