Things to do on a day trip to Skipton, Yorkshire

1 September 2022

Home to a 900-year-old castle, cobblestoned streets and stunning landscapes, Skipton shows exactly what Yorkshire is all about. And since it’s located near the Yorkshire Dales, it makes for a perfect day or weekend trip. We’ll show you how to make the most of it.

Yorkshire is home to some of the most beautiful towns and landscapes in the whole of England. But with so many places to choose from, where do you even start? Skipton could be a town to consider.

Skipton is located in North Yorkshire and has a long history in the wool trade. The name of the town name literally means “sheep town”. With the Yorkshire Dales on its doorstep, it only makes sense for many shepherds to make it their home. But this picture-perfect market town has more to offer than just sheep.

With a 900-year-old castle and picturesque street, Skipton has been named one of the best places to live in Britain. And since it’s only an hour or two from nearby cities like Manchester, Leeds and York, Skipton also makes for a day out. You can even make a weekend out of it if you want to explore the Yorkshire Dales too!

To help you make the most of your time in Skipton, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do when visiting for the day. Let’s take a look.

Explore Skipton Castle in Yorkshire

If you only have time to visit one thing during your time in Skipton, make sure it’s Skipton Castle. This 900-year-old castle is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the whole of England, and it’s a real treat to walk through.

In the Middle Ages, Skipton Castle allows the town to prosper. It offered protection to its people, which made it a great place for families to lay down their roots. And even today, it is very well looked after.

And don’t forget the castle woods. The castle also has a vast woodland area, where you can see a variety of wildlife. It makes you feel like you're miles away from any nearby city or town. There are a few different walking routes you can take, which take around an hour. One of them takes a bit longer, so make sure to pick one that fits in your itinerary

Visit the Holy Trinity Church

Not far from the castle, the Holy Trinity Church can be found. It dates back to the 14th century, and even though it got damaged during the Civil War, it got restored beautifully. There's also a cafe here if you want to take a rest, but you can also check out our following point...

Grab a coffee at Bean Loved Coffee

Independent stores and businesses are what makes towns like Skipton so unique. It's what makes it feel like a strong community, and we obviously love to support that!

To fuel up on some caffeine before moving on with our day trip to Skipton, you can stop by Bean Loved Coffee. This family-run business in Skipton truly loves its coffee and has a great selection of food to make for a great lunch spot too.

Step back in time at the Craven Museum

Yorkshire is prone to rain (like the rest of the North of England), but luckily there are some great places to check out in case the weather isn't on your side. Craven Museum is one of them.

The museum dates back to 1928. Inside, you can learn more about the local history, archaeology and art. It even houses one of Shakespeare's first folios (one of four which are on public display in the world!).

Shop for local treasures

Being a market town, Skipton makes for the perfect place to find some real treasures. Its market is still one of the most popular in the area and you can buy all sorts from local traders. Market days usually include Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (from 10 AM till 4 PM), but they may differ. Make sure to check before planning your trip.

But the market isn't the only place to shop. Skipton is home to many independent stores, and it would be a real shame to leave the town empty-handed. Skipton High Street (where the market and the majority of independent shops are located) has previously been voted the best street in Britain, so you’ll be sure to have a great time.

Craven Court is a great place to check out. Inside this Victorian-style arcade, you can find a host of independent stores. From fancy cakes to cool board games, you can find it all.

Visit the High Corn Mill

High Corn Mill is one of Skipton's best-kept secrets (according to their website). Unsurprisingly, not many guides recommend visiting it, but it's a beautiful building in Skipton that deserves some more recognition.

This beautiful mill dates back to 1310. And while it's mainly used for offices nowadays, the waterwheel still stands proudly. You can even handle it yourself!

Take a trip on the canal

Since the Leeds-Liverpool canal runs through the town of Skipton, you can opt for a boat trip if the weather is nice. Skipton Boat Trips offer a variety of canal cruises, including afternoon tea cruises, guided tours, and more. You can even hire a boat to self-drive it for the day.

Try a local pint

And to end your day in Skipton, you can't go wrong with trying one of their locally brewed beers. There are more than enough micropubs to check out in Skipton (including Early Doors, The Beer Engine and The Mess Room), but make sure to ask for a local beer. They'll be more than happy to recommend their favourites.

Skipton is also known as the gateway of the Yorkshire Dales. If you want to extend your trip to Skipton to a weekend break, you can easily add a day in this beautiful National Park to your itinerary.

Either way, this lovely market town deserves a spot on your UK travel wishlist. We hope you get to visit it soon!