Our plan for today is to drive from Lastingham to Richmond which is only two hours away. We drive through a scenic countryside of varying shades of green fields, amazing stone cottages and farms passing through cute little villages where we sometimes stop and explore.
Rievaulx Abbey was the first Cistercian Abbey in northern England founded in 1132. It was one of the great abbeys in England until it was seized by Henry VIII in 1538 during the dissolution of the monasteries. A highly recommended tour if you happen to be in the area.
We arrived in Richmond and deposited our luggage in the lovely Fleece Hotel which Sandy found online, researched and booked just last night. It is very close to the sites we planned to see. Our first stop was to the remains of Richmond Castle. This castle is breathtakingly situated on a rocky promontory above the river Swale. It was originally called Rich Mount meaning the strong hill. It is the best preserved early Norman castle in England dating back to 1071. We climbed to the top of the keep and enjoyed magnificent views of the town and surrounding dales. According to legend King Arthur and his knights slept in the cave under the castle. The castle is now a National Heritage site. We became members of The National Heritage when we visited Stonehenge and as a result we have enjoyed free access to most of the sites we are touring during our countryside road trip.
After the castle we visited St. Mary’s, the parish church, then enjoyed a dinner at a Bangladeshi restaurant.