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Eight things to do with your elderly parents in Richmond

Often described as the jewel of North Yorkshire, the historic town of Richmond is one of the most popular holiday spots in the United Kingdom, and it’s easy to see why. Located on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park, this cobbled market town is the gateway to the rolling countryside beyond, and there’s something for everyone here.

If you’re visiting Richmond with parents who are receiving elderly live-in care or you are fortunate enough to live in this area, here are eight great suggestions for fantastic days out.

Richmond Castle

No visit to Richmond would be complete without seeing its castle. This is one of the country’s greatest Norman fortresses, built as part of the campaign to bring the unruly North under control. From here, you can enjoy fantastic views over the Yorkshire Dales and explore the Cockpit Gardens, with their ornamental flowerbeds and glasshouses, which provide year-round interest.

The majority of the castle is accessible over mown grass or gravel walks, and wheelchairs can be borrowed on request. There is disabled parking, lift access to the visitor centre and plenty of benches and rest points around the castle and grounds.

Georgian Theatre Royal

Visit Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal to catch a show or for a tour, and you’re in for a treat. Guided heritage tours take you behind the scenes and let you explore how the theatre operated in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as letting you tread the boards onstage yourself.

While access to Grade I-listed buildings can be difficult, the Theatre Royal does have a lift to the higher floors and wheelchair space for audience members with disabilities. Access to the dressing rooms and some other areas is limited for wheelchair users, but the majority of the theatre is easy to get around if mobility is not an issue. If your loved one is receiving companion care and needs assistance, the theatre can ensure your parent is seated with you or their carer, if they’ve booked to see a show.

Mainsgill Farm

With its shop and tearooms, Mainsgill Farm is the ideal place to take your elderly parents, if you want a quiet afternoon sampling tasty local produce. If your loved one is receiving care at home, they can sometimes feel cut-off from the “Great Outdoors”, particularly if they have lived an active life up until recently. Visiting a working farm is an enjoyable way to reconnect with nature.

Mainsgill Farm’s shop and tearoom are accessible, and once inside, you’ll find a great range of delicious cakes and home-cooked meals.

Green Howards Museum

One of the most well-known of military regiments, the Green Howards have played a pivotal role in many military campaigns. The museum offers disabled parking and is easy to access. Many of the exhibits will spark memories for those who served during the war or even just experienced wartime life. This can be a particularly enjoyable experience for those receiving dementia care, who may find the memorabilia on display conjures up some element of their youth.

Mikis’ care story

In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.

They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.

Richmondshire Museum

Providing information on the history of the local area, an afternoon spent in this museum at the beginning of your stay in Richmond is well worth it. If your parent is receiving live-in care and needs to bring their caregiver with them, it might be worth booking in advance, as the museum is quite small and space is somewhat limited.

Local artist, Lucy Pittaway, has been named the official artist of the Tour de Yorkshire two years in a row, and this gallery of her vivid Yorkshire-themed artwork is worth a look, and possibly even a souvenir from your visit to the Dales.

The staff are friendly and helpful, even offering cups of tea and coffee while you browse the collection.

Richmond Town Centre

The town centre itself is always worth exploring, although the cobbled marketplace could pose some problems for those with limited mobility. There are smoother paved areas for wheelchair access, but even just sitting in a traditional tearoom and taking in the Georgian architecture is a lovely way to pass some time together.

An important regional hub from the Medieval period onwards, Richmond also has plenty to offer in the way of historic pubs. There are many excellent restaurants to enjoy too, so be sure to spend some time sampling the good Yorkshire fare.

Kiplin Hall

A Jacobean manor, Kiplin Hall is situated just outside Richmond itself. It was built for George Calvert, the founder of Maryland in the United States and Secretary of State to James I, and has been owned and added to by four families since that time. The house has fascinating furniture and artefacts collected down the centuries, while the gardens and tearooms are also well worth a visit.

For those who receive live-in care, there is free admission for carers, and the ground floors and gardens are fully accessible by wheelchair. An information folder with colour images of the upper floors ensures those with mobility problems don’t miss out on the rest of the house, and there is some access to the woodlands and a lakeside walk.

Whether you’re simply here for a short break with your elderly parents, or lucky enough to live nearby, Richmond is a gem well worth visiting at any time of year.

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