Skipton Castle

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle is one of the best preserved Medieval castles in Britain. Originally built in 1090 by the Norman Baron Robert de Romille, it was a functioning castle for nearly 600 years and remains in incredible condition today. It was originally built as a motte and bailey castle, then rebuilt in stone so as to protect the residents from the Scots. Traces of the castle’s various incarnations can be found in the grounds, making it a truly unique footprint of history.

After walking through the impressive gatehouse, you can explore the fortified gun towers, stunning inner courtyard and excellent views of the Eller Beck river. The rooms are left authentically preserved without added artificial ‘historical’ props, leaving you to get a real sense of the historical weight in each room. Other highlights are the Lord’s Bedchamber, great hall and the original kitchen.

During the English Civil war the Castle was the only Royalist stronghold in the North of England. It is reported that when Cromwell attacked the castle, sheep fleeces were hung from its walls to soften the impact of rounds from cannon fire. Sheep fleeces still feature on Skipton Town’s coat of arms today.

You can watch performances in the grounds of Skipton castle. Previously they have hosted Shakesphere, Archery, Opera, 15th Century reenactors and buskers. So once it can host live performances again, expect wide cultural variety.

Skipton Castle is now owned by the Fattorini family, an Italian family who have been based in Leeds and running Jewellery businesses in Yorkshire since the early 19th Century. They charge a small fee of £6.20 per adult to see the castle and wander through its grounds. With Skipton Castle Woods next door it’s a great way to include some sightseeing in a walk.

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Where to go near Skipton Castle

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Skipton Castle Woods

Skipton Castle Woods has idyllic spaces to walk and play in as well as a wealth of local wildlife, check out their events and tours.

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.

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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.

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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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