I have visited Knaresborough twice and both visits have been pleasurable and memorable. I am a Geography student in Leeds and live with my boyfriend; we try and get out of Leeds as much as possible and explore the North of England as we are both from Wiltshire. So far Knaresborough has been my best day out...twice! I would recommend anyone to go to Knaresborough and these are my reasons why....
WHERE? Knaresborough is a market town four miles East of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. It is easily accessible as it has its own train station and we got the Northern Rail line direct from Leeds (destination Harrogate and York.)
WHY? We have visited Knaresborough on two occasions; once it was recommended by a family member as a good day out, to visit Mother Shipton's cave and the other tourist attractions, the subsequent visit was for the Edwardian Christmas Market in December 2009.
WHAT? On our first visit to Knaresborough, we got off the train and the first street we walked down was a small, steep cobbled lane lined on one side with Victorian and Tudor style houses: I felt like I had stepped back in time! To add to the magic, one of the houses had a first floor mural of a man pouring slops out of a window! So here was our first 'Kodak moment' as we took turns at standing under the "slops" under the window! On walking down the street we got to the bottom of the valley and my breath was literally take away. The river Nidd flows through the bottom of the town, which is built up on a steep hill, which we had just walked down, a magnificent aqueduct crossed the river, which reflected the arches adding to the dramatic effect. The river has a few cafes and a boat hire, so we hired a rowing boat and headed up the river for a romantic trip taking in turns to row, splashing each other and chasing ducks! Everyone on the water was having a fantastic time!
Other attractions we visited that day include Mother Shipton's cave and her 'petrifying well' which apparently turns objects into stone (in fact a geological phenomena) but nonetheless entertaining and a nice walk to take children on! After this we visited a small chapel which had been carved into the rocks on the other side of the valley...I'm sure there was more to see but the day was getting late and we had to leave!
Our second visit was to go to the Edwardian Christmas Market in December. This was fantastic! We stocked up on so many stocking fillers including locally brewed bottles of beer and Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese in between being entertained by bell ringers, brass bands and dancing! There was a beer festival with local ale and mulled wine stall to keep everyone warm and spirits high. The Scarborough donkeys even came to visit to entertain children and it was all round a magical, festive evening!
Knaresborough has a history that dates back to the Norman times so there are many historical buildings and the town has tried to preserve its traditional heritage; this gives a sense of being in a really traditional historic town. In addition to this, there are local butchers and greengrocers around every corner, aswell as the weekly market on Wednesdays, which really give the feeling that this is a town trying to support local industry and be sustainable.
Other attractions include Knaresborough Castle (which will have to wait for my next visit) and Ye Oldest Chymist Shoppe in England, which opened in 1720 as is packed full of every sweet (traditional and modern) you can imagine. Its worth a look in even if you don't possess the sweet tooth as the building is fantastic in itself!
If you get the chance to visit Knaresborough, I would recommend going either in the summer (to make the most of the river, the boat trips, the walks and the scenery) or in December to visit the Christmas market.
Its actually one of very few places I could imagine myself living one day :-)
Well as most of you know, I originate from Harrogate, North Yorkshire and the next town down from Starbeck is Knaresborough which is a walkable 2 miles or so. Now a lot of people say, oh yes, I love Harrogate and forget its neighbour Knaresborough. In this op, I will take you through some events and sightseeing places that are often missed by tourists as they do not know the town. First of all we are heading down on the Bus from High Street, through Starbeck (brilliant place, ok, I am biased, I am from Starbeck) and then you go through Starbeck on the bus or car or train. Now just before you are entering Knaresborough, on the left hand side there is the gold club. Many famous people have played here and it is a full sized golf club. Now right opposite the Golf Course is a keepers house and if in Summer you have got some spare time, instead of entering Knaresborough by the main road, you can turn left here and walk down the country side, after a mile you will see a walkway on the right and this takes you through fields to the River Nidd. Right we are approaching the start of Knaresborough and on the right hand side is Mother Shiptons Cave. Mother Shipton was considered to be a witch but she made prophecies, that the bridge would collapse in the 80s and yikes it did. It is a nice long walk along the river which stinks of garlic mmm yummy. There are little lights showing you which way to go. You then have to go up some stone steps and then come to the Wishing Well and The Petrified Wall. You can leave anything there for a year and as the water trickles down and reacts with the lime, it petrifies it and turns to stone. The wishing well is inside a cave and opposite is a statue of Mother Shipton. This was taken over by Paul Daniels in the 80s and prices rocketed to get in. There is also a wooden playground for children, a Cafe and souvenir shop. On the other side of the bridge, it is just plain fields and in summer th
ere are donkeys there for children. This is also a popular place for picnics. The Bridge crosses the river, so you really have 4 sides to have a good look at. The car park is on the left hand side as you approach the town and by walking a little bit further up there is a large Country Hall. You can cut off here and the old Knaresborough Zoo was here but again in the early 80s it was closed down due to underfunding, but opposite where the old zoo was is the grave yard of there beloved pets. They have an annual event in July called The Bed Race and it is where all companies have to design a mobile bed and get dressed up, they start from the car park side and race down past the castle around High Street and back over the other side of the river and then they have to swim across with the bed back to the car park. (We are a weird lot us Yorkies) It is all done for charity and there are stalls and fairs there. Onto the final side of the river which is directly opposite Mother Shiptons Cave is more of a tourist area and you can walk down the side of the river or take a canoe on the river. There are lots of souvenir shops there also. If you are fit enough you can carry on walking and approach Knaresborough Castle from this side and if you carry on further instead of going up the steep steps, there is a tour that shows you a cave that someone many moons ago lived in. Right we are now huffing and puffing and climbing up the stairs to the castle. Asthma sprays in hand we get to the top and I wonder why the heck did i just not get off at the Bus Station and walk through the town. Knaresborough Castle is in ruins but there is a certain part of it that as a guided tour and they tell you about a man called Blind Jack. He built the road from Harrogate to Knaresborough and they show you some of the cells. In the Castle there are beautiful lawns where you can play putty. Also there are large singular walls around that has seating
there and for many years every Monday without fail, my gran would go there and eat fish and chips and watch the world go down. Ready for another climb? Well if you walk as though you are walking right across the putty green there are some steps going down and this leads onto a quiet unused lane. Now if you look opposite, yes your climbing again, you go up the stairs and there is the most beautiful garden and you wind your way down and there is a little outdoor swimming pool. Right after all that I am bringing you back to the Castle but this time am taking you in the opposite direction and taking you through the town. It is a period town and these days it is very commercialised with gift shops everywhere. In the square they have a market on every week and there are things like ye olde chemist shoppe. There are lots of Cafes serving some of Yorkshires finest foods. Prices in Knaresborough have soared recently as Harrogate prices have shot through the roof, so people are moving out of town and into smaller places like this. It is only a small town so do not expect to find all the big High Street Shops. I think the biggest one they have is Woolies. But there is a lot of antique shops and good quality jewellers. This is where Gary proposed to me and ironically Gary is obsessed with Oliver Cromwell and the pub we were in was opposite Oliver Cromwell Lane. Of course if your visiting Harrogate, don't forget to go to Knaresborough, you will really like it and Leeds and York are only 15 miles away. So this would make a nice holiday. Prices to stay in the town start at around £45 a night. Karen :0)