Skipton in North Yorkshire dates back as far as 1085 and was listed in the Domesday Book. This historic market town, once known as ‘Sceap Tun’ (meaning Sheep Town) now attracts visitors from all over the UK and across the globe.
Now affectionately known as ‘The Gateway to The Dales’, Skipton offers the perfect base for exploring the magnificent moorland and dramatic terrain of the Yorkshire Dales countryside. The stunning Yorkshire Dales provide the perfect backdrop to this picturesque little town which with its immaculately preserved Norman castle, ancient woodland, picturesque High Street and pretty canal basin.
Skipton’s town centre provides a glorious array of things to see and do, regardless of the weather. Their award-winning High Street, popular market and Victorian shopping arcade all offer shoppers and foodies a vast array of locally sourced produce and locally crafted goods of an exceptional standard. What the town centre lacks in big name brands, it more than makes up for with its wonderful independent shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.
Skipton’s wonderfully preserved Norman castle sits at the top of their award-winning high street and is by far, the town’s most popular attraction. However, it isn’t the only thing that draws thousands of visitors to the town each year. The Leeds-Liverpool canal runs through this pretty market town and scenic day boat trips are popular with both locals and tourists. If you’re heading to the town with the kids in tow, you’ll find plenty to entertain them too. Local café, Coffee and Clay offer pottery painting activities; Matrix Superbowl has bowling alleys, American Pool and a soft play area; Plaza Cinema shows two daily screenings of the latest movie and Aireville Park has an excellent play area for kids of all ages. If you venture a little further out of town, you’ll find some of the area’s most popular children’s attractions including Thornton Hall Farm Park and Billy Bob’s Diner.
Foodie visitors to the town will not be disappointed by the diversity and quality of the independent restaurants here. Les Bistro des Amis, Le Caveau and Alexander’s are all perfect for a special occasion or a romantic evening meal.
Calico Jack, Brodys Yorkshire Pizzeria and Oakley’s are all great choices for family meals and offer great quality, simple food that everyone will love. Elsworth Kitchen and Keelham Farm Kitchen both serve hearty dishes made with only the finest local produce.
Most of the pubs and bars in town also serve great food and wonderful selections of local ales, craft beers and small batch gins.
Kick start the night with a cocktail at VSQ before heading over to The Sound Bar for craft ales and good music. Finish your night with a disco at The Fleece, Karaoke at The Albion or simply enjoy canalside views from the comfort of The Boat Bar.
Skipton’s is absolutely bursting with quirky independent shops. You’ll find some truly lovely gift shops in Craven Court Shopping Centre including The Geek Side which has a whole floor dedicated to Harry Potter merchandise and Out of the Ordinary which stocks a vast amount of products from local crafters. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, Skipton’s award-winning high street is lined with market stallholders selling everything from handmade jewellery and bargain fashion items to delicious confectionery and natural dog treats. Once a month, at the canal basin, Skipton hosts a fantastic farmer’s market, at which you’ll find local producers and suppliers showcasing their tasty treats.
Skipton has been given some impressive accolades in recent years including “The Happiest Place to Live” and “The Best Place to Live”. One reason for this is the quality of the education available in the town. There are three secondary schools in Skipton – two of which (Skipton Girl’s High and Ermysted’s Boys) can often be found at the top of UK league tables for their excellent GCSE and A-Level results. The town also boasts a number of wonderful little primary schools which all do very well and provide a great start for the little ones. As regards to further education, Craven College has an impressive catalogue of subjects and courses ranging from GCSE and City & Guilds right the way up to foundation degrees and bachelor degrees.