Overview & description

Did you know that there’s an ancient woodland hidden in Skipton town centre?

With a fascinating history that dates back a thousand years, stunning seasonal displays, amazing wildlife and a central location; Skipton Castle Woods is a must-visit if you’re in the area.

The woods were once part of a great hunting woodland that stretched across North Yorkshire.  What remains is one of England’s rare ancient woodland sites, owned by Skipton Castle and protected and cared for by Woodland Trust.

The best way to get into the wood is by walking along the spectacular tow path from Mill Bridge in the heart of Skipton, a route which offers wonderful views of the castle. The woodland has no direct car access but is just 10 minutes away from town centre and castle car parks. 

Two miles of paths provide a peaceful oasis away from the busy high street. Spot herons, kingfishers, wrens, woodpeckers and wagtails as you explore.  Look out for magnificent beech, oak and hornbeam trees and marvel at the stunning display of wild garlic in spring and amber confetti as the leaves fall in autumn.

Guided history and nature walks take place throughout the year so take a stroll with a local expert and discover the wood’s industrial past and secret wildlife.

If you want to take in all the wood under your own steam, pick up an Earl of Thanet Trail leaflet from the tourist office on Skipton High Street or download from our website before you visit. 

Family events include the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Magical Lantern Walk, both perfect to combine with a visit to nearby Skipton Castle.

Look out for the stone poetry seat, big enough for groups and family picnics and our hidden geo-cache trail.  The woodland is open dawn ‘till dusk all and entry is free although online donations via the website are welcome.

Group talks and tours available for up to 20 walkers.

Information for those with access needs is available on the website. 

Read more

Facilities available at Skipton Castle Woods - Woodland Trust

  • Pets Accepted
  • Child Friendly
  • Outdoor