Set in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, Skipton hotels are an excellent base for exploring the Yorkshire Dales, surrounded by historical buildings and bustling markets.
One of the best-preserved medieval castles in the whole of England, Skipton Castle has survived over 900 years of history. Originally a motte and bailey castle built in 1090, the castle was reinforced with stone in 1102 to withstand attacks from the Scots. Later, during the English Civil War, the castle became the last Royalist stronghold in the north until it eventually surrendered in 1645 at the end of a three-year siege. Visitors to the castle today can explore the depths of its dungeon and see the yew tree planted by Lady Anne Clifford in 1659 to commemorate the repairs made to the castle after the siege.
For a comprehensive overview of the rich history behind Skipton head to the Craven Museum and Gallery, housed in Skipton Town Hall. Well worth visiting, the museum has a fascinating range of exhibitions on the area’s heritage and includes archaeological artefacts and clothing to dress up in.
Skipton is set on the longest canal in the country – the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Measuring at 127 miles, the canal was completed in 1816 with the purpose of transporting cargo such as stone, coal and cloth. Today the canal is a beautiful area to explore and there are a number of companies operating in Skipton that offer cruises and trips on the water. Pennine Boat Trips and Airedale Cruising are two of the better-known companies, and they offer a range of boating tuition cruises and relaxing day cruises, ideal for both family trips and romantic getaways in the country.
Skipton is a brilliant place to indulge in a spot of retail therapy. Skipton Market has a long history stretching back to the medieval period and is today a great place to find everything from fresh local produce to flowers and clothing. Head to Skipton High Street and you’ll come across big name brands on either side of cobbled streets and alleys, and Skipton also boasts a variety of boutique independent outlets clustered around Victoria Square as well as a number of traditional shops and eateries in the Historical Quarter.
Yorkshire Dales and Bolton Abbey
Skipton is excellently positioned for visiting the Yorkshire Dales. A short trip to the east from the town will take you to the ruins of the 12th-century Augustinian monastery that make up Bolton Abbey. Encompassing 30, 000 acres of countryside and 80 miles of footpaths, there is plenty of land surrounding the abbey to explore. Head further into the Dales and you’ll find a vast and beautiful natural space with walking routes for all ages and levels of ability. If you’re looking for a more adventurous hike head to the Three Peaks – Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Close to Ingleborough you’ll also find Ingleborough Cave a show cave that features a 500m long fossil gallery as well as impressive stalagmite formations.