About the location
Skipton 7 miles.
The ancient village of Cowling sits across a hillside in the Pennine Hills, just seven miles from the market town of Skipton.
A thriving village, built along a main high street with stone-built, terraced houses set alongside the mills of a bygone age.
The village was once sparsely populated, the bulk of the population living in Ickornshaw and Middleton, and before that on Cowling Hill, close to water sources they depended on, and the main roads of the day - now used as back roads by locals to avoid the modern day traffic.
In the early days, agriculture was the main occupation, with corn being grown and ground within the village.
When canal transport boomed, corn became cheaper to buy from elsewhere and so the mills in Cowling turned from grinding corn to weaving during the Industrial Revolution.
The village inn was once part of a farmhouse on Cowling Hill, but was sold as changes to the structure of the village began.
The son of the landlord later opened the Bay Horse Hotel on the new road, which still stands as a main feature of village life.
The nearby Quaker village of Lothersdale was, at one time, home to Charlotte Bronte who modelled Gateshead Hall in Jane Eyre on Stone Gappe House where she was governess.
Today many visitors passing through the village are walkers, on their way along the Pennine Way on the stretch from Cowling to Gargrave.
There's the large retail outlet of Boundary Mills, just six miles away, a must for lovers of shopping, and Skipton, known as 'The Gateway to the Dales' is nearby.
Skipton is a lovely old market town with much to interest the enthusiastic visitor, boasting an ancient castle open to the public, a beautiful old parish church and a colourful market occupying the cobbled setts each side of the high street.
In 2008 the Academy of Urbanism voted Skipton High Street the best shopping spot in Britain, and The Copper Dragon Brewery, opened in 2002 is highly rated in the CAMRA listings.
Steam railways with regular excursions are available at Embsay and Bolton Abbey, and the Leeds to Liverpool Canal passes through Skipton with the one mile long Foulridge Tunnel and the 5-rise locks at Bingley within a short distance away.
In 2014 the area hosted the first leg of the Tour De France, bringing in many visitors from far and wide to this wonderful area..