Things to do in Knaresborough

Knaresborough is one of those hidden gems that England is replete with. A historic market town, a spa town and situated in North Yorkshire on the scenic River Nidd, just 4 miles to the east of the affluent town of Harrogate. There is just so much to see and do in Knaresborough that it is hard to reduce them to a concise list, but here goes.

The River Nidd waterside walk

The River Nidd is a stunning river and its banks provide the opportunity for a picturesque walk that takes in the beautiful riverside houses, stunning bridges – besides one of which you can stop for a drink or a bite at the Mother Shipton Inn – and there are plenty of excellent cafes for a coffee. Take a picnic, walk a dog, look at the wildlife and soak up the atmosphere.

Knaresborough Castle

If nothing else, Knaresborough Castle is worth visiting for the amazing views down on the town. The views of the river and the rowing boats on it are simply breath-taking and the beautiful stone viaduct surrounded by trees looks spectacular. The castle itself is a portal back in time and for under £4 you can go in and take a look around. There’s a little museum and the keep and sally ports are both stunning.

Mother Shipton’s Cave and The Petrifying Well

Wow! This is a woodland adventure to capture the imagination of adults and children alike. The labyrinth is stunning and the way that time has petrified the well is absolutely fascinating. There are lovely walks, activities for children including the great idea of a few logs that they can hammer in a coin in to leave their own little mark on this magical place. There’s often something special on – for instance recently the characters of Labyrinth (yes the David Bowie film) were there, dressed up and providing entertainment. Definitely worth a visit.

Bebra Gardens

Situated just across from the castle are these beautifully maintained gardens, which on a warm, summer’s day simply come alive. You can amble around admiring the plants and colourful flowers and there are choices of walks, including some hilly ones that are surprisingly challenging. There are, however, plenty of benches to stop and rest. These also provide a lovely spot for reading your book. When you’ve had enough there is a short cut back up to the town centre.

Shopping, eating and drinking

With much of the country, not to mention Europe becoming homogenised in terms of shopping outlets, with hundreds of uniform shopping centres chock full of the usual high street shopping suspects, it only serves to shine a stronger light on such gems as Knaresborough. With far more than its fair share of independent shops and some corkers at that, Knaresborough has something for everyone. The Crystal Buddha, Art in the Mill and Castlegate Books are just three of the wonderful independent shops to visit.  When it comes to lunch, Drakes Fish & Chips restaurant is exemplary and for more refined palates, Horto takes some beating with vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.