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The exact origins of this market town of ancient walkways, cobbled alleys and secret passageways are shrouded in mystery. But one thing's for sure, Knaresborough has carved out a real character for itself with a Tudor prophetess, once royal castle, magnificent viaduct and breathtaking countryside views.
Knaresborough viaduct Viaduct over the River Nidd
Knaresborough Castle Destroyed in 1648, many town centre buildings were built using 'castle stone'.
An impressive sense of history is woven into the very fabric of Knaresborough, and it's everywhere to see. A wonderful place to start is Knaresborough Castle which towers over the River Nidd. Once a royal residence, it's said that Richard II was once imprisoned in the keep - and who knows what secrets the underground dungeon hides! At least you're free to escape down the hill to the natural haven that is Bebra Gardens, nestling at the foot of the castle.
Take a relaxing woodland walk and you'll discover one of Knaresborough's enduring curiosities; Mother Shipton's Cave. Believed to be England's oldest tourist attraction, it's the birthplace of the renowned 15th century prophetress who predicted the death of Mary Queen of Scots. See a whole host of everyday objects slowly being turned to stone in the cascading waters of the Petrifying Well and don't forget to make a wish in the wishing well before you go.
There's always plenty going on in the bustling town itself. You'll find the oldest chemist shop in England in the picturesque market square, and stop for a pick-me-up in one of the charming olde worlde tea rooms. And then there's the lively Knaresborough Festival that celebrates everything musical and artistic. But the real spectacle is the annual Great Knaresborough Bed Race - a riotous jumble of specially constructed 'beds' zipping through the cobbled lanes, with thousands of spectators turning out to support the teams and raise money for charity and community causes.
Lounging by the river on a summer's afternoon...especially as that's where my husband proposed to me!
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