We're spoilt for choice: two Christmas markets this weekend.
Saturday 2 December: Handmade Christmas Fair at The Station. Free admission, 10:00 - 16:00. Talented local makers bring their wares to Richmond, including candles, cards, art prints, seaside models, jewellery, stitchware, pottery...
Sunday 3 December: Little Bird Artisan Christmas Market in the Market Place. Free admission, 10:00 - 16:00 , with over 50 craft, food and drink stalls. Also, 15 craft stalls in the Town Hall.
Tralalalala, lala la la!
Free mulled wine and mince pies! Fairground rides! Carol singing! Christmas lights in Friary Gardens!
The First of December is always a cheerful occasion, for young and not-so-young, whatever the weather. There's something about the bright lights, the crowds, the music, the dark night...
1 December will also be a chance for some after-hours Christmas shopping. Pop into the Market Hall, where all the stalls will be waiting to welcome you. Visit the Info Centre, which has a huge selection of charity Christmas cards, and a pretty good range of local-interest books and calendars (just the thing for your rellies). Did we mention mulled wine? And mince pies..?
Visiting Richmond for just a couple of hours? We've got the perfect short walks for you, with two smartly produced leaflets in our new series, Exploring Richmond on Foot.
One, The River Swale, guides you down to the Foss, as we call the thundering waterfall below our castle. From there, you follow the river a short way upstream, crossing at Green Bridge. A grassy path takes you over Earls' Orchard (where knights are believed to have jousted) and over a couple of fields. Now (possibly after a drink and a snack at The Station) you re-cross the Swale at Mercury Bridge and enter the attractive green space known locally as The Batts, with the river running smoothly and swiftly beside you. An alleyway leads back up to the cobbles of the Market Place.
The other leaflet, Churches and Chapels, takes the visitor on a route which has fewer hills and is entirely on paved surfaces. This is a chance to see some of the varied and fascinating buildings of our old town. The architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner described the carving on the Catholic church's tower as "naughty"; if anyone can tell us why, we'd be fascinated to know...
Each of these walks will take about an hour. The leaflets are priced at just £1 (ridiculously cheap!) and are only available from Richmond Information Centre in the Market Hall - which just happens to be the starting point for both walks.
PS: rather go on a guided walk? We do those too. See here.
PPS: visiting for a bit longer? We've got a couple of books of circular walks In Richmond and Swaledale, up to about 7 miles in length. You can get Richmond Walks and Pootling round Richmond in many shops in Richmond, or in the Information Centre, or you can find details and buy online here.
The panto at Richmond's Georgian Theatre Royal is famous for all kinds of reasons: knitted toys being flung around the auditorium (footnote 1); Tunnock's Teacakes (footnote 2); and fabulously good, traditional, family-friendly pantos on the tiny stage.
This year's pantomime is Rapunzel, which runs from 6 December to 7 January, with both matinee and evening performances daily. There will be amazing song and dance routines, fantastic sets and special effects, huge amounts of laughter, plenty of audience participation, and lotsof dreadful jokes and terrible puns. You can bet that every performance will be jam-packed, as always, so if you're planning to take a party do be sure to book right now! Four performances are already sold out.
Don't delay! Let your hair down today! Tickets and information are at the Georgian Theatre's website.
(1) Knitted toys? Why? The reason is lost in the mists of history. This year, in a turnip for the books, the toys will be vegetables. No peas for the wicked.
(2) Tunnock's Teacakes? Whether you hate them, loathe them, or have no idea what they are, you're likely to find them raining down on you. Visitors to one performance last year may have witnessed the Prime Minister doing a rather neat left-handed catch, to the alarm of his bodyguards. But why teacakes? Err - tradition?
Today, 1 November, Ordnance Survey maps are going up in price. Ouch.
Meanwhile, Richmond Information Centre is putting them back down again. And then again.
With £2 off, they are now even cheaper than they were at the old list price. Make tracks to RIC, in Richmond's old Market Hall, while these stocks last!
Welcome to Richmond Information Centre's website, the best source of information on this wonderful town. Take a look round!