Skipton Castle Woods

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
skipton castle woods
Woodland Trust

Walking is always in fashion in Yorkshire and Skipton Castle Woods is an excellent place to indulge in this well loved pastime. Whether you find your own way or follow one of the pre designed routes, there are rivers, climbs, traces of the woods’ industrial past and exceptionally well positioned benches to explore. The easiest trail in the woods is the River Valley Route, this leads you on a gentle and family friendly stroll along the Eller Beck towards the great flood bridge. For the more adventurous, the Earl of Thanet Trail is an active walk across higher ground from the town to the castle, providing picturesque views of the trees below.

The Woods also hold a year round series of events. Their Easter Eggventures, Bat Walks and Lantern Walks are a special way to experience the landscape and encourage your little ones to respect and appreciate nature.

As a spot of natural beauty and abundance, the variety of birds you’ll find in the woods is enough to make any keen birdwatcher drop their binoculars. During the summer expert volunteers and staff host guided walks of the woodland where you’ll learn about its inhabitants and how they survive. It isn’t uncommon to see kingfishers, herons and dippers fishing in the water, whilst sparrowhawks, buzzards and red kites soar in the skies above. You can also take your own educational walk, with the woods’ free Tree Identification app. The app uses bark, leaves or fruits to identify the species and variety of tree. You can save your favourite trees and build up a map of interesting flora as you walk.

Whilst walking you may feel bold enough to take on the Sougha Gill challenge. This steep set of stairs next to Sougha Gill, has been the training grounds for Olympic athletes and is sure to get the blood pumping. Once you’ve made the strenuous climb you’ll be rewarded at the top with a rest and an idyllic view from one of the wood’s memorial benches. Definitely worth it.

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Where to go near Skipton Castle Woods

Tourist Attraction
Skipton Castle

As one the best preserved examples of a medieval castle in the country, Skipton Castle was originally built in 1090 and is well worth a visit.

Magpie – Two for Joy

Gift shop, printmakers and gallery shop in one, Magpie sell a locally sourced collection of wonderful and beautiful things as well as hosting workshops.

Skipton Town Hall

Skipton Town Hall is a live arts and theatre venue in the heart of the town as well as holding the Craven Museum and art gallery.

Mill Bridge Gallery

Fine art, photography and sculpture – all by talented local artists – are exhibited in the Mill Bridge Gallery located in a canal-side building.

Le Bistro Des Amis

Catering for light lunches as well as they can cater for three course meals, Le Bistro Des Amis is a charming and relaxed French inspired eatery.

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Craven Arts Studios

Craven arts studio is an artist-led organisation with an aim to support local artists creating space for contemporary visual arts in North Yorkshire.

Le Caveau

Combining the recipes of regional French dishes with local produce, Le Caveau, serves excellent meals underneath the heart of Skipton.

Event venue
The Narrow Boat

The Narrow Boat is in an excellent location and serves hearty home cooked comfort food alongside exceptional beers, ales and ciders.

Elsworth Kitchen

Elsworth Kitchen elevates the already high quality local produce of the Yorkshire Dales to produce innovative and hearty dishes.

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Craven Kitchen

Serving up bold flavours and nationally love classics Craven Kitchen is a firm favourite among local curry fans.

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