Visit Skipton - an excellent base for a Yorkshire tour

One of the most popular destinations in North Yorkshire, Skipton offers the full package to visitors to the region. With ample parking, an impressive marketplace, and all the modern amenities of a larger town, Skipton spoils visitors with easy access to the Yorkshire Dales, and excellent transport links East and West along well-travelled roads and a busy, well served, railway line.

Discover Skipton

As the gateway to the magnificent Yorkshire Dales near Harrogate, people travel the length and breadth of the country to visit this charming market town.

With its famous 900 year old castle and historic cobbled High Street, Skipton is endlessly rich both in history and outstanding natural beauty. Check out the hotels in Skipton, holiday cottages in Skipton and B&Bs. Also see hotels and accommodation for Bolton Abbey and apartments available.

Where to Stay

Sample some of the terrific places to stay in and around Skipton, below. Whether it’s camping and caravans, amazing lodges, a B&B, Inn or hotel you’re after, this North Yorkshire market town has great examples of all types and styles of accommodation, to suit all tastes and budgets. Don’t forget our page on the best pubs in Skipton.


Stank House Farm

Bolton Abbey, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6EZ, United Kingdom

Wharfe View

Devonshire Square, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6DH, United Kingdom

Wesleyan Chapel

Barden, Skipton, North Yorkshire, DE4 2NZ, United Kingdom

Angel Cottage, Skipton

Skipton, BD23 1RX, United Kingdom

Canal View

Skipton, BD23 1PP, United Kingdom

Crag View Cottage

Skipton, BD23 6RE, United Kingdom

Want to see more detail? Check out hotels in Skipton, holiday cottages in Skipton and B&Bs in the town and surrounding area using these dedicated links. In particular, we recommend the Coniston Hotel.

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A castle as the centrepiece

You can’t fail to be impressed by the symphony of historical treasures that Skipton has to offer. The grand 11th Century Skipton Castle forms a dramatic centrepiece to this bustling market town and proudly overlooks a colourful orchestra of quaint streets, ancient woodland and famous waterways. There are also stories of ghosts in Skipton Castle.

By land or by waterway

Many of the town’s attractions are linked by the Millennium Walk route, making it easy to navigate around. Take a short stroll along the Springs Branch canal which runs beneath the castle ramparts into Skipton Woods, watch the world go by as you relax on a Leeds-Liverpool canal cruiser or you could even take the helm yourself.

The Dales on your doorstep

With the beautiful Dales beckoning from Skipton’s edge, it’s time to venture further afield. Why now allow yourself to be swept along by a steam locomotive from nearby Embsay station. Just a stone’s throw away from the romantic Bolton Abbey estate, you’ll be transported into a landscape bursting with natural beauty as far as the eye can see.

Great views look even better on horseback

Whether you’re a skilled rider with your own horse, or someone looking for their first experience Draughton Riding Centre caters for everyone. Ranging from children’s lead rein to riding groups and adult beginner to riding groups. In addition to group lessons we offer private lessons, lunge lessons, jumping lessons and hacking

A train through time and space

All aboard for an exciting steam train ride! Built in 1888, Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway is the perfect place to start your journey out into the picturesque Yorkshire Dales. We recommend hopping off at Bolton Abbey station for refreshments at the estate’s Cavendish Pavillion or maybe a picnic on the banks of the crystal clear River Wharfe. Look out for special train events that include 1940s Weekend and All Aboard with Ivor the Engine.

Take to the skies or take to the water

As a special treat, why not go up, up and away in a hot air balloon. You’ll get a whole new perspective of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is Nidderdale, and enjoy a bird’s eye view of its neighbouring attractions from Skipton Castle across to the 12th Century ruins of Bolton Abbey priory. A more down to earth way to see Yorkshire is to take the Leeds-Liverpool Canal with Pennine Boat Trips of Skipton and take in the serene countryside as you idle through the locks.

