Yorkshire guided walking holiday, The Prior Richard Way

“A four day, fully guided walking holiday in North Yorkshire, following an easy linear route. Staying in guesthouses and inns along the way. Bags transported for you.”


Walk with Prior Richard | Sample Yorkshire’s fantastic local foods | Wild Food Foraging | 4 Star Accommodation | York | St Mary's Abbey | Roman Roads | Medieval Villages | River Paths | Ripon Canal | Ripon Cathedral | Studley Royal Deer Park | UNESCO Fountains Abbey | Car Free Holiday

Description of Yorkshire guided walking holiday, The Prior Richard Way

Walk with Prior Richard through the historic county of Yorkshire, often nicknamed “God’s own County” and follow the route known as The Prior Richard Way. This path is an easy low-level 37 miles that follows in the footsteps of 12th century monks ( including Prior Richard ) who travelled in pilgrimage to the site that became Fountains Abbey, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Start in York, at St. Mary's Abbey within the beautiful grounds of Museum Gardens, and meet Prior Richard who will guide you on your journey and tell you about his life and work as a monk. Walk beside the River Ouse and then head along the historic Roman Road of Dere Street. Travel through ancient villages, stunning North Yorkshire rural landscapes, historic drovers’ paths. Will you spot the wild animal along the way - it won’t bite? Be amazed at many aspects of the region’s fascinating history, smell exotic perfumes of many wild flowers and perhaps spot birds of prey whirl above. Try wild foraging or taste nettle tea. You can be assured of a very Yorkshire welcome in the local cafes we visit and sample some of their best local produce which is sourced or freshly baked / cooked on the premises.

Cultural heritage highlights along the way include the magnificent Ripon Cathedral which dates back to the 7th century, and boasts one of the oldest Saxon crypts in the country.

The founder of our company and guide for the duration of your holiday is a trained Mountain Leader, an experienced guide and a true Yorkshireman.

The price of this holiday includes: 3 nights en-suite accommodation in 4 star guest houses and hotels, breakfast which includes fresh locally sourced ingredients, three packed lunches of your choice, detailed itinerary, luggage transfers, entrance to Ripon Cathedral and UNESCO World Heritage Site Fountains Abbey and transfer back to York.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We run our office from our family home. We rarely print anything, but when we do we print on recycled paper and we also use the reverse side of printed paper as note paper. We use our household recycling bins for any paper, cardboard and plastic packaging and glass waste that we generate, and are very lucky that we also have a council run recycling site very close to our home where we take batteries, ink cartridges and any redundant electrical items.
We also encourage guests to use re-usable water carriers rather than disposable water bottles.

This walking holiday starts at York, England which can be accessed very easily by public transport. We then walk each day starting from our accommodation doorstep until we reach our destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Fountains Abbey ( a National Trust property ), Studley Royal Deer Park and Water Garden, near Ripon.

Our walking routes only use legitimate footpaths. The Prior Richard Way route is constructed using a network of established footpaths, waymarked routes, bridleways, small country lanes, green lanes and disused railway lines. Some examples of existing routes that we hop on and off are the Jorvik Way, the Knaresborough Round, and the Ripon Rowel Walk.

We advise and encourage our walkers to keep to the legitimate paths in order to avoid disturbing nearby wildlife, especially ground nesting birds and farm animals. Where footpaths cross cropped fields we adopt a single file formation in order to preserve the fields and reduce any possible damage to crops.

As well as informing about wildlife preservation, our guide also informs on history of the ancient footpath route that we are walking, of those who walked them in times of old, and of related local history of the area that we walk through.

We inform all guests on how to actively sustain the environment that they are walking through by promoting and adopting a ' leave no trace ' policy when we arrive in, use and leave the countryside. We always do a quick check of an area where we have rested and taken replenishment in order to implement this policy.

The Impacts of this Trip

Our walk guide is Yorkshire born and bred, and is therefore proud to frequent and promote local businesses along our walk routes.
Whilst with us on the Prior Richard Way ( via Ripon Cathedral ), walkers will come across and possibly frequent local cafes, pubs, and gift shops where local people are employed and offer service to both tourists and their local economy. One such example is Poppleton Community Centre on the outskirts of York, where Fairtrade products are sold and home-baked cakes made from locally sourced ingredients are served. Another example of our local economy support is Spellows, a café which we frequent that is owned and run by a local farmer’s wife and is conveniently situated on our route between Whixley and Arkendale. At Boroughbridge there is also the opportunity to visit a wholefood cafe by the name of La Rascasse which serves hearty local produce dishes and desserts.

We live, work, and walk in Yorkshire. Our walk guide and company founder is, therefore, a ' local lad '. With over 23 years of leading walks in the UK and in Europe in all environments and weather conditions you will be in good hands ! We have funded a Mountain Leader training course for him, and are now funding and supporting him in his preparation for the subsequent Mountain Leader Assessment.

On this holiday we walk to and spend time at UNESCO World Heritage Site Fountains Abbey ( a National Trust Property ), one of the largest and best preserved Cistercian Abbeys in England which boasts an amazing gift shop and café, once again employing local staff who in turn provide service to visitors and ensuring a local income. The entrance fee to Fountains Abbey (which is included in the price of the holiday) is used to fund further restoration and conservation of the Abbey and also to continue to provide employment for local people.

We only use independent accommodation providers on our multi-day walks. These establishments employ local staff and declare that they use local produce as much as possible. We endeavour to review their commitment to this regularly.

Our baggage transfer company is also local to the area that we walk in, again providing valuable income and support to the local economy.


1 Reviews of Yorkshire guided walking holiday, The Prior Richard Way

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 11 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The beautiful Lock House in Boroughbridge and the last day of walking including. Fountains Abbey was the best part because of the landscape being more interesting.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring your best walking shoes. There is a lot of walking on asfalt, but still you need waterproof shoes because of the many crossings of fields.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, only small local companies were visited during our walk.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Tony and Rachel took really good care of us during our walk. We did not miss anything.

Read the operator's response here:

Hilde - Thank you for your feedback about Lock House and your final day along the quiet river bank and canal path, it really is a joyful day's walk. Your observation shows that the landscape of the Prior Richard Way changes between leaving York, along the original Roman Road route and then through the Vale of York towards the more undulating location of the Skell Valley where Fountains Abbey is situated.

Yes, the terrain that the monks' route follows is now quite varied e.g. asphalt where the original roman road surface no longer exists, gravel tracks, quiet country lanes, and beautiful countryside paths and fields. It's surprising how wet the dew fall on the grass can be sometimes.

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