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Begin your tour of historic Skipton at Skipton Castle, which dominates the town at the top of the main street, and shields nearly a thousand years of turbulent history and a fascinating mediaeval legacy behind the twin-turreted hulk of its gateway. There is much to detain the visitor here, in particular the dungeons and the watch tower, but once the sights of the castle itself have been exhausted, follow the Wild about Woods trail around the grounds alongside the river and enjoy the views, peace and the sense of history. Back in town, the main street and Craven Court shopping arcade brim with quirky, independent and specialist shops, and market day, which operates four days a week, is a great opportunity to sample fresh local produce from around the region.
The town’s Millennium Walk is an enjoyable way to experience the principal sights in town, as well as discovering some of the less obvious cobbled streets and alleyways. Take a stroll along the Leeds-Liverpool canal as it maps its course right through the centre of town, or board one of the traditional narrow boats to experience Yorkshire from the tranquillity of the waterways. Call in at the free Craven Museum at the top end of the high street, with its eclectic collection of antiquities and artefacts, from bones to bicycles.
The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, just a couple of miles from Skipton, is a popular visitor attraction, with something for enthusiasts and regular tourists alike. The line, maintained by volunteers, is a mixture of the original nineteenth century rails and new track meandering through picturesque Dales scenery, including a new station at Bolton Abbey. Stop off here to enjoy a ramble around the ruins of the beautiful and atmospheric twelfth century priory, enjoy a picnic on the banks of the river Wharfe or a ramble in Strid Wood. Book early to time your Yorkshire cottage holiday to coincide with one of the various specialist days which operate on the line throughout the year; these range from vintage 1940’s events, Thomas the Tank Engine guest appearances and Santa Specials, to name but three. On a similar theme, the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway will also be on the railway enthusiast’s list of places to visit, also just a short drive from Skipton. Five miles of restored branch line are served by a fleet of historic carriages and locomotives; take in the Museum of Rail Travel at Ingrow, or enjoy a picnic at one of the stops along the route. Skipton’s railway station offers regular rail connections to one of the most scenic rail routes in the county, the historic Settle to Carlisle railway.
Further afield, some of the Yorkshire Dales’ finest offerings are within easy and enjoyable driving distance from Skipton. Visit the limestone pavements and cliffs at Malham Cove, take an atmospheric stroll on Ilkley Moor; historic Haworth and Brontë Country are within easy reach, as are a host of interesting and picturesque Dales villages, such as Kettlewell, Burnsall, Gargrave and, further afield, Saltaire.
If you would like to see the above come to life, why not take a look at our self catering holiday cottages in Skipton?