Micky Hammond Racing is based in Middleham, a beautifully picturesque town situated in Wensleydale between the rivers Cover and Ure. Middleham has been strongly associated with horse racing for around 250 years, while the ruins of Middleham Castle tower over the town and its ancient market square; the castle was once home to Richard III and is steeped in history.
A visit to Middleham is an essential part of having a horse in training with us, and we’ve provided the following links to local hotels, guest houses and restaurants to help you get the most out of your stay in our historic township.
The White Swan Hotel, one of Middleham’s most popular and attractive inns, has recently been extended and refurbished. The purchase of the town’s old Post Office means that the White Swan can now boast a 60-cover brasserie and five new bedrooms, making 17 in all. Overlooking the town’s picturesque market square and boasting lovely rural views, the White Swan is now a premier town house hotel with superb facilities including free wireless internet for all residents.
Richard the Third Hotel lies in the centre of Middleham overlooking the little market square. We have the pleasure of the castle behind us and the clip-clopping of the horses going past our front door every morning. With views over the dale, it is a lovely place to spend a night or a few days. With our real fires, great food, warm welcome, well kept ales and cosy rooms – you really must pay us a visit soon! Look forward to seeing you – Sharon and Ken and their friendly team!
Nestled in the heart of iconic Wensleydale, the historic 18th century Blue Lion Inn encapsulates the finest elements of traditional rural England. Paul and Helen Klein have run the Blue Lion Inn for over 20 years creating a blend of quintessential English coaching inn with modern comfort to relax and recharge. Be it real ale and food at the bar or candlelit fine dining and beautiful accommodation you can be sure that your stay will be homely, welcoming and full of friendly character.
Situated in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, between Leyburn and Hawes, in the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park, The Wensleydale Heifer offers high quality award winning dining, as well as luxury award winning accommodation. We offer a wide range of high quality themed en-suite accommodation, including our four poster rooms, champagne, true romantics, chocolate heaven and many more…
Demonicus is a superbly restored 18th century traditional Dales cottage in the heart of Middleham. The cottage overlooks the cobbled market square and is only yards away from Richard III’s impressive castle. Recently renovated to the highest standard, Demonicus keeps its unique Dales character, retaining many of the original features such as the exposed beams throughout.
Up to four adults can be accommodated in the two large, beautifully furnished bedrooms. Regarded by many guests as the perfect ‘home from home’ in the Yorkshire Dales, the cottage, awarded five star accreditation by Visit Britain, is the ideal base for exploring the surrounding Dales countryside.
Just up the road from our yard and dominating the town’s skyline is the imposing Middleham Castle, built in the 12th century by Robert Fitzrandolph. A ruin since the 1700s, the castle is best known for being the main home of Richard III, the last king of the House of York, in the latter part of the 15th century. Richard’s son Edward was born in the castle in 1473 and died there aged ten while Richard himself was killed at the Battle of Bosworth, the last major battle of the Wars of the Roses, in 1485.
The castle is now in the hands of English Heritage and is open to the public daily from 10am until 6pm in the summer and at weekends through the winter, admission costs around £5 for adults and £3 for children (free for English Heritage members) with concessions and family tickets available.
The High Moor
Middleham’s High Moor is one of Britain’s ‘lost’ racecourses. Racing was held there from 1739 until 1873, when a dispute between trainers and local landowners forced its closure. Since then, the High Moor has been used solely for training purposes, but on a beautiful summer morning it’s not difficult to imagine what this most stunning location would have looked like in its eighteenth century heyday.
Dark Castle on the High Moor
If you’re spending any time in Middleham we’d strongly recommend that you have a trip up through Tupgill Park to the High Moor, the sweeping, beautifully-maintained gallops follow the old racecourse layout and the early nineteenth century ‘rubbing houses’, which were used to keep horses warm between their races, are still standing. The views over Wensleydale and the meandering River Ure are breathtaking and wildlife enthusiasts will love the curlews, lapwings and grouse. There surely can’t be a better place to train racehorses in the world.
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