Six hardy souls braved the weather to gather at Richmond Market Place for a ten mile walk exploring some of the less travelled paths in the local area. Billed in the programme as “easy”it proved to be a bit tougher than that in conditions which in places included knee deep snow. Len had brought along three sets of instep crampons which certainly proved useful for those who wore them. The rest of us relied on our big feet and big boots to stay upright as we half-walked, half slid out of Richmond en route for Easby. We took the path above the abbey and tested that the Echo Stone was still working before continuing to Broken Brae then along the old railway line to Skeeby Beck where we turned north for Skeeby Village.
Fortunately the weather although chilly was gloriously sunny and the snow-covered fields and woods looked extremely seasonal (ie arctic). In Skeeby we took advantage of the posh new bus shelter for a sit down lunch (at least for those who grabbed the four seats) then ploughed on by the path alongside Gilling Beck and over Crayfish Beck ( a bit too cold to check if any crayfish were in residence) towards Gilling. The last section, mostly uphill from Gilling past Aske Hall and over the golf course to reach Richmond racecourse gave another chance to test our stamina (snowshoes would have been handy) before the descent into Richmond town gave us the opportunity to admire a lovely sunset. Thanks to Anne, Kate, Joe, Len and John for their very pleasant company.