Things to Do in Knaresborough: Stunning Spots You Can't Miss

8 months ago   •   10 min read

By More Yorkshire
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Things To Do In Knaresborough

Nestled in the heart of North Yorkshire, Knaresborough is full of history, natural beauty, and unique attractions that are sure to delight visitors of all ages. Whether you're interested in exploring the great outdoors, checking out local landmarks, or simply enjoying some delicious food and drink, there are things to do in Knaresborough for everyone.

One of the most popular things to do in Knaresborough is to visit the town's iconic castle.

Dating back to the 12th century, this impressive fortress offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and a fascinating glimpse into the town's rich history.

If you're interested in learning more about the castle's past, be sure to take a guided tour or check out one of the many informative exhibits on display. And don't forget to wander through the picturesque gardens surrounding the castle, which are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful picnic.

From the dramatic cliffs of the Nidd Gorge to the tranquil waters of the River Nidd, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.

Take a walk along the riverside, explore the winding paths of the Nidd Gorge, or simply relax in one of the town's many lovely parks and gardens.

And if you're feeling adventurous, be sure to check out the famous Petrifying Well, where objects left in the mineral-rich waters are slowly turned to stone over the course of several months.


Historical Significance

Knaresborough has a rich history that dates back to the medieval era. The town has played a significant role in the history of England, and there are many historical sites that you can visit to learn more about the town's past.

Knaresborough Castle

One of the most prominent historical sites is Knaresborough Castle.

The castle was built in the 12th century by King Henry I and has played an essential role in the town's history. It was used as a royal fortress, a hunting lodge, and a prison.

King John was imprisoned in the castle in the early 13th century, and Edward I and Edward II both stayed at the castle during their reigns.

Situated on a cliff overlooking the River Nidd, you can enjoy stunning views of the town below.

The castle has several attractions, including the King's Tower, which was used as a royal residence, and the Courthouse Museum, which showcases the history of the castle and the town.

Medieval Knaresborough

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Knaresborough was a bustling town during the medieval era, and there are many historical sites that you can visit to learn more about the town's past.

The town was an essential center for trade, and many of the buildings that were built during this time still stand today.

One of the most notable medieval buildings in Knaresborough is the House in the Rock, which is a house built into the side of a cliff. The house was built in the 17th century and is now a museum that showcases what life was like in Knaresborough during the medieval era.

Tudor Era

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The Tudor era was a significant time in the history of England, and Knaresborough played a crucial role during this time. One of the most notable Tudor sites in Knaresborough is the Tudor Courthouse.

The courthouse was built in the 16th century and was used for trials and hearings.

The courthouse is now a museum that showcases what life was like in Knaresborough during the Tudor era. The museum has several exhibits, including a replica courtroom and a display of Tudor clothing and artifacts.

English Civil War

Knaresborough played a significant role in the English Civil War, and there are many historical sites that you can visit to learn more about this period in history.

The town was a Royalist stronghold, and the castle was used as a military base during the war.


Natural Beauty

If you're looking for natural beauty in Knaresborough, you won't be disappointed. The town is surrounded by stunning landscapes and scenic views. Here are some of the best places to experience:

River Nidd

The River Nidd is the heart of Knaresborough and a great spot to relax and enjoy nature.

Take a stroll along the riverside walk or the River Nidd waterside walk, and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

If you're feeling more adventurous, you can rent a rowing boat and explore the river on your own.

Nidd Gorge

The Nidd Gorge is a quaint wooded valley just outside of Knaresborough.

The gorge is home to a variety of plants and wildlife, and there are several walking trails that will take you through the heart of the gorge. It's a great place to visit in the summer, when the sun is shining and the trees are in full bloom.

Bebra Gardens

Bebra Gardens are located in the heart of Knaresborough.

The gardens are home to a variety of colourful flowers and plants, and it's a great place to relax and soak up the sun. Bebra Gardens is the perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.


Attractions and Activities

If you're looking for things to do in Knaresborough, you won't be disappointed. This charming town has some of the most unique attractions in Yorkshire:

Mother Shipton’s Cave

Mother Shipton is a legendary figure in English folklore, and her cave is one of Knaresborough's most popular attractions.

The cave is said to be the birthplace of Mother Shipton, who was a prophetess and healer in the 16th century. Today, visitors can explore the cave and learn about the legend of Mother Shipton.

Petrifying Well

The Petrifying Well is another hidden gem in Knaresborough.

This natural wonder is a well that is rich in minerals, which causes objects placed in the water to become encrusted in a layer of stone.

Visitors can see a variety of objects that have been petrified over the years, including hats, teddy bears, and even a bicycle.

St Robert’s Cave

St Robert’s Cave is a unique attraction that is also worth checking out.

This small cave was once the home of a hermit named St Robert, who lived there in the 12th century.

Today, visitors can explore the cave and learn about the life of St Robert.

Courthouse Museum

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The Courthouse Museum is a fascinating attraction that gives visitors a glimpse into Knaresborough's past.

This historic building was once a courthouse, and today it houses a museum that showcases the town's history.

Visitors can see exhibits on everything from crime and punishment to local industries.

Boating on the River Nidd

Boating on the River Nidd is a popular activity in Knaresborough.

Visitors can rent a rowboat or motorboat and explore the river at their own pace. This is a great way to take in the town's stunning scenery from a different perspective.

Nidderdale Greenway

The Nidderdale Greenway is a scenic path that runs along the River Nidd. This path is popular with walkers and cyclists, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll or bike ride and enjoy the fresh air and scenery.

