Tourist Afternoon in Skipton

When we clean and prepare our holiday cottage each week, one of the things which I like to do is to read the experiences of our Guests in the Guest Comments Book. I have lived in the Craven area surrounding Skipton all my life but I still learn things about Skipton and the Dales which I never knew from those comments.

Many comments in the book refer to recommendations on the various pubs and other drinking establishments to visit during a stay in Skipton. Skipton town centre has always had an abundance of pubs, but over the years many pubs have closed but in recent years others have opened in their place, some in the form of micro pubs.

So one sunny afternoon in July 2022, my wife and I decided to be tourists in our home town of Skipton and to take some time out for a lesiurely lunch and a visit to one or two pubs to sit in the sun and watch the world go by as if we were away on holiday.

Where do you start, which of the dozens of pubs should be your starting point? As we had walked from our home in Embsay into Skipton, passing Skipton Castle and walking through the Church grounds, the first stop had to be the Castle Inn.

After watching life go by and getting our breathe back over a pint of Theakstons Old Peculier, it was time to move on. One problem though, our afternoon excursion was taking place on a Tuesday afternoon, half day closing for many businesses. Surprised by how many shops, bars and restuarants still observed half day closing in a tourist town, we walked along Water Street and then on Coach Street to reach the Boat House.

The Boat House is about a five minutes walk from Thisledo and is a wonderful bar to sit on the canal side to see the comings and goings of day trip canal boats and a wide variety of narrowboats exploring the Leeds to Liverpool Canal.

From the Boat House, we decided that we should go somewhere for a late lunch, but as it was a Tuesday, many places were closed, so we decided on Elseworth Kitchen. This award winning restuarant was an ideal pit stop and we even had the window table to watch the constant passing by of tourists, locals and delivery vans; there seemed to be a non stop parade of white vans dropping off parcels for some reason.

With our bellies full of wonderful food and a bottle of wine, we decided to head back home, cutting through the cobbled back streets of Skipton , checking out the competition to our holiday cottage , through to the High Street & then the 30 minute walk back to Embsay.

Our afternoon of being a Skipton Tourist was certainly something we would repeat, but probably on a Thursday when everything is open.

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