Richmondshire District covers 509 square miles and is actually larger than four English counties, but within its boundary live only 51,400 people (2007 estimate). Richmondshire is therefore one of the most sparsely populated District Councils in the country, its boundaries stretching from the River Tees to Cumbria. The area is predominantly rural in character and a large part is situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The largest town in the District is the historic market town of Richmond with its Norman Castle, cobbled market place, famous Georgian Theatre Royal and elegant Georgian buildings.
There is a thriving tourism industry within Richmondshire and this now forms the economic bedrock of the District.
The District also boasts two other bustling market towns, Leyburn and Hawes, with many other urban developments to the east, namely Catterick, Scotton, Hipswell, Colburn and Brompton On Swale. Reeth is also a service centre for the upper Dales.