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Posted:  Thursday 14 September 2017

An excursion to Skipton for
North East Associates

- Wednesday 13th September -

Today was the day for our final excursion of this 2017 season and we were off into deepest Yorkshire, to the unspoilt market town of Skipton in fact.

A popular destination, at reasonable intervals, we journeyed in mixed weather which followed some heavy overnight rain.  Going south on the A1 was fine, despite the ‘everlasting roadworks’ but heading into Dales Country we encountered some showers which fortunately weren’t too heavy or too prolonged.  Evidence on the overnight rain was shown in the angry waters of the rivers Nidd and Wharfe as we crossed them but flooding didn’t seem likely.


The route through the dales included the
2014 Tour de France Category 4 ‘Côte de Blubberhouses’
- a climb going from a lush farmland area onto open and inhospitable moorland before descending to reach our destination.

Much easier in a coach!


Our organiser for this trip, Pauline Laughton
produced a potted ‘walking guide’ for us - summarised below:

“Skipton is promoted as ‘The Gateway to The Yorkshire Dales National Park’ and is renowned for its castle, street market, shops, pubs, restaurants and canal cruises.

An unusually quiet canal basin

“In addition, at the top of the High Street is Holy Trinity Church dating from about 1300, and nearby are some unique independent businesses located in the oldest corner of the town - all waiting to be discovered.

High Street - better without cars!

Craven Court shopping

“Today was one of four High Street market days each week.

“The Leeds & Liverpool canal passes through the town, once being a trade artery.  The canal basin is now a very active tourist attraction with cruise boats and hire boats to suit groups of all sizes.

“The castle is one of the most complete fully-roofed medieval castles in England, rebuilt after the English Civil War on the condition that the structure wasn’t strong enough to bear the weight of cannons!

“Castle Woods are where you can take a walk in a magical land, taking in the castle perimeter, the canal towpath and then link back to the High Street.

Shoppers on the High Street

“The ‘Millennium Walk’, a renovated mill building, a museum for the Craven district to which Skipton belongs – and a similarly named shopping centre – Victoria Square and the canal basin are also recommended attractions.
In the canal basin a larger-than-life statue of cricketer Freddie Trueman - once a Skipton resident - stands close to the canal bank.”

Freddie Trueman statue

We're honoured, with canal boats bearing the names of NE Associates 

With plenty to see and do Associates spread out across the town, with only a couple of showers requiring some rapid action.  This visit only a few stalls were in the market area.

Our own knowledge of Skipton added to Pauline's list ‘The Devonshire’- a light and airy refuge from the showers courtesy of JD Wetherspoon and where groups of Associates could be found throughout the day.

Wining with Wetherspoon

Heading back the way we came we reached home in good time, without any traffic problems.  After the 2½-hour journey many would go back to Roman times and reconvene at a venue on the alignment of Hadrian's Wall to end their day in a convivial mood.

In all a very good finale to this year’s programme.

Signing off until next year,


pictures:  ph

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