Now, if you’re going to get your first glimpse of the Yorkshire Dales then you might as well be standing atop a dramatic Norman fortress – and Richmond Castle makes a fantastic vantage point for looking out across the famous landscape. The castle belongs to English Heritage and was originally constructed to keep the somewhat boisterous (their words not ours you understand!) north of England in check, and today it welcomes visitors all year round.
An interactive exhibition brings the castle’s long and colourful past to life for visitors and there’s a programme of events each year that makes it a great place to take the kids. That said, if you visit on a quiet day the castle makes the perfect place for a picnic and they’re welcome throughout its grounds. The Cockpit Garden has always been an inspiration for artists, and the luminous watercolour that J.M.W Turner captured now hangs in the Tate Britain.
The castle peers down over the town and the river far below, so it’s the kind of place you can while away an afternoon without realising on a sunny day, so leave plenty of time to explore and enjoy the peace and quiet.