Beautiful grounds and cliff walks

For a grand day out, Parcevall Hall Gardens has sights, sounds and delightful aromas not to be missed. The gardens were laid out by the late Sir William Milner and are planted with exotic specimens from as far away as China and the Himalayas – all set against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales. As well as being a local celebrity, Parcevall Hall Gardens has also appeared on our TV screens in ‘Escape to the Country’ and ‘Hairy Bikers’. The historic Broughton Hall Estate, near Skipton, is situated in some of the most stunning countryside in Yorkshire and is set within 3,000 acres of secure and extensive landscaped grounds. Come and explore the Kilnsey Park and enjoy a unique Yorkshire Dales experience. The first thing you will notice is all of the wildlife wandering freely around the Park.  You’ll see the ducks, geese, hens and guinea fowl everywhere you go. 

Hit the high street

Spend a day shopping in Skipton and you won’t be disappointed. The cobbled streets and historic buildings provide a atmospheric backdrop to a compact shopping area, interspersed with friendly cafe’s and amenities.

Rediscover part of Skipton’s History

Washington DC, Statford-upon-Avon, London and now Skipton, the Shakespeare First Folio, of which there are only 230 surviving First Folios, 49 of which are in the British Isles. Only 4 are currently on permanent public display, and one of them is in Skipton. Situated within Skipton’s historic Town Hall, Craven Museum and Gallery is a hidden gem that tells the story of the southern part of the Yorkshire Dales known as Craven. Discover something different every time with changing exhibitions, workshops and family events.

Skipton on the map

Skipton FAQ’s

What’s Skipton famous for?

Skipton offers many shops, cafes and restaurants and is famous for its lively outdoor market on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

What are some popular activities to do in Skipton?

Popular activities in Skipton include visiting the castle, exploring the market, taking a canal boat ride, and hiking in the surrounding hills.

Is Skipton a good place to visit with children?

Yes, Skipton is a great place to visit with children. The castle offers interactive exhibits and tours, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep kids entertained.

What is the best time of year to visit Skipton?

The best time to visit Skipton is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny. However, the town is also beautiful in the autumn when the leaves change colour.

Are there any famous events or festivals in Skipton?

Yes, Skipton hosts several annual events and festivals, including the Skipton International Puppet Festival, the Skipton Christmas Market, and the Skipton Sheep Day.

Skipton Fact Pack

  1. Skipton is a market town located in North Yorkshire, England.
  2. It is known as the “Gateway to the Dales” due to its proximity to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
  3. The town has a population of around 15,000 people.
  4. Skipton is home to a 900-year-old medieval castle, which is open to the public for tours.
  5. Skipton has a rich history, with evidence of human settlement in the area dating back to the Bronze Age.
  6. The town was an important center for the wool trade during the medieval period, and many of its historic buildings are related to this industry.
  7. Skipton is home to several beautiful parks and gardens, including Aireville Park and Skipton Castle Woods.
  8. The town is well-connected by rail and road, with excellent transport links to nearby towns and cities.
  9. Skipton is home to several excellent schools, including Skipton Girls’ High School and Ermysted’s Grammar School.
  10. The town has a range of accommodation options, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages.
  11. Skipton is home to several annual events and festivals, including the Skipton Sheep Day and the Skipton Puppet Festival.
  12. The town has several sports clubs, including Skipton Cricket Club and Skipton Golf Club.
  13. Skipton is a popular location for walkers and hikers, with several beautiful walking routes in the surrounding countryside.
  14. The town is home to several historic landmarks, including Holy Trinity Church and Skipton Town Hall.
  15. The town is surrounded by stunning scenery, including the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Forest of Bowland.
  16. Skipton is a popular location for canal boat holidays, with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal passing through the town.
  17. The town has a strong sense of community, with several active community groups and organizations.
  18. Skipton is a popular filming location, with several TV shows and movies having been filmed in the area.
  19. The town has several unique attractions, including Skipton Castle Woods’ wildflower meadow and the Skipton Boat Trips.

Where Next After Skipton

Skipton is a terrific gateway into the Yorkshire Dales, journey to Grassington, which is HQ of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and known for its cobbled streets, quaint shops, and stunning countryside views. Or even go a little further “over the tops” on the amazing drive across to Kettlewell.

View more places in North Yorkshire.