Jan 292014
 
Map of Swaledale walk

From Richmond in North Yorkshire, Mark Rowe traces a fascinating trail beside the fastest-flowing river in England.
When the rain never stops, and the fields are flooded, a swollen river is a stirring example of nature in fifth gear. Cue the bulging river Swale in full spate: the fastest-flowing river in England is hurtling its way towards the North Sea. Mallards sail backwards, as randomly hapless as their toy rubber duck counterparts in this full-throttled, uncorked torrent. They play dodgems between fallen branches of ash trees that are swept along, though even these substantial chunks of wood look as powerful as a smattering of twiglets.
I’m walking a stretch of the Swale out of Richmond, North Yorkshire, and it’s a route that really hits the ground running. From the town’s sloping handsome market place, all cobbles and Georgian townhouses, I’ve descended steeply to Green Bridge above the river, a strategic crossing point, over which the brooding outline of Richmond Castle has glowered for almost 1,000 years.
This article was published in The Independent on 25 January 2014. Read it here.

  •  29 January 2014