Things To Do


Skipton literally means ‘sheep town’, a name derived from Old English, and if you look around the picturesque countryside, you’ll certainly see a lot of sheep! Named the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, Skipton is famous for its well-preserved medieval castle, high street market with its wide cobbled sets and unique shops. Winner of the “Best High Street in the UK” in 2009, Skipton is a favourite with so many people, including the locals! We love it!

Skipton is for the whole family with plenty of fun activities. You could take a boat trip, walk around the medieval castle grounds, stroll through Skipton woods, soak up the history or watch a play in Skipton Town Hall and Museum, go to the cinema, go swimming, visit the market and wander the alleyways to find hidden cafes, shops and restaurants.

Places to eat and drink

Skipton boasts a wide variety of places to eat and drink. We have restaurants, cafes and takeaways for all tastes and budgets, tea houses and artisan coffee shops, traditional pubs, cocktail bars and micro-breweries. There are also five supermarkets in Skipton to pick from if you’re cooking at Number 61 or wanting to pack a picnic. You really will be spoilt for choice! 

TripAdvisor is a great site to visit to view all the establishments available and read reviews, but here are some of our favourites to get you started (in no particular order): 

In Skipton… 

The Cock and Bottle – If you’re looking for excellent pub grub at great prices then The Cock and Bottle is the place to visit. They have a really good beer garden too which is open all year round. The Cock and Bottle also have open mic nights on a Thursday and host a popular pub quiz on a Wednesday (it does get busy on quiz night so you must book a table!). 

The Wooly Sheep – A quaint little pub with open fire and yummy British food. It’s a lovely place to warm up after a cold walk round the market and has a large beer garden out back for those sunny days too. 

The Boat House – Located at the picturesque canal basin, The Boat House is a local pub serving traditional ales and drinks. It overlooks the venue for Skipton’s artisan market and is a place where many outdoor events take place in the summer. Pennine Cruises own The Boat House and their trips set off from outside the pub. If you enjoy feeding the ducks and swans this is also a lovely place to visit and to start your walk along the canal. 

La Casita – A yummy Spanish tapas restaurant and bar at the start (or end) of your walk into Skipton woods. They serve great cocktails too! 

Alexander’s – Alexander’s is a 1930s style cocktail bar and restaurant serving cocktails and a fine dining experience. There is a wonderful terrace bar and secret garden to the rear of the establishment making this a great place to go for a special occasion drink. Alexander’s is a little more pricey so we advise you to check out the menus on their website first. 

Thai Basil – The Thai Basil is a family-owned traditional Thai restaurant. The food is so fresh and very tasty and the atmosphere is friendly and calm. Takeaway is also available if you call and collect. 

Mastab’s Indian Restaurant – Mastab’s is an excellent Indian restaurant and takeaway situated just opposite the bus station and easy walking distance from Number 61. They also deliver. 

Oakleys – An Italian restaurant and grill serving steaks, burgers, chicken, fish, pizzas, pasta and salad. Great for both families and couples. Oakley’s also have a takeout menu and do home delivery. 

Bizzie Lizzies at the Town Hall car park – There are two Bizzie Lizzie restaurants and takeaways in Skipton (and other fish and chip take outs too), but this is our favourite restaurant. The food is good and fairly priced. They also have deals for kids and those wanting smaller portions too. 

Bean Loved – Situated on the wonderful Otley Street, Bean Loved is an independent coffee shop with great food and coffee. A nice place to go for a light bite or breakfast. 

The Venue Sports and Music Bar The best bar in Skipton for sports and music events. You can watch all major sporting events on Sky Sports and BT Sports. They also showcase local musical talent with live bands and acoustic acts most Friday nights, and each Saturday evening they have a DJ on till 3am! A great place for a dance. 

Carter’s Serious Eats A favourite takeout serving fresh pizzas, burgers and tex-mex. Their pizzas are created from homemade dough and stone baked and the burgers are made in house too.

Further afield… 

The Fountaine Inn at Linton A family favourite and a special place for the original owner of Number 61, our mum! The Fountaine overlooks the river and is a lovely place for a paddle and to feed the ducks. The pub serves British pub classics with a fine dining experience. 

Kilnsey Trout Farm A lovely short run out with the family and wonderful fresh fish to eat in the café. Our grandma loved it here and so did our mum. The drive here is lovely too. 

The Tempest Arms at Elslack – A local pub with excellent food, The Tempest Arms was named Pub of the Year in the Good Pub Guide 2011. 

The Bull at Broughton – Has long been one of Yorkshire’s landmark pubs. Now with a menu specially created by Northcote’s Michelin Star chef, Nigel Haworth.  

The Angel at Hetton – The Angel is one of the best known and best loved inns in Yorkshire. An ancient inn with Michelin starred dining. 

The Devonshire Arms at Bolton Abbey – A choice of two of the most highly regarded restaurants in Yorkshire: the Burlington Restaurant with a Michelin star and 4 AA rosettes and the Devonshire Brasserie and Bar.

Places to visit

In Skipton

  • Skipton Castle
  • Skipton Woods
  • Skipton Town Hall Museum and Gallery
  • Aireville Park
  • Craven Leisure Centre
  • Pitch and putt golf course in Aireville Park
  • Tennis courts at Sandylands Sports Centre
  • Raven Tree Top Adventure at the rear of Craven Leisure Centre
  • Pennine Cruises boat trips and boat hire
  • The Plaza Cinema
  • The Matrix soft play and ten pin bowling. 

Further afield

  • Embsay Steam Railway
  • Bolton Abbey
  • Bronte Parsonage
  • Fountaines Abbey
  • Harewood House
  • Stump Cross Caverns
  • Ingleton Waterfalls Trail 
  • White Scar Caves
  • Ribblehead Viaduct 
  • Three Peaks Walk 
  • Aysgarth Falls 
  • Kilnsey trout farm
  • Kilnsey pony trekking
  • Coniston Hall  (fishing, shooting, off-road days and spa)
  • Malham Cove and Gordale Scar
  • Cliffe Castle
  • Hesketh Farm
  • Thornton Hall Farm.

Good for the kids…

All of the things listed to do ‘In Skipton’ are excellent days out for kids plus the following….

  • Hesketh Farm
  • Thornton Hall Farm
  • Cliffe Castle
  • Billy Bob’s Ice Cream
  • Bolton Abbey
  • Kilnsey Trout Farm
  • Embsay Steam Railway
  • Stump Cross Caverns.
Local Markets

Skipton  – open air market held every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The farmers market is held on the first Sunday of the month in the canal basin. 

Grassington  – the farmers market is held on the third Sunday in the month. 

Bentham  – market every Wednesday. 

Ingleton  – open air market every Friday. 

Kirkby Lonsdale  – market every Thursday. 

Settle  – open air market every Tuesday. The farmer’s market is held on the second Sunday in the month. 

Clitheroe Municipal Market  – every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 9am and 4pm. 

More information can be found on the  Northern Dales Farmers Markets  website. 

Tourist Information 

Welcome to Skipton – the official visitor site for Skipton. 

Welcome to Yorkshire – the official visitor site for Yorkshire has information on events and sites throughout the county. 

Yorkshire Dales National Park – the official website of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority provides lots of useful information including places to visit and special events. 

Visit Lancashire – the official website of the Lancashire tourist board.