Yorkshire Dales Guide to Skipton

The Gateway to the Dales


June 15, 2015 marked the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. William de Forz of Skipton Castle was second on the list of nobles to sign the precious parchment.

Settled by sheep farmers as long ago as the 7th century, Skipton was granted to the de Romille family in 1066.

Their building of a fortress castle led to a regular market being established for local produce and trade, which continues to the present day, whilst seasonal Fairs brought traders into town from further afield.

Skipton is an attractive and bustling market town serving a large rural area. It is in the Aire gap separating the Craven limestone Dales to the north and the pastoral Ribble valley to the west. To the east of Skipton is Ilkley with its famous Moor and the spa town of Harrogate. To the south west lies Haworth in the heart of Bronte Country.

Just outside the National Park boundary, Skipton prides itself on being ‘The Gateway to the Dales’.

From the castle and nearby church the town grew around the market place, expanding along what is now High Street, with inns, yards, and craftsmens' workshops. In 1309 Skipton Castle passed to the Clifford family, and became their main residence for over 300 years. The castle was rebuilt after the Civil War, and much of the present castle dates from the 1650s. It is open to the public, and is well-preserved.

With a long established livestock market, Skipton became an important wool trading centre as roads developed.

The arrival of the Leeds-Liverpool canal in 1770 brought industrial growth to Skipton, with clothmaking becoming a major activity.

Cotton mills became a feature of the Skipton landscape, with paper making, rope-making and corn milling also taking place. A lead works was also established, using supplies from the Grassington area. The arrival of the railway brought increased growth to the town.

Nowadays, Skipton is a thriving shopping and business centre, with an excellent selection of shops, a colourful market 4 days a week, a variety of interesting pubs and eating places, and accommodation of all types.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Skipton Skipton Castle
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Sleeps 2 to 3

At Skipton, 'gateway to the Dales', Low Skibeden Farm offers self catering holiday accommodation. Explore Yorkshire Dales either walking, cycling, bird watching, fishing or relaxing in Yorkshire villages and pubs.

Low Skibeden Cottage
Embsay , Skipton
3 Rooms

Liz and Karl welcome you to stay at Crown Cottage Farm B&B in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. The farm is located in Embsay near the market town of Skipton, and is close to scenic Embsay Reservoir and crag. Set in 5 acres of land, it offers a great base for walking, cycle rides and touring.

Crown Cottage Farm B&B
Skipton near Ilkley , Nidderdale
3 Rooms

This home from home Farmhouse B&B, with fabulous Dales views, lies on the moors between Ilkley and Skipton with Nidderdale and Wharfedale both nearby. Great for couples and friends shortbreaks or family holidays. Ensuite rooms with lots of little extras. Secure bike storage.

Pickersgill Manor Farm B&B
Embsay near Skipton , Wharfedale
2 Rooms

A warm welcome awaits you at The Dalesman Guest House situated in Embsay on the outskirts of Skipton within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Embsay is known for its steam railway, reservoir with sailing club and beautiful walks. Skipton is known for its medieval castle, bustling market and colourful canal basin.

Dalesman Guest House
6 Rooms

A hotel or a guest house? Try the en-suite bed and breakfast accommodation at Skipton and visit the Dales, Leeds, Harrogate, Bradford.

Skipton Park Guest'otel
Gargrave , Skipton
Sleeps 8 to 27

Newton Grange Cottages are situated in a delightful rural setting, near Skipton. These five holiday cottages can accommodate up to 27 people in individual cottages that sleep 2-6 people. A wonderful choice for families, extended families and groups of friends to enjoy a relaxing break in the Yorkshire Dales.

Newton Grange Group Stay
Gargrave , Skipton
Sleeps 2

Newton Cottage is a wonderfully self-contained and cosy ground floor holiday cottage for 2 people. Great for Yorkshire Dales couples holidays and for those visiting on business in the Skipton area. The cottage has a well equipped kitchen, shower room, spacious double bedroom with arm chairs and TV.

Newton  Cottage
Gargrave , Skipton
Sleeps 4 to 6

Newton Grange Holiday Cottages are full of character and provide comfortable, well equipped self catering accommodation situated in rolling countryside next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal and near Skipton. There are 6 cottages sleeping between 2 and 6 and offering group accommodation for 27 people.

Newton Grange Cottages
Embsay , Skipton
3 Rooms

Superb bed and breakfast on a working dairy and sheep farm in the Yorkshire Dales National Park close to Skipton and the Bolton Abbey Estate. All rooms have great views, TV and free wi-fi and there is a comfortable lounge to relax in.

Bondcroft Farm
Barden near Skipton , Wharfedale
Sleeps 24

Barden Bunk Barn lies a stonesthrow from the River Wharfe, and is adjacent to the 12th century ruin of Barden Tower. The Bunk Barn offers simple hostel style accommodation in these scenic and historic surroundings

Barden Bunk Barn
71 Rooms

Coniston Hotel is a 4 star hotel set in a 1400 acre estate, winner of Yorkshire's Best Large Hotel Award. It offers luxurious accommodation in a perfect rural setting near Skipton. Wonderful wedding venue. Great place for corporate events. A unique range of country activities and falconry on offer.

Coniston Hotel
Skipton, North Yorkshire

Kilnsey Park offers fly fishing in spectacular surroundings near Grassington in Wharfedale. 2 lakes are well stocked with hard fighting Rainbow, Blue, Brown and Golden trout from 2lb to 20lb+. There is also a Farm Shop, a Nature Trail, Fun for the Kids and Red Squirrel enclosures.

Kilnsey Park
Skipton, North Yorkshire

Britain's longest inland waterway finally opened in 1816 and remains largely unaltered to this day. On a Pennine Boat Trip you can enjoy the scenery as you travel slowly through the Pennines and Yorkshire Dales.

Skipton Boat Trips
Gargrave, North Yorkshire

Gargrave Show is held in the grounds of Eshton Hall just outside of Gargrave and near Skipton. A great day out for all the family with farm animal, horticulture and handicrafts classes, as well as show jumping, fell running, sheep dog trials and family fun events. Held every year in August

Gargrave Show
Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire

Bolton Abbey is on the banks of the River Wharfe in acres of beautiful countryside. Explore the ruins of the Priory, wander along the woodland nature trails, stroll beside the river, visit the tea rooms and cafes, look around the village shops, or just relax in this romantic location.

Bolton Abbey
Skipton, North Yorkshire

Parcevall Hall Gardens are the only large gardens open to the public in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There is year round interest not only for the plantsman, but also for anyone who enjoys peace and tranquility in this natural setting.

Parcevall Hall Gardens
Skipton, North Yorkshire

900 year old Skipton Castle is one of the best-preserved and most complete medieval castles in England, despite enduring a three-year siege in the Civil War.

Skipton Castle
Skipton, North Yorkshire

One of the finest falconry centres in the north of England at The Coniston Hotel features an amazing array of eagles, owls, hawks, falcons and white-tailed sea eagle. Friendly and knowledgeable instructors help you fly these magnificent birds in the open countryside.

Falconry at Coniston Hotel
Skipton, North Yorkshire

Bring your little ones to enjoy a great family day out at Hesketh Farm Park at Bolton Abbey near Skipton. There are plenty of farm animals to enjoy, pigs to brush, guinea pigs to groom, eggs to gather, tractors and go karts to ride.

Hesketh Farm Park, Bolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Dales Icecream Farm makes a great family day out, near Skipton and Bolton Abbey, with breathtaking scenery, super free wooden play area for children and new undercover play area. There is great food on offer in American style diner with delicious icecream, made on the farm.

Yorkshire Dales Icecream Farm
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