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Pocket Guide: Skipton

The beauty of North Yorkshire is acknowledged widely. Almost half of the county is given over to National Parks, spanning mysterious moors and picturesque dales. It's not only the incredible countryside that draws visitors to this corner of England, though. North Yorkshire is also packed with plenty of bustling market towns. One of the most popular sits just to the south of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, at Skipton.

Skipton is located on the banks of the River Aire, in the Craven district of North Yorkshire. Its cobbled high street attracts plenty of visitors, but the bulk of tourists see Skipton as the gateway to the Dales. Whatever you're in town for, you can be sure that Skipton is home to some of the finest hotels in North Yorkshire.

Attractions in Skipton

Without doubt, the foremost attraction in the small town of Skipton is the magnificent castle. Built some 900 years ago in 1090 by a Norman baron, Skipton Castle is among the best preserved castles in the country. The epic gatehouse is a must-see, and there's a fascinating history to learn about, including a lengthy siege during the Civil War, which the castle withstood.

The ruined priory at Bolton Abbey is also well worth the visit. The 12th century Augustinian priory is open to visitors through most of the year and sits at the end of an operational steam railway line.

Charming B&Bs

For a relatively small town, Skipton is blessed with an impressive diversity of hotels. Some of the finest places to stay are small, family-run B&Bs.

Zarina's is a charming and welcoming bed and breakfast located in Kettlewell, just outside Skipton. With just three rooms, the B&B is intimate, and service is always first class. There's a delicious breakfast served each morning, and free WiFi in all the rooms.

An Upmarket Spa Hotel

Those seeking a little bit of luxury, can't do much better than the delightful Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa. Located at Bolton Abbey, the hotel boasts all kinds of luxurious features, to include a gorgeous indoor swimming pool, a full-service spa and a pair of exquisite restaurants.