Known as the Gateway to the Dales, Skipton is a medium-sized market town in the Aire gap separating the Craven limestone Yorkshire Dales to the north. It's name comes from the Saxon word for sheep – denoting its largely rural surroundings – and Skipton literally means "sheep town".
Today Skipton is a thriving town, known for its well-preserved buildings and scenic views. It has a major shopping centre and a vibrant market is held four days a week. The town is within short driving distance of the countryside.
Those travelling by car can reach Skipton by the M65, if coming from the west, while those heading up from the south can use the M1 and reach the town via Leeds or Bradford. Visitors coming from the north can use the A1.
Those using trains can enjoy the rail service that connects Leeds and Bradford to Skipton, while there is also a service from Morecambe on the west coast. Skipton station is part of the famously scenic Settle Carlisle line, travelling over the Ribblehead Viaduct. There is also a daily through train to and from London Kings Cross, which takes about three hours.
Visitors arriving by plane can use Leeds/Bradford, which is about 30 miles away.
Bus travellers will find the station off Keighley Road, which provides services locally. There are connections with Leeds and Bradford, while the National Express coaches run direct from the London Victoria Bus station to Skipton.
For the more adventurous, there is a canal route to Skipton via the Leeds Liverpool canal – boat owners can moor in the centre of town.
Why Visit Skipton?
Skipton's main attraction is its castle. Despite being over 900 years old, it is one of the UK's most complete and best preserved medieval castles and is open for visitors to explore. From the banqueting hall and the Kitchen, to the bedchamber and privy – it is all on display.
Meanwhile, during the Christmas season Skipton hosts its annual yuletide festival, which sees the town engulfed in festive activities and seasonal cheer.