Skipton is a bustling market town situated in a unique location, the Aire Gap, which enables visitors to explore some of northern England's outstanding beauty spots. The Yorkshire Dales lie to the north and give Skipton its name of 'The Gateway to the Dales'. The rolling green pastures of the Ribble Valley lie to the west and lead to the Lake District.
Millstone grit moorland stretches to the south and east of Skipton, leading to Bronte Country and good road, rail and air links from the cities of Bradford and Leeds. There's an open air market four days a week, traditional shops and a vibrant, modern commercial centre.
There's a rich history in Skipton. The 900-year old castle has dominated the town since the Norman Conquest. Although part of Yorkshire, Skipton supported the Lancastrians during the War of the Roses. and during the Civil War, was the only Royalist stronghold in northern England.
This is one of the most scenic stretches of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal, which passes through the town centre and around Skipton Castle like a moat. You can take a half hour trip around the castle or day trips to outlying areas.
The canal takes you to Gargrave village, close to the source of the River Aire and the spectacular limestone gorges at Malham. Here you can enjoy dozens of walks around the remote moorland, stunning glical formations such as Malham Tarn and even spot the Peregrine Falcons nesting high on the cliffs.
The village of Embsay, just outside Skipton, hosts a terminal of the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. The train stops just outside Bolton Abbey, a lovely place for picnic.