Visiting and Living in Middleham

Whether you are a resident or a visitor, Middleham extends a warm welcome.  The following is intended to answer some questions that you may have:

  • Local Facilities
    • The Key Centre in Park Lane is Middleham’s community centre which holds social and educational events and has meeting rooms available for hire.  There is a lot of information on local events available from the Foyer.  See the Middleham Key Centre website
    • A defibrillator is mounted on the wall of the Old Town Hall, just up the hill from the market square, next door to Central Stores
    • Middleham Church of England (Voluntary Aided) Primary School caters for children aged from 4 – 11 years old.  Please see the School’s website.
    • A public telephone box is in the market square.
    • The Playing Fields, which also has a skate park and community garden.
    • Children’s play areas are behind St Alkelda’s Road and Park Lane
    • Public toilets are located in the ginnel (a northern English word for a narrow passage or alley between buildings) alongside the Richard III Hotel in the main square.
    • Hotels, tea and coffee shops, a convenience store.
    • The Church of St Mary & St Alkelda holds regular services details here
    • A mobile Post office visits the Swine Cross – for opening times please see the Key Centre website
    • A civic burial ground (to open in late 2020)
  • Safe Motorists welcome
    • The speed limit is 30mph through the centre of Middleham. Please be careful as this is very much a maximum speed on our narrow and busy streets.
    • Some of Middleham’s famous racehorse training stables are based within the Town and from daybreak until around 2pm, every day of the year, horses will be making their way to and from the Moors along our roads
    • All drivers are reminded of Rules 214 and 215 of the Highway Code. In summary, when passing horses and other animals, you should:
      • drive slowly; give them plenty of room and be ready to stop.
      • Not scare animals by sounding your horn, revving your engine or accelerating rapidly once you have passed them
      • Look out for animals being led, driven or ridden on the road and take extra care.
      • Keep your speed down at bends and on narrow country roads.
      • If a road is blocked by a herd of animals, stop and switch off your engine until they have left the road.
      • Watch out for animals on unfenced roads.
      • Be particularly careful of horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles especially when overtaking.
      • Horse riders may be children, so take extra care and remember riders may ride in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider.
      • Look out for horse riders’ and horse drivers’ signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Take great care and treat all horses as a potential hazard; they can be unpredictable, despite the efforts of their rider/driver.
  • Car Parking. There are no parking restrictions in Middleham on those areas of Cobbles owned by the Council which are shown bounded by red lines on the maps in the Map section of this website.  In these areas, parking is on a first-come, first-served basis; please ignore signs on properties that may say the parking is private. Long term parking (i.e. when vehicles are not regularly moved) is not permitted.  If you need long term parking, can you please make arrangements to store your vehicle elsewhere. There is an ‘honesty box’ in both the main market square and the swine cross.  Donations are appreciated towards the upkeep of the town. We suggest a contribution of £2.
  • Camping.  Camping, whether in tents, caravans or motorhomes is not permitted on any of the following: The Town Wastes (the Cobbles), the playing fields, the Low and High Moors
  • Holiday lets – arrangements for rubbish disposal. Unlike residential properties, these are not supplied with general waste and recycling bins by Richmondshire District Council.  The owner of the property should have given you instructions on removal of waste at the end of your stay.  Please do not leave rubbish bags outside when you leave as these will not be collected and can sometimes remain for weeks.  Rubbish should not be put in other people’s bins.
  • Access to the Low and High Moors
    • Vehicles. Vehicles are not allowed on the Moor at any time; this applies to cars as well as motorbikes and includes driving along the various tracks and roadways. This is enforceable under law as the Moors are classified as Common Land. Driving vehicles on common land (other than within15 yards of the road) is restricted by Section 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which makes it unlawful for a person to drive “a mechanically propelled vehicle” on any common land without lawful authority. It may also constitute civil trespass. Vehicles using these tracks can only do so with the permission of the Council.
    • Walkers. Times and restrictions for access on foot. There is an exemption from the ‘right to roam’ across the High and Low Moors as from daybreak to 1pm every day of the week, horses are trained by members of Middleham Racehorse Trainers’ Association.  During those times horses may be moving at speed across the Gallops and it is vitally important that you keep to the footpaths as there is a serious risk of collision.  You are also recommended to stand still when the horses are passing.
    • Access to the Moors by organised groups. Event organisers should contact the Clerk who can make arrangements for group activities to take place on the Moors.  This will include liaison with the racing trainers.  Such events across the Moor can only take place with Council’s permission and unless adhering at all times to footpaths, can only take place after 1pm on any day of the week.
  • Footpaths and other Rights of Way. Please see the official local footpath map in the Maps section of this website.  All rights of way, locally and nationally, can be viewed here.
  • Information for Dog Owners.
    • Dogs are very welcome in Middleham but you are urged to remember that this is a farming area and sheep in particular can become stressed by the mere presence of dogs; when sheep panic they can suffer injury and anxiety, sometimes leading to death. As well as being potentially cruel, each animal has an owner who may suffer financial loss.  Sadly, there are occasional incidents of careless dog ownership leading to loss of stock in Middleham.
    • If you witness a dog worrying sheep, please call 999 as this is a criminal offence.
    • When walking on the Moors dogs should be kept on short leads at all times. Between 1 March and 31 July there are many nesting birds which will abandon nests if disturbed by dogs.  There is also the risk of collision with a race horse.
    • Dog waste issues. All dog owners are reminded that it is an offence punishable by fines for not picking up dog waste. There are dog waste collection bins within the town and three free bag dispensers (please look at the artwork on these, designed by pupils from Middleham Primary School!)
  • No fires or barbeques please! Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property. At any time, but particularly during hot and very dry weather, please follow the following guidance:
    • Do not light fires or barbeques on the Moors or in woods.
    • Never light so called ‘Chinese Lanterns’ (also known as ‘sky lanterns’) anywhere as these can travel large distances on the wind and start fires.
    • Put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before you leave your vehicle.
    • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows- they could start a fire and ruin the surrounding countryside.
    • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodlands or on the moor. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
    • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately by dialling 999.
    • Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water- leave the area as soon as possible and call the fire service. Fires can spread very quickly – possibly much faster than you can walk
  • Shooting rights on Common Land. Many years ago shooting rights may have existed for residents.  The position today however is different; as agreed at the Council meeting of 22 February 2006, shooting may be permitted by the Council for organised groups who have confirmed their insurance and gun licence details. Shooting is only be allowed on the High Moor, as the Low Moor is more accessible to the public. The arrangements must be lodged with the clerk and safety precautions adhered to by the authorised groups.
  • Residents’ Fishing rights. Residents who have a rod license may fish from Council-owned property alongside the River Ure.  The terms and conditions Fishing Permit New Rules 2019 – blank and a map are shown here Map of Western Willows Fishing Area-2019.  Before you fish, you must firstly apply to the Clerk who shall issue a permit.  Other stretches of the River have private fishing rights.
  • Conservation Area. Much of Middleham is classified as a conservation area and detailed rules published by Richmondshire District Council should be reviewed by residents thinking of making changes to their property.  There is a separate section on this website giving more details.
  • Plant pots and Troughs on the Town Wastes. Council permits these to be placed on the Cobbles it owns provide they are within 1metre of your front wall or garden boundary and are not intended to create a private parking area.  Householders are also required to have public liability insurance cover in place.  Please speak to the Clerk for further details.
  • Byelaws. A copy of Council byelaws is may be downloaded from the Documents section of this website.