Skipton is a place with a whole lot to offer. There are a great many things to do, whether you like history, adventure, or an afternoon at an art gallery. There’s plenty for the kids too, so Skipton is a wonderfully family-friendly place to pay a visit to.
If you are planning a trip to the area, we’ve put together this guide to help you choose some fabulous things to do during your time there.
Local attractions in Skipton
If you fancy a day of creativity, bring the family along to Coffee and Clay, which is a paint-a-pot cafe where you can paint your own pottery, and then leave it for them to fire in their kiln so you can keep your handiwork or even make somebody a thoughtful gift.
Needless to say, if you bring the kids they will have a whale of at time, and they even do parties. On the other hand, if you want a bit of a more grown up painting session, they also have dedicated ladies nights, where you can bring your own wine.
Bowling is a great activity for those times when you want to get your friends or family together and spend a few hours getting a little bit competitive. It’s also the perfect antidote to a rainy day, as you can shelter inside, play a game or two, and enjoy the food and drinks that are available on the premises.
They also have snooker, pool, and a soft-play area, so if you have a big group who want to do different things, everybody is catered for, even the little ones.
Do you love baby animals (and adult animals too)? Then Piglets Adventure Farm Park is a wonderful day out, with lots of animals to see and get up close to. There are pigs, donkeys, goats, cows, and there’s even the chance to milk the cows!
What’s more, there’s an incredibly fun play area for little ones to burn off some steam, with slides, an assault course, go-karts, crazy golf and much more. You certainly won’t run out of things to do, so we highly recommend making a day of it and bringing the whole family.
Historical attractions in Skipton
This medieval castle was built in 1090, and is one of the best preserved castles in Britain. For over 900 years it has stood on top of a rocky bluff, with a sheer drop to the Eller Beck behind, making it the perfect spot to withstand a siege.
You can learn all about the history of the Clifford family who built the castle and lived there for hundreds of years, and explore every corner of this impressive castle as well as seeing historical re-enactments that take place for visitors to see what life was like in medieval times.
Looking for a fun and free activity? The Craven Museum and Gallery can be found in the Town Hall, and is the perfect place to come to learn about the history of the area, and is also a great place to visit on a rainy day if you need somewhere to entertain yourself while you evade a downpour.
Learn everything about the area from its art art, to social history and archaeology. It is equally interesting for adults and children alike, and there are plenty of activities for little ones to enjoy, from dressing up to grinding corn into flour, and lots of puzzles and colouring sheets.
Train and boat rides
Fancy relaxing on a boat while enjoying afternoon tea or a roast dinner? Then why not book a trip with Skipton Boat Trips and enjoy exploring the longest canal in Britain. Originally used to transport stone, coal, and other cargo from A to B, it now transports happy day trippers and holiday makers who want to take to the waters.
You can even hire your own boat and become a captain for the day, or simply take a guided boat tour that is fun for all the family, with commentary from award winning comedian Dave Spikey.
Take a special journey back in time on the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway while you’re in the Skipton area. Whether you’re a train enthusiast, history buff, or just love the view from a train window, settle yourself in one of the beautifully restored Victorian and Edwardian carriages, and let the puffing and hissing of the steam engine transport you back to yesteryear.
Check the timetable to find the best times to book a ride aboard, or see when their special events are held (including Curry Express, a Breakfast Train, and of course, Afternoon teas).
Outdoor activities in Skipton
Bolton Abbey is one of the best places to visit if you’re in the Skipton area, and the 30,000-acre estate has something to offer for everyone. With over 80 miles of footpaths, there’s certainly a lot to explore!
Explore the ruins of the priory, hop across the river over 61 stepping stones, or enjoy a nature trail through the woods. There are also plenty of events throughout the year on the estate, so check the website to see what’s going on around the time of your visit.
Every kid (and young at heart adult) loves a tree top adventure, and there’s something really liberating about working your way around a course of obstacles and balance beams beneath the canopy, and of course the best bit of all – zip wires.
Whether your little ones are daredevils, or face the idea of hanging six meters above the ground with a little more trepidation, the safe, friendly environment is the perfect place for a little bit of confidence building.
Do your kids love solving clues and mysteries? Then the Skipton Spy Mission Treasure Trail is a wonderful way to get them out and about and will make exploring the local area that little bit more fun and exciting for them.
This self-guided tour of the area will take you around the canals and castles of Skipton, deciphering clues and exploring while keeping an eye out for enemies. It’ll take at least two hours, and you can take your time to enjoy the castle and make a really fun day of it!
If this has got you itching to visit Skipton and the surrounding area, why not check out accommodation in the local area, including our holiday homes for hire and caravan touring pitches based in nearby Holgates Ribble Valley.