We've been to Skipton a few times before and market days and weekends can be hectic. There was no market on today though, so parking was a little easier and although still busy it wasn't as crowded as we've seen in the past. As soon as you get out of the car you're surrounded by beautiful countryside.
Skipton is an old market town and is recorded in the Doomsday book of 1086. At the top end of the High Street stands Holy Trinity church which dates from around 1300, although extensions have been added throughout the centuries.
Next to it stands Skipton Castle which is over 900 years old. The church grounds are beautiful and there are plenty of benches to sit on to have a quiet moment and soak up the sun.
This is the view from the church grounds down the High Street. I've been to Skipton several times but have yet to see inside the church or the castle as it doesn't appeal to the majority of Number 38ers. Even today, when it was just the two of us, Mark made a point of walking in the opposite direction when I mentioned I might have a peek inside.
As you walk up and down the High Street there are lots of little cobbled alleyways that lead you into courtyards where shops, cafes and restaurants can be found.And even the odd Ram celebrating the Tour de France which departed from Skipton last year.
As well as their lovely market town, locals also have the added bonus of being able to walk along the canals and look at all the colourful houseboats that are dotted everywhere. I thought these two were very sweet. Ideal for a 'his and hers' weekend break don't you think?
It amazes me how many boats are actually on the canal and how they line them all up so perfectly.
I might not have got him into the church but I did steer Mark up this tiny alleyway into Craven Court.
Which leads into this lovely covered shopping area, which was certainly quieter than we've seen it before.
He even came into the apothecary with me, but only for a few minutes before he whispered "the smell's getting up my nose, I'll wait for you outside". As lovely as it all was nothing really struck me, so I just bought a bar of soap.
Further into the courtyard and there is this lovely sweetshop. Mark didn't even feign interest in this and sat on a bench outside while I chose some chocolate for Amy and Thomas.
After an hour of sauntering around the town we decided it was time for a coffee so we headed into the nearest cafe and ordered drinks and a trio of cakes. I couldn't stop laughing at Mark's face when we realised we were in some sort of green organic health cafe. I suppose the woman we sat next to who was drinking a glass of what looked like liquid mushy peas should have been a clue. And Mark's face was a picture when the cakes arrived with a side serving of natural yoghurt. They were actually very nice though. We even got 4! The waiter obviously took one look at Mark and thought portion vs body mass wasn't going to be right!
After spending some more time mooching around the town we were ready for lunch. We've been here before and if you're ever in Skipton and fancy fish and chips I would definitely recommend it. This was much more to Mark's liking with not a pot of yoghurt in sight.
Afterwards we had a stroll along the canal. The water was as still as a millpond on one side of the path
While on the other side there was a lovely babbling brook
Eventually it was time to head home. The dogs and children finishing school were beckoning. And look! A little claim to fame. Anybody who reads Attic 24 will recognise this cafe on the outskirts of town.
A final view of the countryside and we were soon back on the M66 making our way home.
Unfortunately, when I got in I dumped my coat, bag, phone and camera in a big heap on the table. Five minutes later I pulled the coat off the table to hang up and my camera came with it. Suffice to say the wooden flooring was unforgiving and I now have no camera. So, maybe it's just as well I only bought a bar or soap and some chocolate. At least I've got some pennies left to buy a new one.