From Yorkshire With Love
It’s hard to believe that there was a time in my life when I absolutely couldn’t wait to escape this place. That place in question is Richmond in North Yorkshire.
As a small child, it was my universe. As a teen, it was the bane of my life. As an adult, it is home. And I feel so lucky to be able to call it that.
Richmond in North Yorkshire
A charming market town nestled within the Yorkshire Dales, Richmond in North Yorkshire – the first and original of all Richmonds in the worlds (and the best, in my humble opinion) – is such a magical place.
Granted, I’ve had to take a step back to see how lovely it really is, but I can fully appreciate it for what it is. For almost 30 years, this is where I grew up and although I no longer live there, I am never too far from home.
As far as cute little English towns go, Richmond is pretty darn cute. As an old town founded by the Normans in 1071, its stubbornness to embrace change is the very reason why Richmond has been able to preserve it’s heritage all these years. It’s a place steeped in history, and urban myths and legends, it’s full of character and its old traditions.
Every corner of town has its little quirks from gothic buildings, listed Georgian properties to it’s quaint cobbled streets. When I stay at my parents house, I love nothing more than to wake up at 6am on a Summer’s morning for a blissful long walk to take in the clean fresh air of the picturesque Yorkshire countryside.
I don’t know why I have this sudden sense of sentiment. I didn’t always wax lyrical about it, but every love affair has it’s ups and downs, right?
The thing is, with a place like Richmond, you have to outgrow it to be able return and see it for it’s true beauty. Otherwise, like with any small towns across the world, there’s a risk you’ll will be stuck with the small town mentality and I think that’s the part I struggled with as a teenager. After all, it’s a small town and it can get claustrophobic. It can get too crowded and uncomfortable.
I was constantly looking forward to the day I could escape and grow as an individual instead of feeling stuck. Stuck in the same place, stuck in the same social circle, seeing the same faces, doing the same thing, living the same routine and forever being defined by the trivial mistakes you had made as a teen. I’m aware that I’m too demanding of a person to stick around for too long, but I sure miss it when I’m not there.
The older I get, the more I appreciate it. I’m lucky that I was able to spend a large part of my life (and more importantly, my childhood) here, I have fond memories but mainly, because let’s face it, there are worse places to grow up as a child.
While Richmond isn’t the “coolest” (95% of it’s population is almost as ancient as the town itself* – *That’s not an official statistic, by the way…), it’s also not, as you can imagine, the most diverse or the most open-minded place in the world, but it is extremely charming and and incredibly welcoming. As a tourist town that relies heavily on out-of-towners, you would expect it to be been conditioned so.
But Richmonders are genuinely welcoming with that unique sense of Yorkshire charm, and you’ll fall in love with it if you ever visit.