Overall, Knaresborough has a lot to offer visitors. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or just want to take in the stunning views, there's something for everyone in this charming town.


Local Markets and Shops

Knaresborough prides itself on its local markets and independent shops.

The Knaresborough market is held every Wednesday in the marketplace, and it's a great place to find fresh produce, artisanal goods, and unique souvenirs.

You can browse through the stalls and sample some of the local delicacies, such as Yorkshire pudding, Wensleydale cheese, and pork pies.

If you're looking for something more specific, Knaresborough has a variety of independent shops that cater to different interests.

For example, if you're a book lover, you can visit the White Rose BookCafe, which is a charming bookstore that also serves coffee and cake. If you're a fashionista, you can check out the boutique shops on High Street, which offer a range of stylish clothing and accessories.

The Knaresborough marketplace is also home to a range of specialty shops that sell everything from handmade chocolates to vintage vinyl records. These shops are run by passionate and knowledgeable owners who are always happy to chat with customers and share their expertise.

In addition to the marketplace, Knaresborough has a number of hidden courtyards and side streets that are home to even more independent shops. These shops offer a range of products, including handmade pottery, artisanal soap, and locally sourced honey. Exploring these hidden gems is a great way to discover unique souvenirs and support local businesses.


Food and Drink

When it comes to eating in Knaresborough, there are plenty of options to choose from, whether you're in the mood for a hearty pub meal or a light lunch at a cafe. Here are a few places to check out:

The Worlds End Pub

The Worlds End Pub is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.

With a cosy atmosphere and a menu full of classic pub favourites, it's the perfect place to grab a bite to eat. T

he pub is known for its selection of real ales, so be sure to try a pint while you're there. If you're visiting in the summer months, you can enjoy your meal in the pub's beer garden.

Marigold Cafe

For a lighter meal or a coffee break, head to Marigold Cafe.

This riverside cafe offers a range of sandwiches, salads, and cakes, as well as a selection of hot and cold drinks.

The cafe is located in the heart of Knaresborough, so it's a great place to stop for a break while exploring the town.

Afternoon Tea

If you're in the mood for a special treat, why not indulge in an afternoon tea?

Knaresborough has several options to choose from, including The Black Mulberry and The Dining Room at Goldsborough Hall.

Afternoon tea typically includes a selection of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a variety of cakes and pastries, all served with a pot of tea. It's the perfect way to relax and enjoy some delicious treats.

No matter what you're in the mood for, Knaresborough has plenty of options when it comes to food and drink. From hearty pub meals to light lunches and indulgent afternoon teas, you're sure to find something to satisfy your appetite.


Accommodation and Travel

If you're planning a trip to Knaresborough, you'll need to consider your accommodation and travel options. Here's what you need to know:

Accommodation

Knaresborough has a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you're looking for a luxury hotel or a budget-friendly guest house, you'll find something that meets your needs.

Some of the best places to stay in Knaresborough include:

  • The General Tarleton: This traditional coaching inn offers comfortable rooms and a restaurant serving delicious food made from locally-sourced ingredients.
  • Dower House Hotel & Spa: This elegant hotel is set in beautiful gardens and features a spa, restaurant, and bar.
  • The Market Tavern: This historic pub offers cosy rooms and a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Old Royal Oak: This guest house is located in the heart of Knaresborough and offers comfortable rooms at affordable prices.

Nearby Destinations

If you're visiting Knaresborough, you might also want to explore some of the nearby destinations. Here are some of the top places worth checking out:

Harrogate

Harrogate is a popular spa town located just a few miles from Knaresborough. It's known for its elegant architecture, stunning gardens, and luxurious spas. Some of the top attractions in Harrogate include the Royal Pump Room Museum, the Valley Gardens, and the Turkish Baths.

York

York is a historic city that's packed with fascinating landmarks and attractions. From the iconic York Minster to the medieval city walls, there's plenty to see and do here. You can also explore the Jorvik Viking Centre, the National Railway Museum, and the York Castle Museum.

Leeds

Leeds is a vibrant city that's known for its shopping, nightlife, and cultural scene. You can explore the Leeds Art Gallery, the Royal Armouries Museum, and the Leeds City Museum. Or you can shop till you drop at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre or the Victoria Quarter.

Bradford

Bradford is a multicultural city that's home to a range of interesting attractions. You can explore the National Science and Media Museum, the Bradford Industrial Museum, and the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery. Or you can take a stroll through the Lister Park.

Allerton Castle

Allerton Castle is a stunning Gothic Revival castle located just a few miles from Knaresborough. It's known for its stunning gardens, ornate interiors, and fascinating history. You can take a guided tour of the castle, or attend one of the many events that are held here throughout the year.

Ripley Castle

Ripley Castle is a beautiful 14th-century castle that's located just a few miles from Knaresborough. It's known for its stunning architecture, outstanding gardens, and rich history. You can take a guided tour of the castle, or attend one of the many events that are held here throughout the year.

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's located just a short drive from Knaresborough. It's a stunning Cistercian monastery that dates back to the 12th century. You can explore the ruins of the abbey, or take a stroll through the surrounding gardens and parkland.

Haworth

Haworth is a quiet village located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. It's best known as the home of the Bronte sisters, and you can explore the Bronte Parsonage Museum to learn more about their lives and work. You can also take a stroll through the picturesque village, or go hiking in the surrounding countryside.


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